Blandin on Broadband eNews: MN Monthly Recap (Feb 2020)

Gov Walz announces 2019 MN Broadband Grant awards
The Governor announces $23 million in broadband grants to Minnesota communities. He and Representative Ecklund also announce plans to recommend $30 million of one-off funding from the supplemental budget for next year’s grants. (Video online.) Get greater details

MN Broadband Task Force Jan 2020 Meeting Notes
The Minnesota Broadband Coalition asks the Task Force to send a letter to the Legislature supporting their recommendation for $30 million from the supplemental budget for more grants in 2020. (Full notes and video online.)

Telehealth saves Lives in Rural Areas
A Mayo Clinic study finds Telehealth sharply reduces risk of death within 30 days. In Ohio, portable CT scanner and broadband buy precious minutes in stroke detection in rural areas. And beyond telemedicine, the industry is looking at tools to help with carers too.

2019 MN Broadband County profiles
Blandin Foundation has posted PDFs, maps and content from the 2019 profiles in user-friendly formats online.

State Policy Issues

Federal Policy Issues

Vendor News

Local Broadband News

Broadband is a bright idea that sets Bemidji apart

Blue Earth County
Mankato Free Press reacts to Blue Earth County broadband feasibility study

Blue Earth County’s broadband feasibility study outlines some tough costs

Community celebrates $5.2 million in USDA funding in Brainerd

Senators Klobuchar and Smith celebrate $5 million federal broadband funding in Brainerd

Telehealth in Cambridge brings tech solutions to the neonatal ward

Senator Westrom talks to high school seniors in Campbell about broadband

Douglas (and Stearns) Counties
MN Broadband Grants in Douglas and Stearns County

Ely looks to local provider for next broadband grant opportunity

Fillmore County
USDA Reconnect: Harmony Telephone gets $5.4 million

Fond du Lac Reservation
MN Broadband Grants in Fond du Lac, Cloquet and Perch Lake

MN Broadband grants in Houston MN

Iron Range
CTC Receives $5.2 million from USDA to serve Cherry and Great Scott townships on the Iron Range

Koochiching County
MN Broadband Grants in Koochiching County and a nod to Rep Ecklund

Le Sueur County
MN Broadband Grants in Le Sueur County

Gov Walz visits MN Broadband Grant recipient in Melrose

MN Broadband grants in Rosemount (Dakota County)

Broadband grants in Scandia where the broadband team wins Good Neighbor Award

St Louis County
MN Broadband Grants in Rice Lake, Brown Lake and Ramey

Swift County
Broadband in Swift County means Rick Molenaar lives local yet works out of San Francisco

Candidate Bloomberg visits Wells MN – mentions investing in broadband

Winona (and Houston) Counties
MN Broadband Grants in Houston and Winona Counties

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

Two of the three communities that participated in our Community Broadband Planning Charrette at the October 2018 Broadband Conference formed public-private partnerships that received significant state broadband grant awards announced last week.  That is a pretty good result just over one year.  Both Koochiching (w/Paul Bunyan) and Le Sueur (w/BevComm) Counties were at the very early stages of organizing their broadband efforts and their community teams spent two days with quality broadband consultants (great thanks to Cooperative Network Services and Finley Engineering, respectively) studying maps, analyzing survey results and discussing financing scenarios.  At the end of the conference, both teams understood what was possible and what local efforts would be necessary for a successful partnership.  With both Paul Bunyan and BevComm representatives at the conference, discussions commenced!

Our Blandin team has been discussing ways that we can help those who are either just beginning their broadband development efforts or those that still struggle to attract the state or federal funding necessary to implement a successful project.  We have some ideas.  If the broadband is deficient in your community or county and you think that there would be a team ready to work to solve this problem, please contact me to discuss your situation.  You can reach me at 651-491-2551 or  You can also complete a short online form at the Community Broadband Resources Program description at and we will contact you.

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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