Blandin Broadband Community Update Sherburne County: Focus on infrastructure

Today we met with the Sherburne County BBC team. They had a strong focus on infrastructure based on need. They realized early on that they were behind – especially compared to the adjacent counties.

They learned a lot – one thing they learned was that there was fiber in the area, it just wasn’t being used. They have been working on smaller fiber projects. They have focused on building but also on promoting the need and educating the public.

They know that it has made a difference in new building – both projects funding through grants and projects that weren’t.

You can learn more through the PPT:

And the video:

And my notes…

The Economic Development Strategic plan indicated that 60 percent of those surveyed felt broadband was a problem in the area. SO they decided to apply for BBC funding.

Planning Process for BBC brought 68 people in the initial meeting. We showed people a map that demonstrated our need for better broadband. We met bi-monthly.

We learned that we need to focus on better upload speeds.

  • Community Outreach
  • Wireless installed at Becker Athletic Complex
  • WiFi in the park – for better reliability
  • Rivers Edge Park WiFi Park
  • History Center Project – visitation is up to capacity. Also we can post exhibits online with WiFi.
  • Educational Projects – helping kids with Chromebooks

The industrial park in Princeton has been upgraded. It wasn’t part of the BBC project but we wonder if it didn’t have an impact.

Reflections

  • Our committee is still very committed.
  • The feasibility study stemmed from the BBC program. It gave us good info we can use for a while.
  • Three border to border grants were submitted.
  • Sherburne County now donates all of their expired equipment to PCs for People.
This entry was posted in bbc, Blandin Foundation, Broadband Applications, Conferences, 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.

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