On Tuesday late afternoon, Kanabec County celebrated their progress with broadband through the Blandin Broadband Communities program. You can see their PowerPoints, a quick video and some of the notes below.
Healthcare project with First Light brought St Scholastica students and hip/knee replacement patients together where students provided training and instructions for patients. The project was successful despite some setbacks outside of the actual project (like flooding in hospital). The program will be featured at a healthcare conference in California this winter.
PCs for People brought computers to 50 low income households. Kanabec Computer Services provided local support for the computers. But that job was not onerous. The PC recipients also got access to broadband – they got reduced rates for 1 year, with an option to re-up. Worked with MidContinent and CenturyLink. The general retention rates are varied from 80+ percent retention. Although some providers will continue with reduced rate.
They did a series of training with local businesses, built a community portal, community mapping and Wi-Fi expansion.
- There were two days of training for 8 people. They were interested; they learned to build their own website, work with social media and got one-on-one attention. They also built a network of cohorts.
- A community portal at www.dala.mn – a site that takes traditional elements of a website and aggregates it with calendar and volunteer contributor angle.
- Community Mapping – helping 70 local businesses claim their Google Places and/or other online presence opportunities.
- Community Wi-Fi – in early stages but plan to get 20 Wi-Fi locations
Tele-Work Center – need to provide a facility with high speed access for residents and visitors. We are hoping for a lot of demand – although we know we have limited resources. We need to find a way to increase capacity as need increases.