Rep Walz’s staff learn about broadband needs in Faribault

The Faribault County Register reports…

Syrjamaki and Kjeseth [staff for Rep Walz] also met with Bevcomm CEO Bill Eckles and director of government relations James Beattie during their tour of Blue Earth.

Eckles and Beattie informed the group of representatives of the growing need for broadband service within rural communities. Eckles explained how high-speed Internet access can help expand the economy in rural areas.

“When you’re talking about the potential to retain younger generations, you seemingly can’t have that conversation without touching on the issues of broadband,” Eckles explained. “Broadband opens up a town like Frost or Kiester to the world. This benefits not only the local economy, but the global economy as well.”

Efforts to serve rural customers presents its own set of obstacles. Beattie cited the large distances between broadband users in remote areas as a major hurdle in getting service out to Bevcomm customers.

However, Minnesota’s Border-to-Border Broadband Development Grant Program has helped companies like Bevcomm serve these kinds of customers. In 2017, the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development announced $26 million in grants were awarded to 39 broadband projects statewide.

“That is the difference between making these projects economically viable,” Beattie said.

“If we’ve got three to four customers per square mile in some of the more remote areas, the investment of time in trying to get there makes it difficult,” he added.

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

About Ann Treacy

I have a Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science. I have been interested or involved in providing access to information through the Internet since 1994, when I worked for Minnesota’s first Internet service provider. I am pleased to be a part of the Blandin on Broadband Team. I also work with MN Coalition on Government Information, Minnesota Rural Partners, and the American Society for Information Science and Technology.

4 thoughts on “Rep Walz’s staff learn about broadband needs in Faribault

  1. Tim Walz is currently serving as Representative of the 1st Congressional District in the United States Congress, and is now in his 6th term. No wonder I have an inferiority complex…..

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s