Partially I share this to get folks in Hibbing informed and excited about an upcoming community meeting on broadband; partially I think it’s a great model for other communities. Hibbing is part of the IRBC cohort (described below) but that doesn’t mean communities outside the cohort can’t emulate what they are doing to get citizens engaged and moving on broadband.
The Hibbing Daily Tribune outlines the story…
Hibbing is among six communities in Blandin Foundation’s current cohort of Iron Range Broadband Communities. The intensive, two-year partnership with the foundation is based on advancing local broadband initiatives.
The communities’ efforts are also being backed by the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board (IRRRB) and St. Louis County, both of which have committed additional resources and funding.
With this designation, the communities will have the opportunity to access up to $75,000 for training, planning and programs, as well as access up to $20,000 for broadband infrastructure planning.
The Hibbing cohort will do that at a Broadband Community Vision Session from 2 to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 7, in the Hibbing Community College (HCC) dining room. The session is open to the public, but an RSVP is required. …
The vision session will include a short presentation on the overall project and its current state. After gathering feedback, attendees will be broken down into smaller groups based on areas of interest.
“We have about 50 people planning to attend so far,” said Fedo, while highly encouraging RSVPing. “We really want the various sectors of the community to be represented.”
Once priorities and potential projects are identified, the cohort will have a handful of opportunities over an 18-month time period to apply for grants that help meet those priorities.