Blandin Foundation announces Community Broadband Resource Program Initiative will help rural communities connect to broadband’s worldwide advantages Grand Rapids, MN—(February 15, 2008) Blandin Foundation is pleased to announce the Community Broadband Resource Program (CBR). This newly created program offers technical and business consulting services to rural communities interested in researching, developing or advancing broadband capacity. Participating communities receive services at no charge.
CBR is the most recent program addition to Blandin Foundation’s Broadband Initiative, which also includes the “Get Broadband” and “LightSpeed” grant programs, the Blandin on Broadband blog and the Open Networks Feasibility Fund. The initiative is guided by a 16-member Strategy Board representing a broad range of private and public perspectives.
In designing this program, Blandin Foundation has applied its broadband experience gained from working with leadership in 29 rural communities.
“Blandin Foundation’s Community Broadband Resource Program is unique in the state,” says Bill Coleman, project leader for the program. “This program will be customized for each community because when it comes to broadband decision-making, we know that no two communities have the same set of challenges or priorities.
“While some communities may already have committed resources and know what they want to do, others may not really understand broadband capabilities and don’t know where to start,” Coleman says.
“Our job is to facilitate the good work that community leaders are capable of doing. We help identify and clarify key community priorities, involve project stakeholders and assist community leaders in developing their plans and understanding their planning needs–whatever would help them move forward to the next step.”