Blandin Broadband Lunch Smart Cities & Broadband Day on the Hill video and notes

Oh what a day, MN Broadband Day on the Hill, Lunch Bunch and a Senate meeting starting in 15 minutes. So my notes are brief.

We celebrated the Day on the Hill with many of the participants who joined us immediately after. Folks in the lunch bunch who were not at the Day on the Hill has questions about policies (or grant stipulations) that might consider affordability and access (skills to use and get) to broadband as well as availability. The grants do consider access but it was fun to think about how that could happen more. We talked a bit about national activities. Then we heard from the folks at Smart North about what makes a smart city and how does one getting started.

Lot of questions on starting with street lights. For example, in a rural are where moving to smart street lights won’t save a huge amount of money – does it still make sense? It does because with smart lights you can “value stack” other features like the ability to adjust the light or use the light pole as a wifi (or even 5G) hub. We even touched upon these being the building blocks to get to autonomous vehicles. A few of us kept on the call and one attendee (David Asp) that we might start calling smart technology “how to use technology to make life easier” maybe to make it sounds easier.

Here’s the original description of the sessions:

Join to talk about smart tactics for cities, suburbs and town. I’m excited to have a few experts from Smart North join us.  Smart North is a coalition of public, private, civic, education, and entrepreneurial individuals and organizations looking to drive Smart City initiatives throughout Minnesota. (They are looking for partners, especially in rural areas!)

A few weeks ago, I got a chance to talk to founders Sabina Saksena (CytiLife), Ben Wallace (Minify Energy) and Thomas Fisher (U of M School of Architecture College of Design). You can watch the video for a quick take on what they do – from autonomous cars, big data and energy!

Also Wednesday is Broadband Day on the Hill, which ends just as we start. I’m hoping/expecting a few of folks to hop on over to let us how it went and maybe we can celebrate lifting broadband in the eyes of the legislature.

And you can view the chat:

Ann Treacy to Everyone : Hi guys! For folks who are joining – welcome. thank you! The MN Broadband Day on the Hill si just finishing. I’m recording so holding on to both
Mary Magnuson (she/her) to Everyone : Lunch Bunch: 2nd Wednesday (Infrastructure) registration https://blandinfoundation-org.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJMucOygqT4oE9z8V1akDGePCae1FdkwYCz0
Sabina Saksena to Everyone : .Hi Ann- I can’t hear you. Is it me?
Ann Treacy to Everyone : MN BB Coalition https://mnruralbroadbandcoalition.com/
Sabrina Roach to Everyone : Would it be disruptive to fold digital adoption into the infrastructure proposals for additional points?
Joe Miller to Everyone : For context to my comments, the Governor of Washington proposed $79 million for broadband infrastructure and $6 million for 20 digital navigators. I am sure this is in part due to the excellent work of Sabrina Roach!
Ben Wallace to Everyone : Smart North https://smartnorth.org/
Ann Treacy to Everyone : See the PPT earlier https://blandinonbroadband.org/2021/02/19/smart-north-is-a-new-collaboration-looking-to-help-mn-communities-be-smarter/
Sabina Saksena to Everyone : Sport something wrong with my connectivity!
Ann Treacy to Everyone : Sabina – that’s Murphy’s Law for sure!
Bernadine Joselyn (she/her) to Everyone : Ben: I love that phrase, “value stack” when talking about this….
Eileen Smith to Everyone : Jim, SCADA system monitoring, etc. Small communities can’t afford and can’t find these tech professionals. Many need to start sharing and buying these services in groups.
Ann Treacy to Everyone : Thank you!! Sabina Saksena (CytiLife), Ben Wallace (Minify Energy) and Thomas Fisher (U of M School of Architecture College of Design). https://cytilife.com/ https://minifyenergy.com/ https://twin-cities.umn.edu/news-events/expert/thomas-fisher
Ann Treacy to Everyone : Sign up tomorrow: https://smartnorth.org/
Ben Wallace to Everyone : Sign up for 3/25 Future of Transportation at https://smartnorth.org/
Sabina Saksena to Everyone : Sabina.saksena@cytilife.com
Sabina Saksena to Everyone : Thank you!

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