Oct 8-10 – MN Fall BB Conference – Innovation: Putting Broadband to Work
This three-day conference at the beautiful Grand View Lodge in Nisswa, MN will offer learning and engagement on many aspects of the challenges and benefits of broadband access and use, from “Pursuing Broadband 101,” to digital inclusion tools and strategies for diverse audiences. https://wp.me/p3if7-52i Check out the agenda. https://wp.me/p3if7-5bn Exhibitor and sponsorship opportunities are available https://wp.me/p3if7-599.
Minnesota Broadband Grant Application are Open
The Office of Broadband Development is soliciting applications for the Border to Border Broadband grants. Deadline is September 13. But before you apply you must alert providers in the area by Aug 2. https://wp.me/p3if7-58L
Minnesota broadband: more ubiquitous, not fastest
PC Mag looked at broadband speeds by region and state. For fastest statewide access Minnesota ranks 8 out of 12 of North Central States with a speed of 67.2 Mbps (down). https://wp.me/p3if7-59P However, Roberto Gallardo also released a study that shows that looking at statewide access to gig broadband, Minnesota is in better shape that our neighbors. https://wp.me/p3if7-58m
Blandin Foundation is there is help with ICF Application
The Intelligent Community Forum (ICF) measures six inter-related indicators of a community’s competitiveness in the digital economy. It is a tool and an international competition. Blandin is holding a series of regional meeting to talk about the ICF process and offer assistance to communities interested in applying. https://wp.me/p3if7-59n
- Red Wing Monday, August 12 9:00-10:30 am
- Brainerd Tuesday, August 13 9:00-10:30 am
- Bemidji Wednesday, August 14 9:30-11:00 am
- Appleton Monday, August 19 1:00-2:30 pm
The Time is Now for Courageous Action
Dr. Kathleen Annette, president and CEO of Blandin Foundation reminds people that “The time is now. To recognize racism and discrimination, to name and stop it when we see it. To stand with those working to make our communities more welcoming….” https://wp.me/p3if7-5aO
Minnesota policy front…
- Congrats Rep. Rob Ecklund for CGMC Legislator of Distinction Award https://wp.me/p3if7-5b4
- Minnesota’s laws on utilities (broadband) and railroad crossing https://wp.me/p3if7-5a5
- Changes at the MN Office of Broadband Development. Hello Angie Dickison, good luck Danna Mackenzie. https://wp.me/p3if7-59u.
- Rep Lueck urges folks around Aitkin to seek Border to Border broadband grants https://wp.me/p3if7-59l
- The story of Minnesota’s state broadband funds past, present and future from Matt Schmit https://wp.me/p3if7-59b
- 21 percent of MN can access fiber through a Cooperative https://wp.me/p3if7-58V
- FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel speaks with Senator Tina Smith https://wp.me/p3if7-58P
- DEED Commissioner Grove plans to put MN on the tech map https://wp.me/p3if7-58N
And national policy front…
- FCC Should assess making Off-School-Premises access eligible for additional Federal Support https://wp.me/p3if7-5aY
- Public complaints on USDA’s Rural broadband plan https://wp.me/p3if7-59L
- Finding sufficient funding available, FCC directs USAC to fully fund E-rate funding requests https://wp.me/p3if7-59J
- FCC gives tips on how to stop robocalling https://wp.me/p3if7-59H
- FCC authorizes $524 million for broadband CAF Auction ($3.5 million in MN) https://wp.me/p3if7-59x
- FCC approves priority window for tribes to expand broadband https://wp.me/p3if7-59j
- US House Ag meeting on broadband Archive – rural areas need gig access https://wp.me/p3if7-59h
- CenturyLink under state investigation after hundreds of complaints of not responding to “call before digging” requests https://wp.me/p3if7-59N
Local Broadband News
CVS Health Rolls Out Telehealth to MN (and other states) https://wp.me/p3if7-59r
Rural Minnesota Cooperatives partner to connect Aitkin County https://wp.me/p3if7-58Z
Libraries without Boundaries, Dep of Education and local librarians meet with residents in a manufactured home cooperative community to discuss creating 21st century library services to suit their needs. https://wp.me/p3if7-5ao
Beltrami County in number one in Minnesota for access to Gigabit Internet Speeds https://wp.me/p3if7-5bg
Fredenberg MN celebrates broadband – and looks at how it might happen in other areas https://wp.me/p3if7-59Y
Lake County Broadband is sold to Zito Media https://wp.me/p3if7-58H
Red Wing Ignite wins $750K Federal Grant https://wp.me/p3if7-5ad
Poultry Patrol (think Roomba for chicken coops) is a great broadband application for farmers with broadband https://wp.me/p3if7-58J
Congrats to Nicole Griensewic Mickelson for ‘Friend of the CGMC’ award https://wp.me/p3if7-5bj
Verizon upgrades parts of St Paul to 5G https://wp.me/p3if7-59S
Two Harbors business comes for fiber also gets tech support https://wp.me/p3if7-5aS
Upcoming Events and Opportunities
- Aug 2: CTEP AmeriCorps members showcase digital equity projects https://wp.me/p3if7-5aI
- Aug 8: Minnesota Broadband Coalition Meeting https://wp.me/p3if7-5ag
- Aug 16: Office of Advocacy announces new funding for Small Business Research https://wp.me/p3if7-59A
- Sep 6: Connecting Entrepreneurial Communities https://wp.me/p3if7-574
- Sep 12: Feeding Innovation in Greater Minnesota (Winthrop) https://wp.me/p3if7-5au
- Sep 12: Making Good Use of Our Internet Viewings https://wp.me/p3if7-59U
- Sep 23: Applications due for Intelligent Community Award https://wp.me/p3if7-5a8
- Sep 30, 2019: Deadline for RUS Broadband Program applications https://wp.me/p3if7-4RF
- Sep 23-24: Internet2 Third National Research Platform Workshop https://wp.me/p3if7-55s
- Oct 8-10: Innovation: Putting Broadband to Work (Nisswa, MN) https://wp.me/p3if7-52i
- Job Opening: Director of State Broadband and Telecommunications Access (WI) https://wp.me/p3if7-58e
- Job Opening: Operations Manager, FDL Communications, Full Time https://wp.me/p3if7-5ak
Stirring the Pot – by Bill Coleman
As I prepare to go on a nice vacation, I am looking at the calendar of upcoming meetings and presentations for which I need to prepare before getting on the airplane. Right when I return, I need to do a Broadband 101 for a county board in south central Minnesota. The first place I look to prepare is the Office of Broadband Development maps. This is a rich source of information with various ways to display the data. The question “How well are we connected?” is not as simple as it once was. The maps, in their various forms, should be used as conversation starters, not as a place to find definitive answers.
I first look at the maps, then go to provider websites to get more detailed information. The DEED provider database shows 13 wired and fixed wireless providers. Speeds vary from symmetrical gigabit over fiber to 500 Mb symmetrical via fixed wireless to 100 Mb/40 Mb over DSL. Three different fixed wireless providers show complete to partial coverage of the county. Seems like this county is well served, yet when I look at the Border to Border Broadband grant eligibility map, the vast majority of the county is shown as unserved and grant eligible. According to provider information, 82% of households have wired connections of 25 Mb/3 Mb while 78% have wired 100 Mb/20 Mb. Ten percent have symmetrical gigabit coverage.
As I talk with county commissioners, I will be asking them the following:
- *Do you believe that the maps and provider data are accurate?
- *What are you hearing from constituents?
- *What is “good enough” for your county?
These questions always stimulate interesting conversations.