More about the Dakota Broadband Board and strategic plans

Earlier this month I wrote about a meeting I attended in Dakota County where Annette Meeks  from the Freedom Foundation of Minnesota, a group that advocates for free market and limited government gave her views of municipal networks. It was the second part of a two-part series. Good fortune, I heard from the speaker from the first in the series – Carah Koch, Executive Director of Dakota Broadband Board. She was good enough to share her presentation with me.

Carah spoke more broadly about broadband and the role of the Dakota Broadband Board. I thought it might be interesting for folks in Dakota County and folks in other counties that are tackling broadband issues. Dakota County is part rural and part urban. They have been strategic and purposeful in their broadband planning – and they have been great about sharing documents like their Joint Powers Agreement template.

Dakota County has been working on creating a network for government use and in the process has created excess bandwidth that they can make available on an open access model to encourage third party providers to come in to provide service to local residents. Check out the presentation for details like infrastructure maps with notations on the impact on each community.

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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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