Redwood County meets to look at broadband

I’ve read a lot about the Minnesota Broadband Task Force report in the last week or so – often in local newspapers. Local leaders are starting to look at the goals and are finding out there’s a gap between where we are and where we want to be.

Many of them recognize that we’re at a crossroads and if you want to get to the far end of that gap, you better start planning and working for improved broadband coverage and usage.

Last week Redwood County started their process when a group of local business, technology and government leaders met at the Redwood Falls Public Library to talk about the current technology needs in Redwood County.

According to the Redwood Falls Gazette

The local meeting was coordinated by the Redwood Area Development Corporation (RADC) and included a presentation by Bill Coleman who works with the Blandin Broadband Initiative.

Through the initiative, which has prioritized accessibility of broadband statewide, Coleman has been working with counties and cities to come up with a strategy to ensure Internet access.

How that strategy is outlined would be based on current needs taking into consideration the goals of the state and nation.

While the report shows Redwood County as underserved, the reality is it is not as bad as some would assume.

The information gathered was not complete and did not show all of what is provided in Redwood County.
Representatives from different providers in the area were on hand to talk about what is available, adding there are some concerns they have with state and national goals.

Most agreed in Red-wood County there is access to one meg of download and upload speed, but in today’s market that is the equivalent of dial-up seven years ago. There are businesses that require much more significant broadband access, such as the banking industry which is in many cases taking online banking to the next level.

The Redwood group will continue to meet. The questions will be familiar to other towns looking at the same situation. How much can we afford to upgrade? And what is the expense of not upgrading?

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