Blandin Broadband Leadership Roundtable on MN Broadband Coalition and speed test notes

Today, the Blandin Broadband Leadership Roundtable participants heard from Nathan Zacharias, representing the Minnesota Rural Broadband Coalition about the new statewide broadband speed test.  With large numbers of participants, Minnesota will be able to create a new broadband map that demonstrates the availability and use of high speed Internet.  The new map will also show where high-speed broadband is not available.  Large numbers of tests will increase the validity of the maps.  The software system has a built-in feature that provides the required number of tests to ensure statistically valid information.

While there is clear value for this tool at the state level, there is huge value at the local level.  Cities, townships and school districts can use this information in their own broadband planning and development programs as well as for digital equity initiatives.  Local efforts to promote and complete the speed test will provide clear evidence that supports grant applications and local leadership.

For complete information, go to the Minnesota Rural Broadband Coalition website at http://mnruralbroadbandcoalition.com/speedtest .

Next week, August 18th at 9 am, Christopher Mitchell of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance (www.ilsr.org) will lead a discussion about public engagement in broadband network development.  Join us.

Chat log:

  • 00:27:34       Jennifer Miller: You have to refresh the map to see your test
  • 00:28:20       Barbara Droher Kline: can we access the map to check in without doing the speed test?  I have already done the test several times but want to see the map and promote more testing.
  • 00:32:03       Eileen Smith: How does someone enter a black dot (no service) if they don’t have service to start with?
  • 00:40:58       teri smith: When and how will this meeting that is being recorded be available so I can have others watch and get this information?
  • 00:47:39       Nathan Zacharias: Nathan@zachariasgovrelations.com
  • 00:47:47       Mary Magnuson (she/her): https://blandinonbroadband.org/
  • 00:47:49       Ann Treacy: might be helpful to have a phone number to call for folks who dont have access. or an old school mobile phone-friendly survey
  • 00:49:18       Reno Wells: I would like to get this information out to my fellow Township Directors for the Minnesota Association of Townships so I will contact Nathan to acquire this information to share.  Thank you for having him present today.
  • 00:49:49       teri smith: I am the Library Director. We are limited.
  • 00:50:11       teri smith: I am thrilled to help get the word out.
  • 00:50:54       Jennifer Nelson: Most of the libraries have wifi extended outside the walls of the building and expanded wifi access hours
  • 00:53:52       Ann Treacy: we could add a link to any collateral to the Blandin on Broadband blog post – esp if Nathan could include a link to material.(Or actual material if not already online.)
  • 00:54:45       Mike Wimmer: Does the Blandin Foundation have access to the email addresses of individuals who registered for this webinar? If so, could they send out Nathans contact information once this meeting is over?
  • 00:56:00       Bill Coleman: Nathan@zachariasgovrelations.com
  • 00:56:08       Mike Wimmer: Thanks Bill!
  • 00:57:55       Mike Wimmer: I may have missed this, but is the Office of Broadband Development onboard with this survey? Does this impact their “CheckSpeedMN” initiative?
  • 01:00:22       Eileen Smith: Will you be able to cut the data by the state’s 2026 (I think) goals?
  • 01:03:41       Ann Treacy: differentiating by 10/1, a person could infer that it means 10/1 is a Broadband speed. I know there was a push a few years ago to stop doing that for that reason

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