Today I attended the Northern Regional Broadband Networks Forum in Duluth. The interest in broadband in the business community in Duluth is clearly high – as demonstrated by the standing room only situation in the room.
It was a nice look at all aspects of broadband of the community and a nice eye opener for folks who may not be using broadband, cloud computing or social media as often (or maybe as well) as the speakers. I think it will spur folks to go home and look at how they can implement broadband tools in work, home and community.
Below are the presentations. [Added 10/5/2011 – you can access materials from the event online too. http://www.northlandconnection.com/uploads/BroadbandNetworkForumPacket2.pdf]
(Danna used a great tool called Prezi – fun to see, great for the presentation but tougher to embed in the blog. Please click to view her presentation.)
And here are the questions, which I think are always valuable. (As fun to see what folks ask as to hear the answers.)
- What speed do you need for folks to work from home?
- Don’t know minimum. Clearly need more than dialup.
- Do your work at home employees need to be near the office (to United Health Care)?
- Try to keep folks within a 60 miles radius. (Although we have exceptions – especially from folks who have moved.)
- Is there a single source online to find your speed based at an address?
- Connect Minnesota maps are pretty good – they will show providers anyways. The problem with the map is that they’re not very granular – although they go to census track in MN.
- When will the Middle Mile project be complete?
- The NESC is under construction and should be done next year – although bulk may be done by the end of the year.
- Mediacom seems to be the only game in town now, will Mediacom get on board for Last Mile?
- NESC is working with existing carriers. Frontier is the first provider to sign on.
- We really focus on Middle Mile. We provide fast, not-shared broadband but not to the Last Mile. The questions of service to the home will be up to the individual commercial provider.
- Is there a technology being developed to offer wireless to a whole city?
- Minneapolis has a private sector partners. The city prepaid for services to help that happen. It’s a tough technology – because it often comes down to the siding of the house for quality.
I did a little Tweeting during the event if you want a super quick look at the event.