Blandin Broadband eNews: watching the broadband bill in MN Leg

Blandin Broadband eNews: Broadband activity throughout Minnesota Monthly Recap

New MN Broadband Tribal Maps
The Office of Broadband Development releases broadband maps for tribal nations in Minnesota. Including percentage coverage at speeds of 25/3 and 100/20.

Broadband policy – local, state or federal?
There are several bills including net neutrality, funding, robocalling and Voice over IP that are being discussed at local, state and federal; the question is who is responsible and how can the different levels of government work together?

On the Minnesota policy front…

And national policy front…

Vendor News…

Local Broadband News

Dakota County
Dakota Broadband Board seeks an Executive Director

Fish Lake
MN State-supported broadband project is completed in Fish Lake on Feb. 18

Le Sueur County
Le Sueur County moves forward with broadband plan – starting with feasibility report supported by Blandin Foundation

Otter Tail
Otter Tail County officials talk to legislators about broadband and other priorities

Digital Days replacing snow days at schools is a mixed blessing

Rochester City Council approves new broadband provider, Metronet

Rock County
PCs for People distributes 53 computers in Rock County

Wilkin County
Sen Westrom talks about broadband for Wilkin County

Willmar telemedicine program keeps heart patients closer to home

Upcoming Events and 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

What’s a suburban guy to do?

This morning I received a call from a Dakota County resident near Lakeville.  He sought me out in response a Strib broadband article.  I could feel his frustration right through with his 4 Mb DSL connection. He purchased his home with the expectation of working from home.  The reality is that his home service is both too slow and too unreliable for telework so he is forced into a long commute.

He has called his telephone company, talked to their techs on the roadside, called other nearby providers requesting service, complained to his county commissioner and county staff, strategized with his neighbors – all to no effect.  As I gave him some advice about possible next steps, he noted that with his twelve hour work and commute day, there was little time left for broadband organizing.  The ironic part of this story is that he moved to Lakeville from Nobles County where Lismore Telephone Cooperative provided fiber optic broadband services to his family farm.

I would love to have a numbers savvy analyst compute the lost value to Minnesotans who suffer from bad or no broadband.  MN DOT computes a lost time value from sitting in traffic; the methodology could be similar.  In this Lakeville resident example, a 50 mile round trip commute times 200 work days equals 10,000 miles at $.55 per mile, or $5500.  If you assign a $20 value per hour commute times two hours per day, that is an additional $8,000 per year, for a total of $13,500 per year.  Multiply this for thousands of Minnesotans, plus the many other assorted direct costs and missed opportunities.  My desk calculator does not have enough zeroes!

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.

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