Here’s the news from our latest newsletter. It’s mostly a compilation of Minnesota-related stories from the blog in the last month – but sometimes it’s nice to have it compiled. It includes a lot of media mentions of broadband in the different local elections. Bill’s Coleman’s Corner is especially good this month and details work happening in various communities…
Alexandria (and beyond)
Representative Colin Peterson’s rural goal to find a way to get more Internet broadband capability is mentioned in regards to his campaign in the 7th District. http://tinyurl.com/5twyez
Running for reelection, Representative John Ward mentioned that building in broadband infrastructure that will bring high-speed Internet services to all areas of Minnesota is one step to grow jobs. http://tinyurl.com/5v3e4a
Representative Sandy Masin’s work to establish the state’s Broadband Task Force is mentioned in regards to her campaign for reelection. http://tinyurl.com/5j8v3y Broadband also comes up as an issue for candidates vying for the open City Council seat. http://tinyurl.com/68e78o
Blandin Light Speed recipient, LCTN celebrates a year of IP TV with daily use of the videoconferencing technology. http://tinyurl.com/6dgp9u
On the campaign trail, Representative Tim Walz says that the Government needs to help rural areas expand Internet access as it did years ago for electricity. http://tinyurl.com/6e96yv
The City of Monticello celebrates the end of the lawsuit brought about by the incumbent telecommunication provider unhappy that the city decided to build its own FTTH network. https://blandinonbroadband.wordpress.com/2008/10/15/monticello-ftth/
The Internet helps to promote the New Ulm Oktoberfest. http://tinyurl.com/5j3jab
Northfield is hosting an Open House to introduce the general public to the consultants who will be deploying their Fiber Optic Feasibility Study. http://tinyurl.com/664pag
Running for reelection, Representative Any Welti (30B) is connected with broadband initiatives in a local letter to the editor. http://tinyurl.com/6e96yv
A blogging librarian in Rochester redefines the digital divide, “There is still a divide, however. This divide is in the availability of broadband access to the internet. What’s interesting is that many people – and most disturbingly, the people who are the decision-makers – don’t understand that this is happening.” http://tinyurl.com/5v3e4a
(Many stories are gathered from local online newspaper. Unfortunately each newspaper has a different policy in regards to archive news and therefore we cannot guarantee access to all articles cited.)
I want to provide recognition to those communities currently engaged in the Community Broadband Resources (CBR) Program. Through the Blandin CBR, organizations can apply for up to 32 hours of technical assistance to help them get organized, gather information, develop alternatives and implement strategies to increase access to and use of broadband. This flexible approach to assisting communities is proving to be extremely useful to the communities and very interesting work. Here is a sample of what’s happening…
Todd County> Following up on a telecommunications provider inventory and assessment conducted earlier, we helped the Todd County Development Corporation learn that the county is served by an interesting mix of nine different local exchange carriers and several cable television providers. One community in the county is exploring an exciting fiber partnership with an area provider, while another’s main priority is making sure that its new technology park is well connected.
City of Clearwater We helped the community conduct a community technology assessment of providers and end-users. This not only provided educational for the community but it seemed to help providers make Clearwater a priority. In fact, one provider announced the doubling of the community’s standard DSL speed on the day that we interviewed them and an area wireless provider proposed a new arrangement to place their equipment on one of the city’s water towers to improve coverage.
Upper Minnesota Valley Regional Development Commission A regional effort has sprung from the interest demonstrated by area counties. We are assisting the regional staff with an inventory of telecom providers, their staff is developing positive relationships with area sheriffs and other stakeholders who are implementing the 800 MHz public safety wireless network. An initiative to increase the region’s technology vitality by improving the skills of area web masters is also taking shape.
Lac qui Parle County The EDA has taken aggressive action on telecommunications and technology. Following a well-attended countywide meeting, the EDA has convened an active team to follow up on identified issues. The team includes city and county officials, health care providers and several telecom providers. The team collected more than 400 surveys at the Internet Café at the county fair and is planning next steps.
Each community has its own unique blend of telecom providers and end-users so the flexibility of Community Broadband Resources can be a real asset for communities seeking to increase technology vitality. The application is online and easy to complete. The key requirements are to have a sponsoring organization and a team (even a small one) ready to assist. Go to www.blandinfoundation.org/html/public_bb_cbr.cfm for complete information and to complete the application.