Minnesota Broadband Task Force Nov Meeting
The Task Force discussed the upcoming annual report, which will include broadband recommendations. There is agreement that there should be ongoing funding for the grants and the Office of Broadband Development. No budget was confirmed but $75 million per biennium was mentioned. There was disagreement on a focus on unserved versus underserved. speed goals or benchmarks from 25/3 and 100/20 to 100/100 and concerns about role of OBD (and others) in terms of communications, coordination and regulation.
State Policy Issues (in reverse chronological order)
- MN Farmers Union thanks policymakers – for broadband support and more
- Senator Klobuchar talks to Breckenridge and other mayors about hot topics – like broadband
- Broadband investments have helped Minnesota’s business competitiveness
- MN Broadband Coalition meeting notes – plans moving forward
- MN Rural Broadband Coalition: AARP Minnesota Partners with MN Speed Test Initiative
Federal Policy Issues (in reverse chronological order)
- Global Policy Roadmap: next level policy topics
- Sen. Smith says we need to expand telehealth
- FCC broadband stats are out (Form 477) – measuring speeds from 10/1 to 250/25
- Broadband policy at the federal level – ideas maybe in limbo
Impact of COVID-19
- Giving thanks for broadband especially during this very strange year
- Stop the spread of COVID – there’s an app for that
- Need broadband and cultural comfort about tele-mental health especially for kids
- The Family Video Calling Guide from Dakota County … everything you need to know to connect online over the holidays
- Schools are getting innovative with bringing broadband to students who need it.
- How can technology ease COVID inequities? Answers from the field
- Preparing for next round of coronavirus broadband funding
- Telederm made more popular during pandemic, needs policy changes to continue post pandemic
- Wireline Broadband Providers add 1,530,000 in 3Q 2020
- T‑Mobile Expands Home Internet to More Than 130 Additional Cities & Towns
Local Broadband News
Dakota and Winona Counties
HBC Expands Broadband in Rural Winona and Dakota Counties
Upcoming Events and Opportunities
- EVENT Dec 1: Governor’s Task Force on Broadband
- EVENT Dec 15: MN Rural Broadband Coalition Meeting
- OPPORTUNITY Deadline Jan 11, 2021 OPPORTUNITY: How Intelligent is Your Community? Submit a questionnaire to ICF to find out!
- OPPORTUNITY Deadline Dec 7, 2020 FCC opens Connected Care Pilot Application: funding for low-income and vets
- OPPORTUNITY: Statewide Speed Test Initiative
Stirring the Pot – by Bill Coleman
Economic developers can get sidetracked from pursuing long-term strategies because of the latest crisis of the day. Two examples in recent years are day care and housing shortages. These days, CARES Fund initiatives for small business are hoarding valuable time. Little time seems to be available for vision setting and strategic planning, but in a fast changing world, at least some time needs to be allocated for this purpose.
Communities interested in jumpstarting efforts to learn and respond to how they measure up on global economic competitiveness should complete and submit the Intelligent Community benchmarking questionnaire.
Around the world, communities use the framework to create their vision and pursue a more competitive, equitable and sustainable future. Each participating community receives a complimentary “snapshot” report and is entered into the Intelligent Community of the Year competition. More information on the framework and the questionnaire can be found here: www.intelligentcommunity.org. The submittal deadline is January 11th
Blandin Foundation has used the framework statewide for over a decade to help communities think about the importance of broadband infrastructure and services. Over the past four years, Blandin and Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation have worked with ten northeastern Minnesota communities to improve access and use of broadband, building stronger and more vibrant communities. The Foundation and Agency are now working with partners to launch this work regionwide.
Completing the Intelligent Community benchmarking has two positive benefits. Short-term, it is a chance to collect and analyze data as well as to showcase your community’s success stories. More importantly, it is an opportunity to develop a powerful vision leading to an enhanced community and economic development future. The questionnaire takes just a handful of hours to complete. Give it a try!