It’s nice to have so many homegrown and visiting broadband experts in the Twin Cities this week for the Broadband Communities Magazine Conference. There were two main tracts on the first day – a day on rural cooperatives and sessions set up by the Coalition of Local Internet Choice.
It was great to have Senator Amy Klobuchar welcome the crowd and give a rundown on federal broadband activity:
And we heard from a lot of folks in the field who have been successful at bringing broadband to their areas. Public education and engagement were key strategies to getting policymakers to see the importance of broadband. It’s an uphill battle if you are working against an incumbent – especially if the incumbent has deep pocket but as one presenter noted – a voter is as powerful as a lobbyist BUT those voters much understand the issues and implications.
They talked about how to engage people who are happy with what they have and they need to help them see that what works today may not be sufficient tomorrow. They quoted Wayne Gretzsky – don’t go to where the puck is go to where it’s going to be.
They talk about how to engage people who are conservative – by speaking to their appreciation of self-reliance.
And many of the provider here talk about the power of customer service. It’s important to them and they strive to make it an asset.
It was fun to see the winners of the CLIC awards. I was able to catch much of Gigi Sohn’s presentation (video above), which is also available online.