Blandin Broadband Conference Canceled
Better with Broadband: Reflect. Recharge. Inspire., Blandin Foundation’s annual broadband conference, has been canceled.
While we won’t be gathering in person, you can expect to continue receiving emerging broadband news and funding updates on the Blandin on Broadband blog in the coming months. Thank you for your continued commitment to expanding access and use of broadband in rural Minnesota.
Telehealth is in the news and growing
Two recent reports have been released one indicating that telehealth visits are a boon to vets with opioid addiction and the other showing that telehealth helps with prenatal and maternal care. Brookings has developed a The Roadmap to Telehealth Efficacy supporting the idea that broadband is essential to good health. And there’s a new app that connects patients and pharmacists in Minnesota.
MN County digital equity related rankings
Microsoft has created searchable tool that tracks education attainment, computer ownership, broadband subscriber and speed and more to help gauge digital equity in a geographic area. A tool like this will be valuable as communities work on digital equity plans.
MN PUC will looking into LTD’s ETC designation
LTD Broadband was awarded the sole opportunity apply for federal (RDOF) funding to expand fiber in much of Minnesota. The opportunity has been controversial. In July, the PUC decided to investigate LTD Broadband’s ETC designation, which may disqualify them for RDOF awards in Minnesota.
MN Broadband Task Force July 2022
The Task Force heard about the Affordable Connectivity Program and American Connection Corps. They also got an update from the Office of Broadband Development. They are in the middle of receiving Border to Border applications with hopes of doing a second round of funding later in the fall.
- Governor Walz’s 10-year Economic Expansion Plan includes broadband
- Congrats to Hannah Buckland, MN Office of Broadband Development’s New Digital Equity Lead
- Broadband still making priority list on MN Farm Bill
- Treasury announces Four Capital Projects Fund Awards – including $68.4 million in MN
- CenturyLink to pay $8.9 million in fraudulent billing case in MN
- Doug Dawson on why we need to see broadband grant applications
- FCC Proposes fines of $4.3M Against 73 RDOF Applicants for Defaults – some with MN connections
- All about the National Digital Inclusion Alliance 2015-2021
- A recap on federal broadband funding: IIJA, BEAD, ARPA, Digital Equity Competitive Grant Program
- FCC Chair proposed an increase to minimum broadband speeds; is this a lesson for MN?
- Digital Economy was 10 percent of GDP in 2020
- Top RDOF bidders have not been funded yet; will NTIA set up a deadline through BEAD opportunity?
- Paul Bunyan partners with Fiber Homes to track addresses with FTTH
- Starlink is worried that potential use of 12 Ghz spectrum will interrupt service
Local Broadband News
Duluth News Tribune looks at library funds to address digital equity and older Minnesotans
Duluth approved digital access master plan and State broadband grant application
Duluth is looking at community broadband network options to lower costs
MiBroadband start building FTTH in Fillmore County state Border to Border grant
Need help getting online in Hennepin County? Go to the library and ask about Digital Navigators
Kandiyohi County taking more steps toward the Border to Border grant application
Kandiyohi is pursuing a Border to Border grant for areas north and west of Willmar
Charter breaks ground on broadband expansion in Kandiyohi County
Mower County looking at using RODF, ARPA and Border to Border funds to improve broadband access
Otter Tail County invests $2.8 million of ARPA funds on broadband
How is Pike Township MN going to get better broadband? Through a letter writing campaign
Redwood County residents are asked to take a survey and leave a message about broadband
Arvig and Redwood County seek a Border to Border grant for better broadband
Sherburne County and Arvig partner on Border to Border grant applications for Haven Twp., Clear Lake Twp. and Elk River.
St Louis County
Mediacom Communications unveils public-private partnership to expand broadband in St. Louis County
Thomson Township pledge ARPA funds for Border to Border applications in Carlton County
Upcoming Events, Opportunities and Resources
- Schedule: 2022 MN Broadband Task Force monthly meetings – Aug 29, Sep 29, Oct 24, Nov 17, Dec 5, Dec 19
- EVENT Aug 9-11: Free, virtual Digital Divide Forum
OPPORTUNITY: Contract Broadband engineering expert to help PUC investigate LTD Broadband
- OPPORTUNITIES: National Digital Inclusion Alliance is hiring for multiple positions
- OPPORTUNITY: Sherburne County to invest $1.5 million ARPA funds into better broadband