East Central MN Regional Broadband Conference: video and notes

Earlier this week broadband and community leaders from East Central MN met to talk about broadband. The event hosted by East Central Regional Development Commission in collaboration with regional County Economic Development Directors and the Initiative Foundation. Also supporting this conference is the Blandin Foundation and the MN Office of Broadband Development as part of the annual broadband conference, Building on Broadband: Inspiring Progress.

The event was a great conversation from folks around the community. As I’m preparing for the statewide conference next week, and the 87 county broadband profiles, which will post on Monday, I’m going to share my notes differently by sharing the video from ECRDC and my tweets from the day.

Overheard in @BlandinFound meeting: are you in an RDOF area in limbo? Go ahead and apply for state/fed money – if RDOF comes thru, we can pull those communities out of the project. But if it doesn’t, we can’t add it after the fact. @mndeed

Overheard in @BlandinFound meeting: if your community is having trouble finding a provider partner, contact us at Office of Broadband Development. https://mn.gov/deed/programs-services/broadband/… @mndeed

Overheard in @BlandinFound meeting: Kanabec County ranks last for #mnbroadband. But that is not for want of engagement, innovation, knowledge or will. Different counties have different barriers.

Overheard in @BlandinFound meeting: when it comes to communitywide Broadband access, it’s often better to be lucky than good. Lucky means having an engaged Broadband provider

Overheard in @BlandinFound meeting: as a student, it would be nice to do homework when I’m ready, not just when Broadband is up

Overheard in @BlandinFound meeting: through Accelerate, Blandin empowered us to learn more, make better decisions and act for better Broadband! @bcbroadband

Overheard in @BlandinFound meeting: Q: anyone still have dialup? A: yup

Overheard in @BlandinFound meeting: lots of people love remote healthcare. Much better than a 2-hour drive for 20 minutes with doctor. That’s a boon in summer and MN winter!

Overheard in @BlandinFound meeting: bad Broadband leads to hard choices. Do I stat at work and get my work done with Broadband? Or come home, have dinner with kids and sit in library parking lot after kid bedtime?

Overheard in @BlandinFound meeting: as we move forward with remote video for school and health care- we need better Broadband!! No more broken connections!

Overheard in @BlandinFound meeting: to keep employees communicating, happy and connected during the shut down, we did [zoom] happy hours

Overheard in @BlandinFound meeting: we had two weeks to move colleges classes online and graduate folks. Many teachers and students lacked adequate Broadband and/or a device #mnbroadband

Overheard in @BlandinFoundmeeting: remote healthcare relied on connectivity to homes of doctors and patients. We still do 1200 video visits a day

Overheard in @BlandinFound meeting: before pandemic our students thought GB ht Broadband was just mom’s phone … pivoting to schoolwork online was a tech and cultural shift

Overheard in @BlandinFound meeting: during the pandemic we focused on services we could provide remotely and that kept people in tribal community safe – esp elders who also needed company

Overheard in  @BlandinFound meeting: before the pandemic, we mostly went to the office, we dabbled in remote communication with partners and clients … but that all changed overnight

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