Blandin Broadband e-News January 2016: State funding and policy heat up

Broadband News Around MinnesotaMN Map

Support the Minnesota Broadband Vision
Last fall, attendees at the Minnesota Broadband Conference developed a Minnesota Broadband Vision

Everyone in Minnesota will be able to use convenient, affordable world-class broadband networks that enable us to survive and thrive in our communities and across the globe.

The Minnesota Broadband Coalition encourages people and organizations to support the effort by endorsing the vision through the Facebook Page.

Minnesota Broadband Task Force
The Task Force finalizes details of their annual report, which should be released soon. They recommend $200 million over  two years for broadband funding (same as last year) and a change to the state broadband speed goals to 25 Mbps down and 3 Mbps up by 2022 and 100 Mbps download and 20 Mbps upload by 2026.

Also Rock County Commissioner Jody Reisch joins the Minnesota Broadband Task Force.

Minnesota Policymakers’ (and Stakeholders’) Views on Broadband



  • Senator Klobuchar supports federal funding and dig once policies for broadband
  • Franken questions Google’s approach to privacy for students Broadband saves household money – $10,500 annually According to the Internet Innovation Alliance broadband enables Americans to save an average of $11,944 per year on household spending. After factoring in the average annual cost of a mobile data plan and a home broadband connection ($1,440), the annual savings still add up to more than $10,500. USDA Broadband Adoption Program Communities interested in using broadband service to help revitalize small-town main streets and promote economic development are encouraged to apply for Cool & Connected. Deadline is Feb 24.

CNS launches first 100Gb Transport Network in Rural MN
CNS installs 100 Gigabit service to a Minnesota Internet Service Provider. CNS’ transport network covers over 1,100 route miles with 24 pops connecting multiple ISPs, wireless towers, data centers and end users (including hundreds of thousands of out-state users) to both Fargo and the 511 building in Minneapolis.

State Broadband Initiatives
We have compiled a list of state broadband initiatives. We encourage readers to check out the list and send updates or corrections to help create an even better list to share in and out of Minnesota.

Local Broadband News

Carlton County
PCs for People distributes computers to low income households in Carlton County

Dakota County
Dakota County posts RFPs for fiber construction. and

Medical school to open in Gaylord in 2018.

In Princeton it’s not uncommon to see cars pulled up when the library is closed and using devices from their car to get online.

Red Wing
Teens learn to develop and market their mobile apps through classes at Red Wing Ignite.

Redwood County
Redwood County is hosting an open house on February 9 (3-6 pm) at the Redwood County Technology Training Lab to celebrate various broadband projects funded by the Blandin Foundation.

Renville and Sibley Counties
Calix video features RS Fiber, cooperative FTTH in rural MN, in promotional video.

Hmong business owner moves from St Paul to Winona and learns how to incorporate online tools into their marketing through classes at Project FINE.

Upcoming Events

Stirring the Potbill right

Congratulations to the BBC’s, the alumni communities and their stakeholder groups for the recently awarded Blandin Foundation grants. Overall, there’s a great group of projects to be implemented across rural Minnesota. It is amazing what a relatively small grant of $10,000 or less can do in the hands of a dedicated community.

The next Grant deadline is in March. We are available to help you create a competitive application that will have a positive impact your community. Let us know what you’re thinking and we can help guide the process of creating a great project.

If you’re a BBC that has used its entire allocation from Blandin foundation, consider seeking funding from other sources, either internal to your community or from outside. We have seen many successful projects with limited (or no) budget; they are the result of good collaboration and creativity.

Let us know how we can help!

This entry was posted in bbc, Blandin Foundation, MN by Ann Treacy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ann Treacy

I have a Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science. I have been interested or involved in providing access to information through the Internet since 1994, when I worked for Minnesota’s first Internet service provider. I am pleased to be a part of the Blandin on Broadband Team. I also work with MN Coalition on Government Information, Minnesota Rural Partners, and the American Society for Information Science and Technology.

One thought on “Blandin Broadband e-News January 2016: State funding and policy heat up

  1. Ann, readers might want to know that the Red Wing Schools have made this an online working day for educators today – an official Snow Day for the school district. Using their group subscription access to Whitewater Learning, Red Wing educators can stay home and work on professional development – and still get credit for working. In years past, educators were required to physically show up for work, even on Snow Days, to get work credit. But with the Whitewater subscription – funded for the Goodhue County Education District (GCED) in part by the Blandin Foundation – educators can report for work simply by logging in and completing at least one online professional development course from Whitewater.

    Ann Werner at Whitewater and Joe Jezierski at Red Wing Schools can talk more about the program, if you’re interested. Just let me know if you’d like more information – Doug Hovelson

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