Broadband 101: #MNBroadband Conference 2017

This session will improve community leaders’ ability to make smart decisions and create partnerships to deliver wired and wireless broadband technologies.

Panelists include
Diane Kruse of NEO Connect
Albert Kangas of Palmer Wireless
Tom Johnson of Nobles County
Mark Mrla of Finley Engineering
Bill Coleman of Community Technology Advisors

I’m especially happy to share notes from CTEP worker Brandon Phan:

Diane Kruse

  • Fiber “snob” advocate
    • It’s reliable, bandwidth keeps growing
  • “Bandwidth drives innovation”
  • Wireless is a good short-term solution
    • However, you need cell towers
  • Downside of fiber is it’s expensive, takes time to build, debt coverage
    • Mitigate debt risk
  • Can cost $8,000-$10,000 to set up broadband for each house
    • Can increase property value
  • Partnerships essential to reduce capital cost

Mark Marla

  • With Finley Company
  • Goals with Feasibility Studies: study multiple options, provide best chances on broadband network
  • Tech option examples: wireless (tower based), fiber (active, passive, etc), other tech, hybrid tech
  • Studies conducted with 3-4 month periods
    • Depends on size, complexity, details, and services required
    • Community involvement essential via surveys, speed test verifications, education
    • Importance of effectively developing surveys (wording, sampling)
      • Understanding what people can/can’t do with internet access
  • What are schools doing? Class needs, tech, broadband to support educational experience

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