Six tips for spurring a rural broadband initiative from Daily Yonder

Recently the Daily Yonder posted an excerpt from Roberto Gallardo’s new book, Responsive Countryside: The Digital Age and Rural Communities. It includes 6 ideas to help get the ball rolling for a rural initiative to spur better broadband. He fleshes out each idea in the excerpt. I’m just including the highest level look…

  1. Lack of local leadership buy-in is a deal breaker.
  2. Asking why you need faster Internet today is like asking why you needed electricity when candlelight was the standard 100 years ago.
  3. Broadband connectivity and applications are quality-of-life issues.
  4. Demonstrating usefulness is critical. [Especially for non-adopters.]
  5. Urban density is no longer an advantage.
  6. “Middle of nowhere” mentality is no longer applicable.

I’m going to elaborate on the final point a little – in part because I’m on a road trip as I write this. We’re going from St Paul to Toronto to New York and back. We’ll be driving through the “middle of nowhere” for a while. But with six of us in the car there are at least eight devices going at all times. Which means finding out about the next town – in terms of pit stops, food and distractions – is an easy Google search. The only way you’re really considered the middle of nowhere is if we can’t find you online or we can’t get online near your town. Otherwise we’re fair game to stop for a visit. And on this trip, if you have college we’ve got three in the car that really want to see you.

Tourists and college kids seems like at least two compelling reasons for better broadband.


This entry was posted in Building Broadband Tools, Rural 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.

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