Bernadine Joselyn, Bill Coleman and I are in Austin talking about Minnesota at the Broadband Communities in Austin Texas. Specifically, we are talking about the Case Studies Measuring the Impact of Broadband in Five Minnesota Communities.
First – people are pretty impressed with Minnesota. We have broadband grants, we have an awesome Office of Broadband Development, we have smart economic developers and everyone seems well above average.
Second – people have had good questions – like how can they bring the info in the study to their own communities. The answer is that it’s helpful to know that when public funds are spent on broadband, the public benefits. Specifically households with access to broadband see an increased economic benefit of $1850 per year and the value of the house goes up three percent. Those numbers are average estimates but given the stories we’ve collected, they seem conservative. And knowing that benefit per household has got to make it easier to quantify the benefits of investment.
Third – we are also able to make the point that to really drive economic growth, a community needs broadband (and we’re talking MN state goal of 100 Mbps down and 20 Mbps up by 2026) and needs help using it with economic developers, educators, healthcare providers – people who help train, promote and support smarter use of broadband. And that’s what we were proud to show off in Texas this week.