Blandin Broadband eNews: Broadband is gearing up for the Legislative session

How many Minnesotans lack broadband?
Microsoft recently unveiled an interactive map that compares FCC broadband maps to their own research on what their customers seem able to access. The FCC reports that 409,000 people lack access in Minnesota; Microsoft reports 3 million.

How does Minnesota rank?
Minnesota is top ten in State Technology & Science Index, but slipped to number eight.

Essential Aspects of Digital Readiness
Roberto Gallardo has a new research report Gauging Household Digital Readiness that found that metro households scored slightly higher than nonmetro counterparts on digital readiness.

Benefits of Broadband

On the Minnesota policy front…

And national policy front…

Local Broadband News

Blue Earth County
Blue Earth County Board talks about expanding broadband

Mediacom extends fiber to Fountain (Fillmore County) with help from a MN State broadband grant

Iowa is looking to catch up with MN with state Broadband grants

Lake County
Lake County accepts $8.4M bid for Lake Connections from Pinpoint Holdings
Community members have opinions on the sale of Lake Connections

Arvig buys Windstream Fiber assets in Minnesota and Nebraska
Minnesota broadband is better than Wisconsin broadband

The Timberjay posts an editorial of frustration written about the broadband providers’ lack of investment in last mile broadband.

Red Lake County
The story of an online cricket order gone bad goes viral on Twitter

Renville & Sibley Counties
RS Fiber is featured in an NBC report on rural broadband, fiber and 5G.

Upcoming Events & Opportunities

We are looking to add MN broadband-related events to the Blandin on Broadband blog calendar. If you have an event you’d like to add please send it to

Stirring the Pot – by Bill Coleman

Spurring broadband investment in unserved rural communities requires a convergence of partnerships, financial incentives and leadership.  From my experience, leadership is the differentiating factor between those that get better broadband and those that continue to wait.

I have just finished reading the book “Leadership in Turbulent Times” by Doris Kearns Goodwin.  She profiles the leadership circumstances, strategies and successes of four presidents: Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt and Lyndon Johnson. Setting the vision, gathering momentum, and coalition building are all integral to success.

While each of these presidents had their own unique style, they were all committed to their cause.  They were, respectively, devoted to ending slavery, busting trusts and monopoly corporate power, tackling massive economic dislocation and global warfare, or ensuring civil rights.  They realized that they could not accomplish these huge goals alone, but knew that executive leadership was essential to overcoming the many barriers to changing the status quo.

So, if you picture yourself a broadband leader, I encourage you to read this book and use the lessons within to plot your strategy to become the leader that your community is waiting for.  Or buy a few copies and distribute them to prospective co-leaders, then sit together and make a plan.  Remember, Blandin Foundation’s Community Broadband Resources Program is readily available to help jumpstart your community broadband team’s efforts.

This entry was posted in Blandin Foundation, MN by Ann Treacy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ann Treacy

Librarian who follows rural broadband in MN and good uses of new technology (, hosts a radio show on MN music (, supports people experiencing homelessness in Minnesota ( and helps with social justice issues through Women’s March MN.

Leave a Reply

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

You are commenting using your 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