Minnesota and Blandin Foundation get nice nod from Christopher Ali as broadband instigators

Telecometitor has a nice feature on Professor Christopher Ali of the University of Virginia. He researches broadband policy noting…

In comparing what he hears today with what people have told the FCC and USDA in the past, Ali said, “the conversation hasn’t changed at all.”

We still hear that rural areas need broadband and people are “frustrated” because “large telecom is gobbling up the subsidies,” he said.

He also mentions Minnesota and the Blandin Foundation…

Ali singled out several success stories he encountered in his research, including a couple from Minnesota, where the Blandin Foundation has played a key role in spurring rural broadband deployment. In Rock County, Minnesota the community managed to build a fiber-to-the-home network to reach nearly 100% of the 10,000 people in the area. The modern infrastructure helped attract a shrimp company that wanted to set up operations there and although the company ultimately opted against that, the reason was unrelated to broadband but instead related to other Minnesota regulations.

Another success story comes from Winthrop County, Minnesota, where RS Fiber Cooperative built a broadband network that attracted a satellite medical college that required high-speed connectivity, Ali noted.

Also Minnesota gets a nod for our speed goals…

Asked about what the broadband speed target should be, Ali said “100/100 would be amazing” and noted that this is the target that the state of Minnesota has used successfully.

The 2026 speed goals are actually 100/20 (100 Mbps down and 20 up) but anyone applying for broadband grants must build networks that are scalable to 100/100.

This entry was posted in FCC, MN, Policy, Research by Ann Treacy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ann Treacy

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

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