Broadband Policy Points
In June, President Obama established a Broadband Deployment on Federal Property Working Group to accelerate broadband infrastructure deployment.
The intention seems to be to streamline the process of deploying broadband across the country with efforts such as Senator Klobuchar’s Dig Once policy.
This should be good news to the Minnesota Broadband Task Force, which met in June. Much of their last meeting focused on policies related to infrastructure, especially policies that coincided with plans from the Minnesota Department of Transportation.
600 Million Sold
According to a report from Point Topic there are more than 600 million worldwide broadband subscribers today.
They report that fiber is taking market share from DSL and cable; satellite and mobile options are increasing access in unserved markets. The report is published in time for a scheduled meeting of the International Telecommunications Union’s Broadband Commission for Digital Development, which looks at the impact of broadband on global citizens.
Impact of Broadband on Generations
A report from Pew Internet and American Life highlights impact of wired life on millenials.
The report details a list of skills found to be beneficial in the new era of broadband. On the flip side, the Benton Foundation and Connected Living recently hosted a conference on the impact of broadband on seniors.
The conference report presents strategies to help seniors make the most of networked world. And somewhere in the middle and more locally reported, Connect Minnesota reports that one in five employed Minnesotans enjoys the benefits of telework.
Connect Anoka County hosts a series of presentations on Last Mile options. The presentations are available online.
Superintendent Matt Grose talks about the keys for success in planning an iPad program in the schools.
Floods in Duluth demonstrate the need for better infrastructure redundancy in the area as many suffer telecommunications outages.
Lac qui Parle
The Minneapolis Star Tribune features Lac qui Parle County and their broadband infrastructure as a means to lure 30-49 year olds looking to relocate to their area.
Lake County continues to have issues with their fiber project as incumbent providers make allegations about the financial aspects of the project and Lake County leaders refute allegations.
MIRC partners, PCs for People are featured in the Minneapolis Star Tribune for their work getting computers into the hands of low-come families and households.
In May, Hiawatha Broadband decided to leave the Monticello FiberNet project. In June, Monticello elected to move forward with Gigabit Squared as a managing partner.
The Northeast Service Cooperative (NESC) provides an update on their ARRA-funded project to deliver Ethernet services at speeds up to 10Gbps to critical service institutions.
Mayo Clinic will share $60 million from the U.S. Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation to fund efforts (many broadband-based) to improve health care. The resulting savings for taxpayers is expected to be $172.8 million.
Sibley and Renville Counties talk to Chris Mitchell about their efforts to move forward with a locally supported fiber optic network. The article highlights many of the successful marketing strategies.
Hiawatha Broadband (HBC) becomes a partner in US Ignite, a federal effort to bring broadband applications to 25 cities across the United States.
The effort will bring program coordination and unique opportunities to the area.
Southwest Minnesota Broadband Services is featured in Broadband Properties highlighting progress on their local fiber network.
Upper Minnesota Valley
Upper Minnesota Valley Regional Development Center’s (UMVRDC) highlights benefits and lessons learned from the broadband adoption programs begun as part of their participation in the Minnesota Intelligent Rural Communities (MIRC) initiative.
Stirring the Pot
As I watered my recently planted gardens this morning, already sweating with the 90 degrees – 90 percent humidity combo, I thought about our MIRC partners – statewide and demo communities. I realized that both my plants and our partners are at the same stage. The soil is well prepared, healthy plants well-selected and transplanted. I have been doing a lot of watering and a bit of weeding.
Some of my plants are thriving; all of them are doing at least OK. Yet I wonder about the future of our MIRC initiatives. I wonder if we have planted perennials or annuals. I wonder which efforts will continue to produce fruit from long term commitment and maintenance. Based on initial closeout meetings in three of our demonstration communities, I am betting that our MIRC efforts will live on as perennial activities. Our communities have teams in place that have worked well together. We have heard of many successful programs and projects with many great outcomes. We do have a few weedy projects that have not produced, but those communities have learned about the hazards of selecting vendors and agreeing on expectations.
With the new Blandin Community Broadband Program, our existing partners and a new crop of partners will have the opportunity to plant a whole new garden. We want to develop mechanisms for continued sharing of information across our communities and with our statewide partners. It is great to see the MIRC garden growing and producing in greater Minnesota. Enjoy the harvest!!