Broadband at the Ground Level

Yesterday Dave Peters at Minnesota Public Radio posted a great article on broadband in Minnesota. It’s a nice overview of what’s going on in the state – starting with the statewide broadband bill and going down to talking about what a couple of specific communities are doing to boost broadband in their areas.

Dave writes about rural issues so I wasn’t surprised but I was impressed to see his assessment of leadership (at the Ground Level)…

So how one community addresses this question is likely to differ, and need to differ, from how the next one does. I can’t think of another public policy issue or social trend — from energy to food networks to housing to demographic change — in which the leadership in specific communities will make as much difference in the quality-of-life outcome.

It’s going to be illuminating to see how local leadership emerges and what kind of information sharing gets fostered. It’s a great opportunity to see, as the Bush Foundation likes to call it, “courageous leadership.”

It’s a perspective that can often get lost but rural is a series of different communities. There are some shared characteristics – but each is different and each will address their questions differently. In some ways that’s what makes the broadband situation in the US different that in other countries. As Dave points out we don’t have a statewide strategy. The National strategy is being developed but the plan at that level seems to be stocking the magazine of weapons – not creating the game plan for each community. So it’s an opportunity for local communities to shine.

This entry was posted in MN, Rural by Ann Treacy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ann Treacy

Librarian who follows rural broadband in MN and good uses of new technology (, hosts a radio show on MN music (, supports people experiencing homelessness in Minnesota ( and helps with social justice issues through Women’s March MN.

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