Senator Lourey Lack of broadband hurts healthcare in Otter Tail County

The Fergus Falls Daily Journal reports…

District 11 Minnesota Sen. Tony Lourey visited Fergus Falls on Tuesday afternoon to speak with local health care leaders and government officials. The fourth of 10 visits across the state, Sen. Lourey hoped to learn more about dynamic approaches to health care management being employed in rural areas, in an effort to better inform future conversations in the state Senate.

Turns out broadband access is a big barrier in the area…

Broadband internet infrastructure across the region is another concern, according to John Dinsmore, director of community Services for Otter Tail County. Dinsmore explained that the same lakes which make the area so desirable for residents also present a considerable challenge when laying fiber optic cables.

In fact, recent estimates anticipate that the necessary expenses for installation of broadband services across the county would total nearly $170 million.

Still, the improved service coverage would mean enhanced appeal for rural communities looking to attract medical professionals. At present, those considering small-town living may feel isolated.

“You’re not connected — literally,” Dinsmore said.

This entry was posted in Healthcare, MN, Policy by Ann Treacy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ann Treacy

Librarian who follows rural broadband in MN and good uses of new technology (, hosts a radio show on MN music (, supports people experiencing homelessness in Minnesota ( and helps with social justice issues through Women’s March MN.

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