I want to thank Ronda Allis from Region 9 Development Commission for her notes on the Blandin Broadband Policy Seminar in Mankato in July. (I pointed to John Shepard’s notes from the same session a week or so ago – but it’s great to get a couple of perspectives.)
Here are the slides:
Here are the notes:
July 16, 2009 – Blandin Broadband meeting held at Region Nine Development Commission office, Nichols Office building
Approximately 20 people were in attendance to discuss various broadband issues that they would like to bring forward to the State Broadband Task Force.
Bill Coleman began the session by presenting a brief power point presentation that detailed where we are currently in Minnesota in the area of broadband development. He then led the group in a discussion about where we would like to be in the future. He presented 5 questions for discussion:
1. What goal for bandwidth?
2. What applications are important to you now and into the future?
3. Should the goal have tiers, depending on location, user types and applications?
4. Should mobile broadband be part of this discussion?
5. Broadband – essential utility or market service?
The group spent the majority of their time discussing questions 2 and 5.
Below is a summary of their responses.
1. Goal for broadband width?
Task force needs to address this; the current federal requirements are inadequate.
2. Applications that are important now? Future?
• On-line learning
• Homebound students
• Home-schooled students
• Netbooks are way of the future
• On-line testing
• Interactive science projects
• On-line job applications
• E-book capabilities
Need to make sure we build out to accommodate future growth; how much bandwidth is enough right now? Will it be adequate in five year? Ten years?
Discussed symmetrical vs. asymmetrical bandwidth. Consensus was that upload speed and download speed should be the same.
5. Essential Utility or Market Service?
Most viewed as an essential utility, similar to electric, water, and sewer. The role of government should be to assist in serving those areas that are currently unserved or underserved. Private providers do not want to spend the dollars needed to provide service in these areas. Cities currently manage utilities, this would not be any different.