Regional Broadband Study being discussed for Murray, Pipestone, Lincoln, Lyon, Yellow Medicine and Chippewa counties

According to the West Central Tribune

Concerned that rural areas of the county could be left behind, the Yellow Medicine County Board of Commissioners informally expressed interest this week in being part of a six-county broadband feasibility study. …

Finley Engineering of Slayton has offered to undertake a study to determine the feasibility of bringing broadband service to unserved rural areas in the six counties. The information will be developed for the individual counties, but by participating as a larger group, the costs for the study will be lower, according to information from Peg Heglund, Yellow Medicine County administrator.

Yellow Medicine and Chippewa counties are looking at joining Murray, Pipestone, Lincoln and Lyon counties in the study.

The counties do not know what the study will cost at this point. The commissioners will need to formally approve being part of the study once the cost is known. The county is also seeking a possible Blandin Foundation grant toward its cost, according to Antony.

The commissioners noted that some neighboring counties, including Lac qui Parle, Swift and Kandiyohi, have recently seen success in obtaining grant funds toward projects to bring broadband service to unserved rural areas.

The article include a comment from a Commissioner that I thought was particularly astute…

“If we drop this thing, guys, we’re going to be an island in 10 years and (people will) look back on this thing and say what were they doing?” said Commissioner Ron Antony during discussions at the board’s meeting Tuesday in Granite Falls.

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