Northern Regional Broadband Networks Forum Notes & Presentations

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.]

(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.

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