Virginia is looking at the Minnesota broadband model – so are others

Virginia Business recently wrote about Virginia’s need to do better with broadband…

The October issue of Virginia Business magazine has an article relating the challenges faced getting broadband into rural areas. As a professional in this field, I am concerned by the “end goal.” Sadly, the conclusion has got to be: too little — too late and not enough coordination. When the Telecom Czar states a goal of reaching unserved areas  (10 Mbps up/1 Mbps down speed) within seven to 10 years, we need to understand that this will put our rural communities even further behind their urban and suburban counterparts than they are today! Right now high-speed broadband connectivity is both a race and an essential service. How will Virginia losing this race to other states serve the commonwealth? The resulting loss of opportunities and diminished wellbeing for our rural citizens due to the lack of high-speed internet in the near future has been decidedly documented. We need to be focused on ensuring that Virginia does not lose this race to provide essential broadband connectivity.

They take a look at what’s happening in Minnesota (and other states)…

Minnesota: The state of Minnesota has set a 2022 state broadband goal of 25 Mb/3 Mb and a 2026 Minnesota broadband goal of 100 Mbps/20 Mbps. To this end, it initiated its Border to Border Broadband deployment effort under the Department of Economic Development. Most importantly, it has approved $24 million in funding for deployment efforts in both unserved and underserved areas.

It reminded me that last week I gave a presentation to the Association of Tribal Archives, Libraries, & Museums National Conference about the Minnesota broadband model. I’ll include it below. It was spurred from presentations I gave in Austin (TX) and Nashville on the report we did on Community return on public investment in broadband and talking to people about what we have in Minnesota that other people don’t have in their community. Sometimes you don’t know what you have until you talk to someone in another state, city or community.

This entry was posted in Conferences, MN 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.

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