The Ojibwe Netflix – great idea but viewers need broadband

MPR reports

The new “Ojibway TV” app is the first ever video streaming service for indigenous Ojibwe speakers. (The app uses an alternative spelling of Ojibwe.) It’s available now on Apple TV and Apple’s app store.

To keep an indigenous language vital, it has to be passed on to young people, Baxter said, and right now, that requires streaming video.

“Young people want to consume that content,” he said. “My 13-year-old son is more likely to recognize someone from Netflix, let’s say ‘Stranger Things,’ than a regular TV star.”

I love this idea. I’m a fan of keeping languages alive. (So much so I used to take Irish language lessons.) A language is so integral to a culture.

The MPR article goes on to talk about the need for more content. I might also mention the need for broadband access to download the videos. A federal report last year details the discrepancy between access in tribal areas and the rest of the US…

Until recently, data on tribal broadband deployment had been scarce. However, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) have begun to collect and compile data on tribal broadband deployment. The most recent data show that, as of December 31, 2014, approximately 41% of Americans living on tribal lands lacked access to broadband at speeds of 25 Mbps download/3 Mbps upload. This compares unfavorably to 10% of all Americans lacking access to broadband at those speeds. Tribal areas that are the most lacking in broadband service are rural Alaskan villages and rural tribal lands in the lower 48 states.

Blandin Webinar Archive Dec 14: Emerging trends in Minnesota Tele-Health

Thanks to those who joined. It was a great session…

The Online Health Care Experience

Listen and learn what is happening in three of Minnesota’s leading health care networks around the trend towards tele-health.  Care leaders from Essentia, Altru and Allina will discuss the importance of home tele-health care for the delivery of health care to rural communities and residents.  Learn about the importance of tele-health services to the vitality of rural health care providers.  Increase your understanding about the connection between good rural broadband and rural health care. Invite your own local health care providers to join us for this webinar.

More handouts from Allina Health


Dakota County looks at Rights of Way and Broadband Joint Powers

This afternoon’s post is unapologetically wonky. I attended a Dakota County Commissioner’s meeting where they discussed changes to their Management of Public Rights of Way due to changes in state statute to accommodate small cell equipment placement and an agreement to create the Dakota Broadband Board Joint Powers. You can find minutes of the meeting online.

I thought this might be helpful for other communities that may need to make similar changes and/or are looking at Joint Powers agreements for shared broadband management. (Dakota County is always good about sharing their broadband related notes and templates!)

First notes from the Public Hearing To Receive Comments And To Amend Ordinance 126, Management Of Public Right Of Way are on pages 43-45. And you can see the proposed ordinance changes to the Ordinance on pages 46-75.

I was tempted to paste sections here – but frankly it’s easier to read the PDF with changes in red. It is interesting to see how they balance wanting to give utility access to citizens with community safety and aesthetics.

There are sections that I found of particular interest:

  • 103.49 Special Event Permit (pg 55)
  • 103.52 Small Wireless Facility. (pg 55) – gets into the size of equipment
  • Subd. 3. Small Wireless Facility Conditions. (pg 62)
  • Mapping – it would be nice to have public access to where the facilities were located for planning

Next – the Authorization To Execute Joint Powers Agreement To Create Dakota Broadband Board Joint Powers Organization (pages 327-329 ). At the October 31, 2017 County Board Meeting, the County Board authorized the County Board Chair to execute a joint powers agreement to create the Dakota Broadband Board (DBB) joint powers entity to manage the Dakota County Institutional Network (I-Net). After the County Board adopted that resolution, some cities that have indicated they wish to participate in the DBB raised questions about various terms in the joint powers agreement. After numerous discussions between the DBB consultant, Craig Ebeling, city attorneys and the County Attorney’s Office, the questions and proposed modifications to certain terms in the joint powers agreement have been resolved.

The revised Joint Powers Agreement is found on pages 331-356. Here’s the Table of Contents

  1. Statement of Purpose and Powers to be Exercised ………….1
  2. Manner of Exercising Powers; Creation of Dakota County Broadband Board ……1
  3. Defined Terms …………………………..1
  4. Participant ……………………3
  5. Board……………………………………………….4
  6. Acquisition of Interests in System Components……………….7
  7. Ownership of System Components……………………..7
  8. Expansion of System……………………………………..8
  9. Operating and Maintenance Cost Sharing……………..8
  10. Financing Initial I-Net and Initial C-Net Capital Improvements …….8
  11. Revenue Generation…………………..9
  12. Establishment of a Relocation Pool; Submission of Capital Plans……9
  13. Default; Remedies…………..10
  14. Limitation of Liability; Indemnification …10
  15. Termination of Board; Disposition of Assets……..11
  16. Amendments………………………………11





Free Blandin Webinar Dec 14: Emerging trends in Minnesota Tele-Health

Please join the session and spread the word…

The Online Health Care Experience
Thursday, December 14 from 3-4 pm
Register Online

Listen and learn what is happening in three of Minnesota’s leading health care networks around the trend towards tele-health.  Care leaders from Essentia, Altru and Allina will discuss the importance of home tele-health care for the delivery of health care to rural communities and residents.  Learn about the importance of tele-health services to the vitality of rural health care providers.  Increase your understanding about the connection between good rural broadband and rural health care. Invite your own local health care providers to join us for this webinar.

Literature review on the impact of broadband

When you need numbers to make your case I know where you can go! To the new report from Purdue University (by Roberto Gallardo, Brian Whitacre and Alison Grant) – Research & Policy Insights: Broadband’s Impact A Brief Literature Review. It looks at research related to broadband specifically on the following topics:

  • Economic Development
  • Migration & Civic Engagement
  • Education
  • Telework
  • Telehealth
  • Smart Cities, Big Data, & Artificial Intelligence
  • Agriculture

Again, it’s a great reference tool to help give you quality answers to help make the case for better broadband. It’s also inspiring to read. I wanted to share just a portion they wrote about rural broadband…

Focusing on rural areas is important since they are lagging behind urban areas when it comes to broadband deployment and use (Perrin, 2017; Good, 2017). Furthermore, rural places need digital connectivity in order to compensate for their remoteness (Salemink, Strijker, & Bosworth, 2015). Studies that have given specific attention to rural areas have noted a positive relationship between rural broadband access and adoption and greater economic growth (Stenberg, et al., 2009), attraction of new firms (Kim & Orazem, 2017), higher household incomes (Whitacre, Gallardo, & Stover, 2014), small business growth (Shideler & Badasyan, 2012), increase in annual sales and value added (Canzian, Poy, & Schuller, 2015), and growth in annual payroll and number of business establishments (Kandilov & Renkow, 2010). In addition, a recent article explored the effects of USDA broadband loan programs on agriculture and found a positive impact on farm sales, expenditures, and profits among rural counties adjacent to metropolitan counties (Kandilov, Kandilov, Liu, & Renkow, 2017).

Additional studies have estimated the economic impact of rural broadband or lack thereof. The Hudson Institute estimated that broadband companies contributed $2.4 billion in 2015, supporting over 65,000 jobs and $100 billion in e-commerce (Kuttner, 2016). Another report conducted by Ohio State University attempted to estimate the economic benefits associated with increasing broadband access and adoption in Ohio. Using two research articles that estimated broadband consumer surplus ($1,850 per household per year was used in practice), they concluded that reaching full broadband coverage and adoption among currently unserved Ohio households would result in $2 billion in economic benefits over the next 15 years (Rembert, Feng, & Partridge , 2017). Following a similar methodology, another study found that assuming full access of 25/3 Megabytes per second (Mbps) fixed broadband in the United States and a 20 percent adoption would result in $43.8 billion in economic benefits over 15 years (Gallardo & Rembert, 2017).

Important to note is that distinguishing between broadband access/availability and adoption is critical. Even if broadband is available, subscribing or using it (adoption) is not a given. In fact, Internet know-how or utilization is not randomly distributed among the population. For example, a study among young (college-age) Internet users found that parental education, gender, and race/ethnicity impacted the level of web-use skills (Hargittai, 2010). Furthermore, the relationship between entrepreneurs and creative class workers found that broadband adoption actually had a negative relationship with creative class type of workers in rural communities, while higher broadband availability is associated with a higher level of entrepreneurs (Conley & Whitacre, 2016). Another study found that increases in broadband adoption were more significantly related to changes in median household income and percentage of nonfarm proprietors than broadband availability (Whitacre, Gallardo, & Strover, 2014). Thus, it is important to distinguish between the impact of broadband access/availability and adoption/utilization since the digital divide consists of both (Gallardo, 2016).

Minnesota State Capitol prepares for digital age

According to State Tech

Minnesota IT Services worked with the state’s Department of Administration to design and install new IT systems that ensure the Capitol will remain relevant to the public in the digital age.

“Minnesota IT Services staff was instrumental in this process,” said Wayne Waslaski, senior director of real estate and construction services at the Department of Administration, in a press release unveiling the tech upgrades.

Most upgrades aim to create a place where Minnesotans can participate in today’s government landscape, much of which is digital. For this reason, IT services added IT infrastructure that facilitates free Wi-Fi in public spaces.

“As legislators, lobbyists, constituents and advocates gather at the Capitol to lay the groundwork for the future of our state, they can keep up with each other and work to advance legislation in real time online,” the press release states.

IT services also helped coordinate a fiber broadband installation throughout the building, which connected all agencies in the building to the new network. The Capitol has also been outfitted with two wiring closets for network connections.

“Having two closets allows us to have increased capacity for our network and resiliency. If one closet has issues or stops working, the whole system will not go offline,” said Minnesota IT Services’ Systems Supervisor Bruce Zimmerman in the press release.

Broadband can be a solution to rural healthcare issues

Efficient Gov recently ran an article by Craig Settles that talks about how to spin broadband as a solution to lower healthcare costs. I love the idea; I think we need to focus on broadband as a solution. Quit looking at the costs to install and start looking at the potential cost savings and earning of being able to access broadband amenities (such as telehealth) everywhere…

Telehealth offers substantial benefits for those receiving healthcare, so a well-done needs analysis could help your local government translate the need for institutional broadband as well as individual access to high speed service.

As community-owned networks go online, “Some find more interest among stakeholders for using broadband for telehealth, and its subset telemedicine, than for economic development,” John Windhausen, executive director of the Schools, Health & Libraries Broadband (SHLB) Coalition, shared with me. “There can be several reasons, starting with the fact that almost everybody is affected by healthcare,” he said.

In the U.S., the telehealth market is driven by the rising healthcare costs, upcoming regulatory policies, rising prevalence of chronic diseases, shortage of physicians and increasing funding for telehealth. It is estimated 90 percent of all self-insured businesses will have some form of telehealth in the workplace because it has a provable ROI.

People may not know a gigabit from of giraffe, but they will pay for and/or support projects that enables an elderly parent to stay safely in her home, or workers with two or three jobs to get regular healthcare treatments or check ups. They want the benefits a particular technology delivers, and care less about the technology itself.

There is a segment of the population who are not low-income enough to qualify for Medicaid, they don’t earn enough to afford health insurance and their employers don’t provide it,” Eric Bacon, president of AMD Global Telemedicine, said. “So they go to the ER, which is more costly for local government.”

Telemedicine can cover many medical disciplines, including mental health, stroke, dermatology, women’s health and physical rehabilitation. Just about every person — from newborns to seniors — may find that telemedicine influences their lives at some time. Healthcare stakeholders can quantify for municipal broadband planning teams how telehealth makes sense and saves dollars.