Blandin Broadband eNews November

News from the Blandin on Broadband Blog

Fall Broadband Conference – Nov 16-17
The Blandin Foundation and Connect Minnesota conference, Policy and Progress: Border to Border Broadband is coming up on November 16-17 in Duluth, Minnesota. The event includes a series of pre-conference webinars. The final webinar (Community Transformation via Technology) takes place Wednesday November 2 at noon; previous webinars are archived and available online.

USF and ICC Reform
Last week, the FCC voted to reform the Universal Service Funds and Intercarrier Compensation. The goals include expanding support for broadband deployment to high cost areas, reducing costs to consumers and transitioning changes to support continuing progress.

Minnesota not Making Speed Charts
Connect Minnesota reports that 28 percent of Minnesotans don’t have broadband at home. That’s a long shot from the Broadband Law goal of ubiquitous coverage by 2015 and isn’t helping the state reach the world class status goals also included in the law. In October, the Q2 2011 Akamai quarterly broadband reports published their latest rankings. Minnesota did not make their Top Ten lists.

Local Broadband News

Video highlights Pioneer TV’s developing program on broadband in rural Minnesota, a program under consideration for PBS’ Need to Know show.

Benton County
PCs for People distributes 27 refurbished computers to four Benton County organizations as part of their MIRC initiative.

Dakota County makes the Intelligent Community Forum’s Smart21 list for the third year in a row.

Videos highlight MIRC-funded use of broadband in Dawson Boyd High School.

The Northern Regional Broadband Networks Forum promotes broadband to the local businesses and local government agencies in the community.

QR Codes are introduced in Jackson with a MIRC-sponsored class presented by University of Minnesota Extension.

Lac qui Parle
Senator Amy Klobuchar visits LqP County to tour the Computer Commuter and learn about other MIRC-supported projects in the area.

Video features patrons of the LqP Computer Commuter talking about how and why they use the public computers and instruction.

The University of Minnesota BTOP project finds that technology improvements encourage partnership.

FCC Commissioner Copps offers advice to nonprofits in Minneapolis to “get organized to effort change”; full video available.

Videos highlight MIRC-funded efforts the Morris Area Chamber of Commerce is taking to reach new community members via technology.

Stevens County
Video highlights MIRC-funded projects in the local American Legion.

Twin Cities
The wireless share of the Twin Cities Internet market rose nearly 7.5 percent in the 12 months ending in March, 2011.

Videos highlight MIRC-supported programs in Willmar that allow Somali immigrants in the community to get computers and learn to use them.

Videos highlight MIRC-supported programs in Willmar that help local senior citizens stay connected with friends and loved ones online.

Windom unveils a MIRC-supported website and marketing program that promotes local businesses.

(Many stories are gathered from local online newspaper. Unfortunately each newspaper has a different policy in regards to archive news and therefore we cannot guarantee access to all articles cited.)


November 2 – Free Pre-Conference Webinar: Community Transformation via Technology

November 3 – Tekne Awards (Minneapolis)

November 12 – CityCamp Minnesota (Minneapolis)

November 16-17 – Policy & Progress: Border to Border Broadband (Duluth)

December 6-8 – Minnesota Government IT Symposium (St. Paul)

Looking for more events? Check out TechDotMN’s calendar Many events are based in the Twin Cities but it is a comprehensive list. (If you have an upcoming event, consider submitting it.)

Stirring the Pot

Bill ColemanAs I prepared for our Broadband pre-conference webinar over the past week, I thought quite a bit about market development strategies – digital inclusion, increased user sophistication and advanced applications. The picture here portrays a different strategy!

Connected Nation data shows that affordability, ignorance of benefits and lack of access are the primary deterrents to adoption. The webinar, available for streaming online, provides some best practices for each of these barriers. I encourage you to find an hour to listen to the webinar and share the link with others in your community who might help spur adoption.

Blandin Foundation is accepting applications for the Digital Inclusion Community Partnership. This program supports equipping non-adopters with computers, training and connectivity. Put together a partnership of ISPs, schools, local sources of used computers and social service agencies to overcome affordability barriers. The application deadline is December 1, 2011.

free beer & wifi
Bill Coleman helps communities make the connection between telecommunications and economic development. As principal in Community Technology Advisors for ten years, he assists community, foundation and corporate clients develop and implement programs of broadband infrastructure investment and technology promotion and training. Bill is working with the Blandin Foundation on the MIRC Initiative, Community Broadband Resource Program and other broadband projects.  

This entry was posted in Blandin Foundation, MN 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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