Blandin on Broadband News: Oct 2019: Broadband conference & county profiles

The regularly scheduled eNews has been slightly changed this month, because we have posted the annual MN County Broadband Profiles. We take a look at the top counties, the bottom counties and everything in between – and if you want to talk more about it, please join us at the Fall Broadband Conference…

Oct 8-10 – MN Fall BB Conference – Innovation: Putting Broadband to Work
This three-day conference at the beautiful Grand View Lodge in Nisswa, MN will offer learning and engagement on many aspects of the challenges and benefits of broadband access and use, from “Pursuing Broadband 101,” to digital inclusion tools and strategies for diverse audiences. https://wp.me/p3if7-52i

Local Broadband News

Read analysis of the top https://wp.me/p3if7-5vv and bottom counties https://wp.me/p3if7-5vy.

Upcoming Events and Opportunities

We are looking to add MN broadband-related events to the Blandin on Broadband blog calendar. https://wp.me/P3if7-4yG If you have an event you’d like to add please send it to atreacy@treacyinfo.com

Stirring the Pot – by Bill Coleman

It is so interesting to review the Blandin on Broadband blog reports on county connectivity.  Many counties are making great progress on achieving the 100 Mb/20 Mb state goal.  The next big community challenge will be to maximize the value derived from this combination of significant investment by private and public sector partnerships. The question is how to move from being able to tell stories of individual people, businesses and institutions that are making great use of technology to a bigger story of widespread sophisticated use of the network for work, school, entrepreneurship, health care and social life; in essence, creating a world-class environment that retains and attracts people and investments.  It will take a major shift in mindset for community leaders to focus on this even more complex task.

The Intelligent Community framework provides a guide to measure this shift.  The six elements of Intelligent Community are: Broadband; Knowledge Workforce; Innovation; Digital Equality; Sustainability and Advocacy.  It is interesting to note that the MN Department of Economic Development now has key staff devoted to several of these topics.  The beauty of the Intelligent Community framework is that it helps break down the silos between these topic priorities.  Done right, there can be great synergies between these topics though it is sometimes difficult to knock down those institutional barriers.

Great thanks to those folks who attended one of Blandin Foundation’s Intelligent Community workshops this fall and special kudos to those who followed up with a submitted application to ICF.  Minnesota applications jumped from two to five.  Special recognition to Alexandria Lakes Area; Brainerd Lakes Area; East Central Minnesota – GPS 45:93; Koochiching County; and City of Winthrop. Communities can still submit the benchmarking questionnaire at any time and receive their benchmarking report shortly after. When you do so, you will see how your community stacks up compared to 400 other communities around the world.

We all know that broadband does not get deployed in rural places with strong community effort.  It will take that same level of effort to achieve the full benefits of the network.

This entry was posted in 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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