Blandin Broadband Leadership Roundtable Discussion Notes June 2, 2020

Today, our group learned about the broadband funding available via the federal Economic Development Administration.  Thanks to Robin Weiss and Jay Trusty from Southwest RDC for their excellent overview of the program.  You can also find a summary on the Blandin on Broadband blog.

Here are links to Development Commissions: http://www.mnado.org/contact/

Key learnings:

  • Lots of money – grants available up to $30 million
  • Grants are first come-first served so haste is required
  • The Regional Development Commissions are the best gateway to these dollars
  • Grants can require little (20%) to no match ($0)
  • Dollars can be used for broadband infrastructure or technology technical assistance, including adoption and use activities
  • Economic development considerations are important
  • There seems to be significant opportunity for all kinds of collaborative efforts on both construction and non-construction activities. The RDCs are talking about this.
  • It would be great to leverage DEED Border to Border dollars to get more federal dollars.

Next week, we will hear from Matt Fulton of POLCO (www.polco.com) who will showcase a cool technology for community engagement with local government.  Join us at 9 am on Tuesday morning.

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