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

FCC under reports unserved population
Broadband Now scrutinizes the FCC adoption rate estimates and finds that the FCC estimates 290,000 unserved in Minnesota and Broadband Now estimates 580,000.

Two new tools look at state’s impact on broadband
Pew Research releases a report on state policies and plans that support better broadband deployment. Minnesota is featured as a leader in the report. State Broadband Leaders Network (SBLN) has created an interactive map of broadband plans and initiatives by state.

MN Broadband Task Force at Land O’Lakes
The MN Broadband Task Force met at Land O’Lakes where they heard about precision agriculture applications farmers are already using in the field, at least where they have sufficient broadband.

Blandin on Broadband is looking for stories
We are looking for broadband stories from rural Minnesota to feature on the Blandin on Broadband blog. If you have a story, please contact us at

State Policy Issues (in reverse chronological order of post date)

Federal Policy Issues (in reverse chronological order of post date)

Vendor News

Local Broadband News

Brown County
Update on Nuvera’s MN Broadband grant project in Southwest Brown County

Cherry Township
CTC hosts open houses in Cherry Feb 27-28 to discuss new USDA supported network expansion

Duluth appreciates economic boon with rural broadband

East Central MN
Broadband is transforming school thanks to groups like ECMECC that support the network

Fillmore County
More on USDA ReConnect project with Harmony Telephone (Fillmore County)

Hastings, Faribault, New Ulm, Buffalo, Cambridge and Minneapolis
Neonatal telemedicine comes to Hastings, Faribault, New Ulm, Buffalo, Cambridge and Minneapolis

Iron Range
Iron Range 2020 predictions from 1998, includes technology plans

A look at broadband progress made and progress needed on the Iron Range

Blandin Foundation funds Iron Range Tourism Bureau projects

Koochiching and St. Louis Counties
Update on Paul Bunyan’s MN Broadband Grant for portions of Koochiching and St. Louis Counties

Broadband is a big part of the reinvention of McIntosh

Red Wing
Red Wing Public Library now lending hotspots

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

Community broadband leadership is front and center for me right now, stimulated by a recent orientation session for five new Blandin Broadband Communities and the task of creating content for an upcoming Community Broadband Leadership Workshop.  To clarify my thinking on the topic I have been online reviewing definitions of leaders and leadership.  The lists are all well and good and include many admirable qualities.   In my experience, teams of leaders are significantly more effective in community broadband development than lone rangers.  We also know that on every leadership team, there are extraordinary individuals that are instrumental to the success of the group.

Ultimately, it all comes down to people who are willing to do the hard work to move their community forward.  Our community broadband leaders do the investigations and learning to understand the challenge, then recruit and inform others to the issue.  They convince organizations to devote resources for finding and funding solutions.  They devote the time to going door-to-door to boost community survey completion. They join regional and state efforts that may or may not pay dividends for the local effort.  They recognize others’ contributions to the effort.  As Edison said, “success is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.”

When meeting new community teams, I often try to anticipate who will step up into leadership.  I am often wrong and many times surprised.  Established community leadership needs to be open to these emerging leaders but that can be harder than it seems.  Some of the most effective leaders have no title or position or broadband expertise. You will recognize them over time – they show up, ask questions, volunteer for and complete tasks.

I was with one such leader this morning at

the Cherry Township hall where happy residents were signing up for new fiber to the home broadband service.  It was fun to see area residents shaking his hand and thanking him for his efforts while he deflected the praise onto others.  For a while my new favorite saying was that “every community needs a Kippy!” In retrospect, I think that every community already has one or more Kippy’s.  The leadership trick is to find them and allow them to serve your community.

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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