I’m going to apologize in advance for a large number of posts this afternoon. The Blandin Foundation has just announced a round of broadband grant awards and I want to post each award individually so that it’s easier to access in the archive and so that each community will have its own post to promote. Thanks!
Blandin Foundation awards grant to the MN Public Broadband Alliance for broadband collaboration study
GRAND RAPIDS, Minn. (July 29, 2014) – Blandin Foundation announced today that it has awarded six grants totaling $123,190 that assist rural Minnesota communities in advancing high-speed Internet access and use in their communities, including a grant to address the high cost of broadband in rural Minnesota.
The MN Public Broadband Alliance will research and review the benefits of creating a technology partnership to improve delivery of broadband services and maximize broadband use by member communities, with support of a $10,000 Blandin Foundation grant.
The current member communities include: Monticello, Windom, Jackson, Lakefield, Round Lake, Bingham Lake, Brewster, Wilder, Heron Lake, St. Cloud, Scott County and Okabena.
“The joining of communities to help pursue the goal of broadband service to all of Minnesota is a natural evolution,” said Dan Olsen, General Manager of Windomnet. “The wealth of knowledge amongst the communities that can be shared and leveraged is astounding.”
The project will look at how a technology alliance could satisfy the common needs of publicly financed broadband networks. The MPBA will identify other regional technology alliances that could guide their effort, while also evaluating the potential for member communities to serve as mentors for additional communities wanting to increase their broadband capabilities.
“Rural leaders know that connected communities are vibrant communities,” said Dr. Kathleen Annette, CEO of Blandin Foundation. “We are delighted to see the MPBA pull together resources to plan for access to – and use of – high-speed Internet so critical to work and life today.”