Yesterday I attended the Strut Stuff Tour in Orr to hear about our the local broadband adoption programs went through the IRBC (Iron Range Broadband Communities) program. We were in Orr but this project brings together Orr, Cook and Bois Forte. It is apparently the first time these three communities have worked on something together outside of the school.
It seems that everyone is working well together they are focused on training, equipment for community center (to accommodate training and other online interactions) and wifi in the area – both in terms of places to go for public wifi and mobile hotspots for community members to check out from the library.
It was interesting to hear about the training. They had just completed a survey of residents and businesses and had a good return. Training needs range from how to use a computer to online business marketing.
I have a video of the intro to the meeting and full notes below.
I’m going to keep my notes a little rough with the intention of leaving them more complete for any community looking at implementing similar projects.
Community based training – based on community need. We created a survey on Survey Monkey
- 1oo responses with a mixed bag of training topic suggestions (50 percent return rate)
- 17 resorts need online business training – like QuickBooks
- 30 want Amazon and eBay training to sell products – lots of small bus especially on reservation
Proposed topics include
Basic computer training
- Social media
- Basic web design
- Online employment – almost everyone wanted this
Local folks can do training – it will start soon
Grizzly school is on board
Chisholm is interested
This may be the first tri-community project (Cook, Orr, Bois Forte) – outside of the school. This has been a good first step. A long term win would be the practice of looking to each other to get more things done.
15-20% will be equipment
We agree on community needs
Hotpots for check out from the Cook Library
Paid for with grant money. Working with AT&T; they have special opportunities for libraries and nonprofits. YOU can check it out as you would for a week. There may be some limitations.
PCs for People
Will have 50 PCs for local community – we need to figure out a way to get the computers in the hands of the people who might need it.
Getting new computers in the library and Smart TV
People are relying on cell access for their broadband. It’s too expensive.
Working with T-mobile to get access through schools.
A fiber to the home project is necessary but wireless options are a good first step.