eNews: MN Monthly Recap Oct 2021: upcoming Broadband Conference

Save the Date (Oct 12-14)! Building on Broadband: Inspiring Progress
The Blandin Foundation is looking forward to the virtual fall broadband conference of Oct 12-14. The draft agenda is available, sessions include a mix of inspirational presentations, and report-outs from the regional broadband gatherings that preceded the conference. You can help us by answering these three questions. Notes and videos of the regional gatherings are available:

MN Broadband Task Force Sep Meeting
The MN Broadband Task Force hears from folks who work to help families and children get and use the technology they need – especially in these times of distance and hybrid learning. They also heard from folks involved with Blandin Foundation Accelerate!, a program that supported and recharged some of the least served communities in Minnesota.

2021 MN Broadband County Ranking
The 2021 MN County broadband maps are up on the Office of Broadband Development websites, showing percentage of each county with (and without) broadband access at speeds of 100 Mbps down and 20 Mbps up and 25/3.

State Policy Issues

Federal Policy Issues (in reverse chronological order)

COVID/COVID-Funding News

Vendor News

Local Broadband News

New FirstNet Cell Site Launches Near Baudette to Support First Responders in Northern Minnesota

Chisago, Otter Tail and Le Sueur Counties
Catch up with Blandin Broadband Communities: Chisago, Otter Tail and Le Sueur Counties

Fillmore County
New FirstNet Cell Site Launches in Fillmore County to Support First Responders in Southeastern Minnesota

Kandiyohi County
Kandiyohi County commits $330,000 ARP funding to broadband in Prinsburg

Otter Tail County
Otter Tail County welcomes broadband help with Lead Fellow Carter Grupp

Wabasha County
Wabasha County to invest $1 million American Rescue Plan funds on broadband

Webster, Welch, New Ulm and Hutchinson
Nuvera hosting fiber launches in Webster, Welch, New Ulm and Hutchinson (Brown, Goodhue, Rice and McLeod Counties)

Wright County
Wright County reveals Broadband Survey results: 86 percent want better broadband

Upcoming Events, Opportunities and Resources

Stirring the Pot – by Bill Coleman

The availability of locally controlled federal funds and the opportunity for competitive state and federal funding has motivated multiple townships, cities and counties to move broadband funding up the priority list.  It’s kind of like a kid in a candy store after his after receiving cash gifts.  This kid is faced with so many choices – what kind of candy, how much candy, favorite candy only or mix-it-up?  How can/do they want to share their candy with others?  If not candy, what else could they buy?  One big difference…most kids have some good knowledge about candy and know exactly what they want to do and I expect that many elected officials would not have the same confidence in their decision making.

For those communities wanting to improve their confidence in their broadband decisions and strategies, I recommend that they participate in Blandin’s Community Broadband Resources: Accelerate! Program.  Over 14 weeks, community teams of at least eight members meet weekly and  learn about broadband technologies, review their current situation, interview current and prospective ISP partners, set policies and priorities and create plans and partnerships .

Learn more at broadband.blandinfoundation.org and click on the Accelerate panel.  Or call me at 651-491-2551 or email to bill@communitytechnologyadvisors.com .

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.

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