Blandin Community Broadband Program biennial assessment
The Blandin Foundation released an assessment of its broadband program from January 2017 through June 2018, which is the period of one Blandin Broadband Communities program cohort.
MN PUC releases report on Frontier
MN PUC releases report on Frontier based on public meetings held throughout the summer. They highlight the most common issues cited by customers. https://wp.me/p3if7-4S3
On the policy front…
- Minnesota House DFL names Rep Mahoney Chair of Jobs & Economic Development Finance Division. https://wp.me/p3if7-4RS
- Democratic Representatives who don’t support Net Neutrality have been supported by telecoms https://wp.me/p3if7-4Sc
- Sen Klobuchar and others Urge Department of Justice to Investigate Claims that Facebook Retaliated Against Critics https://wp.me/p3if7-4RJ
- Tax changes could make it harder for cooperatives to provide broadband https://wp.me/p3if7-4RB
- Iron Range Rep Ecklund positive about future state broadband funding https://wp.me/p3if7-4Rv
- Tracking Legislation that expands broadband https://wp.me/p3if7-4Rn
- Blockchain voting tested with West Virginians abroad https://wp.me/p3if7-4Rr
- Digital equity stands in the way of Medicaid in Arkansas https://wp.me/p3if7-4RN
Local Broadband News
Four Iron Range communities selected for Blandin Foundation Broadband Communities Program https://wp.me/p3if7-4RD
Lake County gets 4 bids for their fiber network https://wp.me/p3if7-4Rz
US Internet shares fiber expansion plan for 2019 https://wp.me/p3if7-4RP
Nobles and Watonwan counties in MN
SDN expands broadband to Nobles and Watonwan counties in MN https://wp.me/p3if7-4RU
Renville & Sibley Counties
The Office of the Comptroller of Currency outlines the banking behind RS Fiber. https://wp.me/p3if7-4S9
USDA Partners with CTC to Broadband to Underserved Areas in Todd County https://wp.me/p3if7-4RH
Upcoming Events & Opportunities
- Jan 17: Discussion with the Office of Broadband Development (Mpls) https://wp.me/p3if7-4Rl
- Feb 13-14: Discussion with the Office of Broadband Development https://wp.me/p3if7-4Rl
- Sep30, 2019: Deadline for RUS Broadband Program applications https://wp.me/p3if7-4RF
Stirring the Pot – by Bill Coleman
For many rural communities, the answer to the “what do you want for Christmas?” question is simple. “Broadband!”
But broadband is a big ask and from my experience, Santa does not always deliver on the big asks. We may get an envelope with some of the money, but we need to find a way to raise the rest though our own efforts.
This is the same with many broadband projects. Even with provider contributions and hoped-for state and federal funding, the business case for a state of the art broadband network may be lacking. Increasingly, we are seeing local governments contributing directly to broadband projects. The willingness to contribute local funds shows that the community is a fully engaged project partner. With local commitment, prospective competitive providers are encouraged to invest their own dollars and staff resources in project development. Funders may be more confident of a successful project with local skin in the game.
I encourage community leaders to have the conversation about commitment of local resources upfront and among themselves. Know the boundaries of your commitment. Be prepared to negotiate with and as a reliable partner. This will increase your ability to attract a provider partner and obtain project funding. With prospective federal and state funding looming, the time for that conversation is now.