Good news, Blandin Foundation will very soon be looking for 4 partner communities for the next round of BBC (Blandin Broadband Communities)…
C. K. Blandin Foundation seeks four rural Minnesota communities to participate in the Blandin Broadband Communities (BBC) Program. Selected through an application process, BBCs will define their community technology goals, receive planning and technical assistance and have the opportunity to apply for resources to implement resulting projects.
The definition of “community” is flexible and based on local definition. Application can be submitted by an individual city or a group of cities, a county or tribal government, or a self-defined region or community of interest. Applicants should be a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization or unit of government. Preference will be given to applications that demonstrate established or emerging partnerships between multiple organizations and entities, including economic development, education, housing authorities, and health care.
If you’re reading the blog, you might already be well versed in the world of BBCs. IN short, it’s a great opportunity for your community to gather around a desire for better broadband access or use. Here’s a little more info…
Once selected, Blandin Broadband Community teams will receive planning and facilitation support, and the opportunity to apply for a $75,000 program grant to fund multiple locally developed projects that address identified community technology needs. Most funded projects require a minimum cash and in-kind match of 25% (1:3) of total project cost; projects funding primarily equipment require 1:1 cash match. Communities must meet a minimum standard of active, cross-sector community participation to be invited to apply for funds.
In addition, participating communities with significant shortcomings in existing broadband services will receive priority to apply for up to $25,000 to conduct a Robust Network Feasibility Study; this program requires a 1:1 cash match. This study is an optional component of the overall program. More information on Feasibility Studies can be found here: https://blandinfoundation.org/programs/expanding-opportunity/broadband/robust-network-feasibility-fund-grants/
Significant commitment on the part of the Blandin Broadband Communities will be expected and required throughout the 18-24 month project period.
The application isn’t yet available – but soon it will be and Blandin wanted to give a heads up. It’s a great time to contact your local partners about potential interest. The deadline will likely be early 2020 -and luck favor the prepared. With any luck, I’ll be posting more info and a link to the application in a week or so. In the meantime, starting those minds to thinking!