The Marshall Independent reports…
Residents of Lincoln County have already done a lot of work to improve their Internet access. But there’s still plenty of work to do to catch up to present-day needs, said speakers at a virtual meeting this week.
It is true, the last county profiles indicted that they went from 40 percent access to broadband at 100 Mbps down and 20 up to 99 percent access! They are looking to do more with the broadband by becoming a Blandin Broadband Community (BBC)…
This year, Lincoln County was named one of six new Blandin Broadband Communities. The Blandin Broadband Community (BBC) program is a two-year partnership between rural Minnesota communities and the Blandin Foundation. The communities chosen for the program work with the foundation to develop local broadband projects. Lincoln County will need to allocate and spend up to $100,000 in funding.
“We’re so happy to have been chosen by Blandin,” Robinson said. “They’ve been a partner with Lincoln County for quite some time in our broadband goals.”
Over the past few years, fiber networks have been expanded in Lincoln County, and the city of Ivanhoe is now the only part of the county without fiber optic cable running to homes and businesses, Robinson said.
At this point, Lincoln County has done a good job of getting broadband, but there are still gaps in whether people can access and afford it, Robinson said.
“I do think we need to spend some time researching why they’re being left behind,” he said.
I suspect we’ll hear more later…
The next step in the process for Lincoln County will be an online brainstorming meeting on Tuesday. The meeting will be a chance for residents to talk about projects they would like to implement with BBC grant funds. The meeting will also talk about voting and volunteering for teams that will put projects into action, said Mary Magnuson of the Blandin Foundation.