Last week, I was in Moose Lake last week talking to them about making improvements to the City web site and maybe using a blog as a decentralized community web site where deputized bloggers could post news and events from the City, library, Chamber and others. I’ve been so mired in technology policy lately that it was fun to talk about application.
Moose Lake is a Blandin Get Broadband community. They used funding to create a community web site. There’s a prison in Moose Lake, subsequently they are security-focused. On the current web site people can sign up to get community updates. It’s great for event promotion – but it is also a great way to spread info in case of an emergency.
Moose Lake also built a wireless network, which means it’s a great place to stop for lunch if you need to get online. The fun news is that they are very recently been extend the wireless access to Barnum, Kettle River, Sturgeon Lake and Willow river areas. The service is provided by Moose Lake Water and Light Commission as part of the Community Broadband Network.
They have fiber into the town and started installing wireless in 2000 and have been able to expand bit by bit. Now people can get access at speeds of 512Kbps for about $30 ($25 for seniors!) or 768Kbps for $50.
What I’d love to see in a year is that the demand was so great that they are looking to extend that fiber to the home – but for now I think they’ve come up with an affordable solution that meets the community needs and leaves the door open for great expansion – to new areas and perhaps new speeds.