MN Broadband Task Force formalizes report
The Minnesota Broadband Task Force met to make final edits to their annual report. https://wp.me/p3if7-4p5 They have two recommendations:
- Provide $71.482 million in ongoing biennial funding for the Border-to-Border Broadband Development Grant Program, until the state achieves its broadband speed goal.
- Provide the Office of Broadband Development with $250,000 per year in ongoing funding, until the state achieves its broadband speed goal.
Minnesota Policymakers on Broadband
- Broadband makes short list of topics on Sen Klobuchar’s listening tour https://wp.me/p3if7-4q9
- Sen Franken gives a shout out to rural broadband https://wp.me/p3if7-4q7
- MN Attorney General to sue over net neutrality https://wp.me/p3if7-4q1
- Broadband makes Governor Dayton’s shortlist for the Farm Bill https://wp.me/p3if7-4pP
- Lori Ann Clark running for Minnesota House District 21A has broadband on her shortlist https://wp.me/p3if7-4pZ
- Tina Smith to replace Al Franken as Senator; both have understanding of importantance broadband https://wp.me/p3if7-4pp
- Sen Johnson gains funding for broadband projects in northwestern Minnesota https://wp.me/p3if7-4oX
Literature Review on Impact of Broadband
A new report out of Purdue University looks at the impact of broadband on economic development, migration and civic engagement, education, telework, telehealth, smart cities and agriculture. https://wp.me/p3if7-4oZ
Repeal of Net Neutrality
The FCC repealed Net Neutrality. https://wp.me/p3if7-4pC Many are concerned about what that will mean for consumers. https://wp.me/p3if7-4pG Smaller providers (especially) are steadfast that this will not mean a change for customers https://wp.me/p3if7-4pV and many are more focused on the impact of discrepancy between Title 1 and Title 2 providers. https://wp.me/p3if7-4pT There is an effort to benchmark broadband costs now to compare to prices once the repeal goes into effect. https://wp.me/p3if7-4qc
Local Broadband News
Big Stone, Swift, Lac qui Parle, Chippewa and Yellow Medicine Counties
Upper Minnesota Valley Regional Development Center tracks broadband speeds in various points of their region. The results are informal but reflective. https://wp.me/p3if7-4pb
Dakota County looks at Rights of Way and Broadband Joint Powers https://wp.me/p3if7-4pr
NU-Telecom purchases RRCNet, the high school run network https://wp.me/p3if7-4pJ
More details Sherburne County’s MN broadband grant project https://wp.me/p3if7-4pt
Upcoming Events & Opportunities
- Dec 14 – Blandin Webinar Archive: Emerging trends in Minnesota Tele-Health https://wp.me/p3if7-4pz
- Jan 1-31 #MobileOnly Challenge https://wp.me/p3if7-4pM
- Jan 11 – Federal Reserve Webinar on Community Reinvestment Act for Broadband https://wp.me/p3if7-4q3
- Feb 10 – application deadline for 10-week summer program for underrepresented coding undergrads – with stipend- at NCSA https://wp.me/p3if7-4o1
- MN Literacy Council looking for Computer Skills Tutors https://wp.me/p3if7-4q5
Looking for more events? Check out TechDotMN’s calendar http://tech.mn/events/. Many events are based in the Twin Cities but it is a comprehensive list. (If you have an upcoming event, consider submitting it.)
Stirring the Pot – by Bill Coleman
While I have my own set of personal resolutions again this year, I have also created a short list around my broadband work. Here they are:
Get smarter about broadband co-ops
RS Fiber has shown that it is possible to create a new broadband cooperative and the citizens in their area are experiencing the benefits of ubiquitous high-speed broadband. Meanwhile, other communities are talking about the co-op model, but have not yet followed on this complex path. My resolution is to dig in on co-op formation and share what I learn.
Public policy advocacy
Broadband has moved from a “someday this will be important to your community” consideration to a “no one is coming to a place without quality broadband” crisis for rural Minnesota. It is clear that no provider, whether publicly traded, co-op or government utility, can conventionally finance 100% of the required investment for a quality rural broadband network. My resolution is to think and act more strategically about influencing public policy about broadband to benefit rural Minnesota.
Roberto Gallardo’s Digital Divide Index https://wp.me/p3if7-4j8 illustrates the strong relationship between rural broadband availability and enhanced economic vitality. We know from observation that access does not guarantee widespread effective use. I resolve to help rural communities design and implement strategies that directly improves business and workforce outcomes.
Resolutions are always more fun when it is a group activity. Who is in?