eNews: MN Monthly Recap: Links to Broadband 2020 conference and more

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:

Oct 29

Oct 28

Oct 27

Oct 19-23

Oct 12-16

Oct 8

Oct 7

Oct 6

State Policy Issues (in reverse chronological order)

Federal Policy Issues (in reverse chronological order)

Impact of COVID-19

Local Broadband News 

Anoka County
Libraries Without Borders brings broadband and other tools to Manufactured homes in Minnesota

Dakota County
Dakota County (MN) Commissioner Slavik to serve on national broadband task force

Amazon to open fulfillment center in Lakeville (Dakota County)

Fall Lake Township
Fall Lake Township is getting broadband from Zito Media (Lake County)

Greenwood Township
CTC proposes better broadband in Greenwood Township for $6.3 million

Itasca County
Itasca County Approves CARES Act Funding for Broadband

Morrison County
CTC gets $3 million from ReConnect

Rochester, Bemidji and Southern MN
AT&T 5G Launches in Rochester, Bemidji and Southwestern Minnesota

St Louis County
New FirstNet Cell Site in Northern Minnesota to be Among the First Primarily Powered by Solar in Midwest Region (St Louis County)

IRRR Board supports broadband deployment projects in St Louis County

Tribal areas

Broadband access percentages on MN Tribal reservations

Upcoming Events and Opportunities

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.

This entry was posted in MN by Ann Treacy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ann Treacy

Librarian who follows rural broadband in MN and good uses of new technology (blandinonbroadband.org), hosts a radio show on MN music (mostlyminnesota.com), supports people experiencing homelessness in Minnesota (elimstrongtowershelters.org) and helps with social justice issues through Women’s March MN.

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