Broadband projects presented to funder; group gets Blandin kudos

Chisago County Press covered Blandin’s recent visit to the community to hear from the broadband initiative about how projects Funded by Blandin were progressing…

A two-year project led by a number of local officials and some average local citizens recently presented their grant summary to representatives from the Blandin Foundation — which funded the effort. …

Nancy Hoffman, Chisago county development agency director, said 500 businesses were identified as having erroneous icon locations when users searched them on Google maps.  Half so far have been “verified” by a technician who was paid with BBC project funds.  A marketing package promoting places to stop and businesses on Old Highway 61 was improved.  The North Branch Chamber of Commerce was instrumental and you can contact the chamber’s Kathy Lindo for a $25 annual ad on the website.  The BBC project included  technical trainings and social media education breakfasts for business were very well-attended.

Workforce needs began to be addressed with a PCs for People partnership, where refurbished computers were distributed to needy job-seekers.  The equipment distribution event was the end of August 2015 at North Branch Library (see Press story early Sept 2015)

There have been two locations identified where tele-conferencing equipment will become available soon for businesspeople and for post secondary education access.
Finalizing requests for community Wi Fi locations proved more expensive than hoped, and the committee  has been revisiting this. North Branch did get some funds for setting up outdoor Wi Fi (skating rink on #95 and Central Park for example.)

Chisago County school districts, however,  were empowered to install Wi Fi service on a number of buses.  BBC members and technology directors from two of the county’s districts; Chisago Lakes’ Ken Orwoll and Darrin Marcussen with North Branch,  are now monitoring the second year of the systems.

This entry was posted in bbc, Blandin Foundation, Broadband Applications, 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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