Building broadband demand in Cook County

As I’ve mentioned already this week, I was on the road last week with the Blandin team visiting MIRC communities. We got an update on broadband expansion in Cook County – we also got an update on broadband adoption from  Sawtooth Mountain Clinic. The situation at the clinic mirrors the situation in the county in an interesting way. The clinic had hoped to bring a full-fledged patient portal but that didn’t work out so they did the next best thing, they created an innovative portal that encourages patients to use the tools at hand and whets the appetite for something bigger when it’s available. You can see the fun demo we saw of their healthy portal below:

To some degree Cook County has used a similar strategy. Cook County is one of the most challenged areas in terms of access to broadband. That could have been a hindrance for their MIRC project – where the goal was to get local residents and businesses to use broadband. What they have done is create solutions that encourage greater use of broadband for those who have access and create a market for others to sign up once broadband becomes available.  One example is the fast growing Videos from the Edge – a great site of local videos from professionals and resident volunteers. Not everyone in the area can access the site – but it goes a long way to promoting the area to potential tourists and provides resources to locals with access.

This entry was posted in Broadband Applications, Healthcare, 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.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s