2008 Blandin Broadband Conference: Task Force Intro

task_force1The morning session was an opportunity to meet the Ultra Hgh-Speed Broadband Task Force and hear about their mission. Many attendees will participate through polling tools offered by University of Minnesota Extension; others will get a chance to talk about their situations or ideas.

First, ADC welcomes us to the global headquarters. (Some folks enjoyed a tour of their factory in Shakopee, where they empty 1000 people. The rest of us enjoyed their terrific hospitality in Eden Prairie!)

Steve Kelley led the session where attendees got to show their opinions through a poll. (Think the Who Wants to be a Millionaire? audience voting – a big thanks to Extension Service for sharing this tool with us!!) There weren’t any big surprises but it was fun. You can see the results in the PPT below.

Rick King led the Policy Listening Session/Task Force portion of the morning.

Panel members (Task Force members on stage) included: Chuck Taylor from Health Partners in IGH. Brent Christenson from the Telecom industry (in Madelia). Kim Ross is the Superintendent of Schools in Houston.

It was interesting to hear from Rick about his reason for getting involved. It’s not to get better broadband for Thomson/Reuters – it’s to get better broadband for the employees so that they can work from home. That would help environmentally; it would help with transportation.

We have infrastructure – road, plans, sidewalks… Broadband should be included. Our infrastructure is out of balance., We need more railroads and broadband.

Why ULTRA is task force name? Because the FCC has ill-defined “high speed”.

The Task Force will have a recommendation for the Legislature in November 2009. The goal is to not to be in the bottom half of the US as far as broadband access/use. We know the budget does not forecast a magic bullet for broadband but it is still important at a State level. It will be interesting to see what the change at the Federal level means.

Craig Taylor: Did a quick poll – some people have electronic medical records, a few had accessed that record in the last 3 months, and one had had an electronic health care visit.

Brent Christenson: Businesses demand drove the access to broadband. They are looking for telecommuters to relocate to Madelia because they can provide Ultra high speed access. They started an economic development agency. Small towns need broadband to thrive. Being on the task force has been enlightening – it’s very balanced.

Kim Ross: There are 22 passionate people on the Task Force. Education will not be a player without Ultra high speed broadband. We can now meet the needs of each student. Technology tools, online learning, helps customize teaching. All of their students now have remote access to class materials. Teachers are enhancing skill and motivation. Lots of students are still using dialup.

Notes on the listening session follow…

3 thoughts on “2008 Blandin Broadband Conference: Task Force Intro

  1. Pingback: 2008 Blandin Broadband Conference: Listening Session « Blandin on Broadband

  2. I didn’t get this in time for the original post, but I wanted to share comments from Broadband Task Force member, Barbara Gervais.

    Access to Broadband for all Minnesota Residents

    It is my belief that it is imperative to the financial health of this State for all residents to have access to high speed broadband. While the initial investment would be large, it would draw industry and industrious individuals to live and work in this great State.

    As a resident of Cook County, it is detrimental to the county’s economy which is already limited. The county is dependent on an undependable tourism industry to employ a large percentage of its residents. The terrain and sparse density of area presents two roadblocks to allowing existing entities to provide this access to all the residents of Cook County. Access to high speed broadband to all residents of the County would offer many new avenues to bring industry and jobs to the county related and unrelated to the tourism industry. The diversity that could ensue would ensure a more even economy.

    However, speaking personally for my husband’s small home business, the barrier of only having access to dial up deters achieving a comfortable financial return from this home business. He could expand his business and revenue many times over with an “online store”. Not only could we and others expand local industry through high speed internet access, I also believe that the many seasonal homeowners would stay longer and invest more time and money here if high speed broadband was available to any location in Cook County.

    As a resident of this State, I believe the rewards would be great for Minnesota to be a leader in providing high speed internet access to each and every resident.

  3. Pingback: Federal e-Health Plan « Blandin on Broadband

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