History

Neutral Path Communications was born from a simple desire that still rings true throughout the company today; to utilize unique assets and models to deliver the most effective and efficient means to meet the ever increasing bandwidth needs of network operators in the markets we serve; to “make the Internet work better.” ​

The idea for Neutral Path grew out of a perceived need for a technology update at a few buildings in downtown Mankato. Scott Bergs, Tony Frentz and Jay Hanke were discussing the benefits of fiber connectivity to the buildings and joked that they should just put in the fiber themselves. In the end, they decided not to get into that particular fiber business — something already provided by traditional ISPs in the area — but it led to the creation of Neutral Path, and the company was officially formed on December 6, 2011.

Neutral Path’s first project was to build a diverse, high-capacity dark fiber network from Mankato to Omaha. The project broke ground in March of 2013 and was completed in June of 2015. The second major project was to deliver a diverse fiber line from Mankato and proceed north to Minneapolis where it would end, for now, at the highly coveted Midwest Internet Cooperative Exchange. Construction was completed in March of 2016.

The construction of the Mankato to Omaha path caused enough excitement in the fiber community that Neutral Path caught the eye of Chicago-based private investment firm, Anderson Pacific Corporation. In July of 2015 the two merged assets under the company name Near North Partners, LLC. The merger extended its current fiber line all the way to Denver, CO. Near North Partners focuses on lit transport services, such as: Ethernet, optical wave, passive wave, and managed services.

​Throughout its six year history, Neutral Path has remained committed to its roots of “making the Internet work better.” Neutral Path takes the time to learn their customers’ current and planned capacity, security, redundancy needs and tailors solutions that met those specifications as well as customers’ financial goals and objectives.

History