Broadband 2020: Open Space meeting: 10 broadband conversations at once!

Thank you to everyone who joined us for a range of conversations on broadband. Yesterday, we came up with a short list of topics – suggested and chosen by conference attendees. Today we met in small groups to discuss this topics.

The video above includes report outs from the individual conversations. Below is a list of the topics with the highest level comment on their session. (OK, I’ve included a tweet on each breakout.)

  1. How do we get to symmetrical service?
    who can pay for symmetrical service – for communities that don’t qualify for MN border to border grants? And what technology really work for symmetrical? Can we get at least that to the community?
  2. How to remove the barrier of affordability?
    making Broadband affordable is something providers can/do help with -some on the DL. CARES funding is helping too but that’s temporary
  3. What are the implications for MN on the abandonment of copper networks?
    copper has been saying good to users via cell phones, providers has not been investing. We need a short game and long game plan
  4. What is the role of broadband in mental health/healthcare delivery?
    great ideas for mental health and broadband – such as using voter registration info to call people up and just ask how they are.
  5. What are our ideas for more effective legislative engagement and rural advocacy?
    in terms of legislative advocacy, we need to look at rural/urban divide, education (vocabulary) and industry lobbyists. The MN Broadband Coalition is a tool. We need sustainable funding.
  6. Should we treat broadband as a public and/or private utility?
    in thinking of Broadband as an utility we would go so far as to call it digital water. We need it to live.
  7. How do we find common ground to move the state forward on broadband?
    how to find legislative common ground to move Broadband forward – convene a group, create a story around issues that are important to people
  8. What are “Digital Navigators” and how can I get one?
    Digital Navigators were created by @netinclusion – schools have been using them – it helps student families get over one of many barriers that they often experience
  9. What should MN’s speed goals be?
    we need to look at Broadband speed goals and symmetrical speeds because upload is productivity
This entry was posted in Blandin Broadband Summit 2020 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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