We are waiting expectantly for our first homes to be connected with the fiber to the home connection. The cables are being strung and the technicians are bustling about as we standby and watch and pester them with questions they can’t answer; like “When can we start using it?” We know the increased speed of our internet connections will have a huge impact on our network as we have 23 remote sits all connected together as a virtual private network. As soon as we get two or three sites connected we can begin testing various applications. In anticipation of the greater functionality we have begun doing an assessment of the proficiency levels of our staff. Like all organizations that implement technology enterprise wide we have a great disparity between the “power users” and the “reluctant users”. With some 150 people to train we find it is an ongoing challenge to keep everyone up to speed. We have conducted many in-house training sessions but still find it hard to reach the “reluctant user” as they usually do not take advantage of the training opportunities. So our technology committee recommended that we look into brining in an outside trainer to assist us. Our first thought was to contact the Custom Training Center at Minnesota State College-Southeast Technical. We met with Christi Braun, a Custom Training Consultant, and reviewed our needs. She made some good suggestions regarding the configuration of our classes; such as providing a separate class for upper management as a means of getting them excited and willing to provide leadership within their departments. She also recommended that we conduct the training in our training center so staff will have access to actual data to work with. Christi will be getting back to us with a proposal and we hope to offer classes in late January or early February. With the holidays upon us I don’t expect too much more progress until after the first of the year. Then I hope we will begin to see consistent progress toward our goals.
The Blandin Foundation is supporting four standout broadband programs through the Light Speed program. The program’s purpose is to stimulate the deployment of bandwidth intensive applications that connect local institutions to area resident’s home. This post comes from a Light Speed community leader.