Broadband 2020: Connected We Stand
Thank you to the presenters, attendees, conversation starters who joined us for any or all of Broadband 2020, annual broadband conference (inaugural online format). Here are links to individual sessions, in reverse chronological order:
- Broadband 2020; 2020 MN County Broadband Reports: Measured Progress, Accelerated Need, by Ann Treacy
- Broadband 2020: How I Think About the Importance of Communities in the 21st Century by Thomas L. Friedman
- Broadband 2020: Closing Reception
- Broadband 2020: Digital Ready Communities Report Back
- Broadband 2020: Open Space meeting: 10 broadband conversations at once!
- Broadband 2020: Deb Socia on Essential Services and Idea Generation for Open Space
- Broadband 2020: Open Space Ideation – queues up a cool session for tomorrow (Oct 28)
- Broadband 2020: Broadband 101: Federal Broadband Funding Overview by Jessica Zufolo, Magellan
- Broadband 2020: Office Hours: CTEP AmeriCorps program, Joel Krogstad
- Broadband 2020: Book Club: Thank You for Being Late by Tom Friedman
- Broadband 2020: Broadband 101: Creative Partnerships in Cooperative Broadband
- Broadband 2020: Digital Office Hours: Partnership for a ConnectedMN
- Broadband 2020: Broadband 101: Conducting Feasibility Studies by Mark Mrla, Finley Engineering
- Broadband 2020: Digital Office Hours: Telehealth: The Pandemic Shift
- Broadband 2020: Broadband 101: Rights of Way Management for Efficient Fiber Deployment by Ken Demlow, HR Green
- Broadband 2020: Digital Office Hours: Office of Broadband Development Overview of Interactive Map of Broadband Deployment with Diane Wells, Minnesota Office of Broadband
- Broadband 2020: What You Should Expect From Your Broadband Provider by Kristi Westbrock, CTC
- Broadband 2020: Digital Office Hours: Creative Connections via Interactive Zoom Programming with Maria Genné, Parker Genné, and Lynnea Doublette, Kairos Alive!
- Broadband 2020: Engaging with ISPs and Utility Companies, Establishing Public- Private Partnerships by Diane Kruse
- Broadband 2020: Digital Office Hours: Intelligent Communities in Minnesota
- Broadband 2020: Bill Coleman’s Happy Hour
- Broadband 2020: Building Critical Connections: Partnership with Minnesota’s Small Business and Cooperative Broadband Providers by Molly O’Leary, Director of Government Affairs, NTCA
- MN Broadband 2020: Broadband 101: Let’s talk 5G Technology, Use Cases, Market Overview by Brian Pickering, Nokia
- Broadband 2020: Digital Office Hours: Novel Coronavirus: Libraries Responding Beyond Books
- MN Broadband 2020: Broadband 101: Drive Adoption and Engagement of Your Mobile App
- Broadband 2020: Digital Office Hours: Digital Engagement for Refugees and Immigrants with Fatima Said, Project FINE
- MN Broadband 2020: Broadband 101: The Ever-Widening Broadband Gap
- Broadband 2020: Digital Office Hours: Pandemic Publishing with Children
- MN Broadband 2020: Broadband 101 What Should the Network of the Future Do For a Community? by Andrew Cohill, Design Nine
- MN Broadband 2020: Digital Office Hours: A Citizens’ Broadband Map: Speed Testing Initiatives in Washington and Minnesota
- Broadband 2020: Oct 8: Bringing Broadband to Rural America: Opportunities and Challenges Post-Pandemic & Mentor Sessions
- Broadband 2020: Oct 7: Breakout Sessions with Task Force Subcommittees
- Broadband 2020: Oct 7: Digital Infrastructure to Transformation: Leveraging Broadband for Community Economic Development
- Broadband 2020: Oct 7: Border-to-Border Broadband Project Presentations for the MN Task Force
State Policy Issues (in reverse chronological order)
- 64 applications for 2020 Border to Border broadband funding – did someone in your county apply?
- Rep Hamilton (MN House 22B) would invest in broadband
- MN House 22B candidate Lynn Herrick lists broadband as a top priority
- Rep Sundin promotes better broadband as a priority for MN State House 11A
- Rep Sandstede promotes a push for broadband expansion
- MN House 16B candidate Mindy Kimmel supports broadband
- In race for District 6A in the Minnesota House of Representatives: Rep Sandstede promoted better broadband
- Dakota County (MN) Board District 7 election: Mary Hamann-Roland supports broadband
- Duluth News Tribune endorses Sen Rarick – broadband is a factor
- Minnesota’s 8th Congressional District Debate: Candidates talk about broadband
- Candidate/Rep Ecklund promotes broadband as a state priority for House District 3A.
- Candidates Lee and Rarick in MN Senate District 11 both support better broadband
- MN Broadband Coalition Update: Bonding Bill Passes During 5th Special Session
- Candidate debate for House District O3A: Rep Ecklund’s work in broadband is recognized
- Candidate Liz Reyer (MN Senate District 51) supports better broadband
- Rep Ecklund, running in MN House District 3A, promotes better broadband
- MN House District 5A: John Persell (DFL), Matt Bliss (R) – both support broadband
- Duluth News Tribune endorses Bergstrom for state Senate
- Candidate Sarah Kruger (MN Senate District 28) supports better broadband
- Duluth News Tribune endorses Rep Ecklund – broadband is a reason
- Statewide Broadband Speed test: Which county has the most testers? Not too late to compete!!
- MN Broadband Task Force meeting: notes on the upcoming report
Federal Policy Issues (in reverse chronological order)
- Senator Tina Smith champions increased in investment in telehealth
- NACo Forms Broadband Task Force – including 4 Minnesotans!
- Senator Smith’s broadband history: bills and letters sponsored
- Lies, damned lies and mapping? Not quite but Senators are putting FCC on alert
- AT&T stops DSL services – leaving areas with less competition
- Candidate Profile: Rep Collin Peterson supports broadband
Impact of COVID-19
- $9.27 Billion for Small Business COVID Relief – but not enough
- Want to take a COVID test at home? You’re going to need broadband.
- Benefits of telehealth likely to continue post pandemic
Local Broadband News
Fall Lake Township
Fall Lake Township is getting broadband from Zito Media (Lake County)
CTC proposes better broadband in Greenwood Township for $6.3 million
Itasca County Approves CARES Act Funding for Broadband
CTC gets $3 million from ReConnect
Rochester, Bemidji and Southern MN
AT&T 5G Launches in Rochester, Bemidji and Southwestern Minnesota
Upcoming Events and Opportunities
- Nov 20: Minnesota Broadband Coalition Strategy Session
- OPPORTUNITY: Request for Broadband Consulting Proposals from Dakota County
- OPPORTUNITY: Applications open for Mytech’s Make a Difference IT Grant
- OPPORTUNITY: US Ignite to find novel broadband tech solutions
- OPPORTUNITY: WCI Resiliency Grants Now Accepting Proposals
- OPPORTUNITY: USDA Seeks Applications for Community Connect Grants to Fund Broadband in Unserved Rural Areas
- OPPORTUNITY: Statewide Speed Test Initiative
Stirring the Pot – by Bill Coleman
It was a different experience to participate in the annual broadband conference last month. It was great to see friends on the Zoom, but I missed all the trappings of a traditional conference – nice Minnesota location, great food, and of course, the hundreds of informal interactions with Minnesota’s broadband champions. One advantage of virtual was the presence of more national level speakers than ever before, both for keynotes and Broadband 101 sessions. If you missed them, make time to watch the archived versions on the conference web site.
So many presentations noted the importance of partnerships but didn’t talk much about how to find one. I think that the simplest and most effective tactic is to let partners find you. This is not a passive, hoping strategy. Instead, pretend that you don’t need a partner and start making progress towards the goal. In other words, start doing things that drive you towards a successful broadband network.
Announce your intention to solve your broadband problem. Form a serious team. Create and adopt a vision. Start gathering market data about competition and the demand for broadband. Do a feasibility study. Create a business plan. Seek funding. I believe that as you move down this development path, prospective partners will emerge. In addition, your community will be able to better prepared to select the best possible partners.
Momentum is the key to attracting attention and prospective partners. While you don’t need external partners for this; you do need a good set of community partners. And you attract them the same way. Start down the path with whoever you can recruit and keep going. There is an old, but fun and informative TED talk on this. It will bring a smile to your face and encourage you forward.