eNews: MN Monthly Recap Sep 2021: funding, definitions and updates

Virtual Conference! Oct 12-14
Registration is open for our annual broadband conference! We hope you can join us. The agenda will be released later this month.

Pre-Conference Regional Events
There will be a series of regional events happening leading up to and in conjunction with the Fall Broadband Conference on Oct 12-14. Some events are still being planned; here’s the information:


Federal Changes maybe be long lasting
In redefining the speed goals for funding, the US Senate may have effectively boosted broadband speeds to 100/20. But the timing is good as Studies show the need for upload speeds increased during pandemic – and it’s likely to continue. Also access to broadband is credited for drawing in new residents to help boost population.

State Policy Issues (in reverse chronological order)

Federal Policy Issues (in reverse chronological order)

COVID/COVID-Funding News

Vendor News

Local Broadband News

Aitkin County
MLEC is expanding FTTH in Aitkin County (MN)

Appleton, Benson, Madison and Redwood County
Appleton, Benson, Madison and Redwood County get grants from MN DEED

Essentia Health in Duluth gets nearly $1 million from FCC for telehealth
Duluth City Council asks MN Congressional Delegation to support infrastructure

Greenwood Township
Greenwood Township looks at local, state and federal options for broadband funding

Grand Rapids
Paul Bunyan Communications Opens Apple Service Center in Grand Rapids

Kabetogama State Forest
New FirstNet Cell Site Launches in the Kabetogama State Forest to Support First Responders in Northern MN

Mahnomen County
Enbridge gives broadband grant to Waubun-Ogema-White Earth Community Schools (Mahomen County)

Park Rapids
DLF Chair talks about broadband and other topics in Park Rapids (Hubbard County)

Redwood County
Redwood County gets Lead for Minnesota Fellow to work on broadband

Walnut Grove and Redwood and Pine Counties
A look at broadband needs in rural MN: Walnut Grove, Redwood County and Pine County

Upcoming Events, Opportunities and Resources

Stirring the Pot – by Bill Coleman

Keeping up with broadband news and information can be a challenge.  Emerging state and federal funding programs, new technologies, and regulatory decisions are all in the news mix.  How can community leaders keep up?

I have some trusted sources; I do consulting work for two of them.  Here is a summary of what I read:

  • Blandin on Broadband (of course!) Subscribe at www.blandinonbroadband.org.  A great summary of everything Minnesota broadband.  This blog is a great resource for daily news and also a great searchable archive for policy and strategy ideas.
  • Pots and Pans by CCG.  Subscribe at https://potsandpansbyccg.com.  Doug Dawson, one of my favorite broadband consultants,  provides daily, thoughtful essays on technology, telecom industry news, community broadband and consumer trends.  This is a must-read for all community broadband advocates.
  • Benton Institute for Broadband & Society Daily Digest.  Subscribe at https://www.benton.org/headlines.  I work on the Benton team for the Illinois Connected Communities Program.  Benton provides a wide ranging broadband policy news digest on both broadband infrastructure and digital equity issues.  They produce their own, high quality original research and spread the word on other policy papers and news.
  • Telecompetitor.  https://www.telecompetitor.com.  This newsletter is tech and industry news heavy and has a bounty of advertising links.
  • One final source that I look to is the NTCA.  Here is a link to CEO Shirley Bloomfield’s blog – https://www.ntca.org/ruraliscool/newsroom/ceo-blog

This should keep everyone busy and informed.  If you have other sources that you would like to share, let us know!

This entry was posted in Blandin Foundation, 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.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s