Today the MN Broadband Task Force got presentations from two of its members: Jason Hollinday from Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa and Bernadine Joselyn.
Jason talked about the history of Fond du Lac’s broadband network. They started working on broadband in 2005. They approached all angles – they built demand, wrote grants, realized fiber was the answer and became the fiber broadband provider and ETC (eligible telecom company). They overcame challenges of ruralness and internal capacity.
Bernadine talked about the three legged stool of digital equity – access to broadband, devices and the knowledge to use them. Broadband access is lower in rural areas – in part because of the demographics of rural areas – older people, low income and less education. She included a video of speakers from rural areas on why they appreciated and/or needed better broadband depending on their situation.
The group also looked at what topics they would address in 2022:
- Funding and investments
- Updated Mapping and Usage
- Affordability and adoption