Rural Entrepreneurs need better broadband

A theme is emerging for my day. Earlier I wrote about how rural students need better broadband to prepare for college. And now Inc Magazine is talking about how entrepreneurs need better broadband…

“High-speed internet is such a powerful tool, which seems like a crazy thing to say–unless you don’t have access to it,” said Wayne Reilly, president of Creative TRND USA division. Reilly started his entrepreneurial journey in Post Falls, Idaho. “Even in the middle of Antarctica, with a good Wi-Fi signal you can succeed. With the right resources, you can achieve global success from any small town.”

Of course, faster download speeds won’t make Americans lock arms, forget all our differences, and become a more united country.

Political division has only grown as more of the country’s citizens feel structurally locked out of economic opportunity. If you’re a smart kid growing up in the suburbs of Dallas, Texas, in 2019, you have access to learning opportunities and information your parents never dreamed of. That doesn’t mean every kid growing up in the suburbs of Dallas will succeed–far from it–but it does mean you have access to the tools modern humans need to be economically competitive.

If you’re a kid growing up in Dallas, Arkansas?

It’s a different story.

The article recognizes that broadband isn’t a cure-all – but it can help and it can help right away…

Disenfranchisement is not limited to rural communities. But while we certainly haven’t solved every issue facing urban residents, there is an urgency and energy toward improving economic opportunity in cities that is lacking in the discussion about rural communities.

We can change that.

One place to start might be investing in improving access to broadband.

EVENT: Startup Pitch Night & Roundtable coming Nov 19 in Willmar MN

If you live near Willmar and have entrepreneurial or innovator tendencies, this might be an event for you. If you don’t live in the area, yet you have entrepreneurial or innovator tendencies or work with people who do, this might give you some good ideas. It comes from WorkUP, a coworking space in WIllmar…

All Startup Alumni, supporters and entrepreneurial fans are invited! This is your chance to hear and learn from a few of our Startup Bootcamp Alumni – two of them graduated recently and one of them went through a couple of years ago and is coming back to share an update. They’ll practice pitching their companies using concepts discovered in the workshop, and we’ll offer support, input and any assistance we can provide to help them be successful. Happy hour beverages and snacks will be provided. Don’t miss it!
Learn more

EVENT: NTIA’s BroadbandUSA Practical Broadband Conversations Webinar Nov 20

An invitation from BroadbandUSA…

You are invited to join NTIA’s BroadbandUSA Practical Broadband Conversations Webinar

Topic: Building Digital Workforce Skills at the Local Level

Date:   Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Time:  2:00 to 3:00 p.m. ET

Overview: A digitally skilled workforce is essential for the economic development of our nation’s communities. Companies of all sizes need employees that understand technology, whether it’s on the business or operational side of the organization. Join BroadbandUSA to hear how local leaders are building partnerships between governments, businesses, nonprofits and education to help residents attain the skills needed to thrive in a digital economy.


  • David Keyes, Digital Equity Program Manager, City of Seattle Information Technology
  • Stacey Wedlake, Research Coordinator and Analyst, Technology and Social Change Group (TASCHA) at University of Washington Information School
  • Shonna Dorsey, Senior Business Systems Consultant, Mutual of Omaha
  • Kagan Coughlin, Co-Founder, Trustee Base Camp Coding Academy

Please pre-register for the webinar using this registration link.   After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Want to access past Practical Broadband Conversations webinars? Visit our webinar archives for past presentations, transcripts and audio recordings.

Computer and Tech Skills Top Rural Americans’ List of Training Needed to Find a Better Job

From the Internet Innovation Alliance

This statistic shows rural Americans’ views on which skills or trainings are needed to keep or find a better job in their community in 2018. During the survey, 25 percent of respondents said that they believe they need computer and technical skills trainings to keep or find a better job in their community.

Participants Sought for Survey on Small and Mid-size Business Cybersecurity Issues

The SBA is looking for businesses to take their cybersecurity survey…

The Information Technology Sector Coordinating Council and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency are conducting a survey on cybersecurity issues for small and mid-size businesses. The survey is open to all small businesses. This is a voluntary survey and will not publish confidential or identifiable information. It will help inform the Cybersecurity Framework being developed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology and other agencies. The Cybersecurity Framework aims to help organizations better manage and reduce cybersecurity risk and has implications for some government contracts.

Here is a link to the survey, which will be open until Nov. 11, 2019.

The survey data will be collected and anonymized by ACT | The App Association. If you have any questions about the survey, please email the industry chair, Brian Scarpelli, at

Announcing 100,000 Udacity Scholarships for America’s Workers

Udacity offers a wide range of online classes to educate and train American Workers. They are looking to make classes available via scholarship for low income workers. Their website announces

Udacity is awarding 100,000 need-based scholarships for America’s workers. Win a scholarship to ignite your career in tech. Applications open in early 2020.

Sign up today to be among the first to know when applications open!

Broadband access tough to get on farms according to the United Soybean Board

Progressive Farmer reports on the state of broadband on farms based on a survey of 2000 farmers by the United Soybean Board. I’ve compiled the statistics they report into bullet points:

  • 60 percent of farmers say they don’t have enough internet connectivity to run their businesses
  • 59 percent of farmers that participated in the study said they want to incorporate more data into their operations
  • 78 percent of farmers don’t have a choice in internet service providers
  • 40 percent of farmers have a fixed internet connection, while others rely on satellite connections.
  • More than 90 percent access the internet on their smartphones, which they say is the most reliable.

Why do they want broadband?

  • 37 percent wanted to increase their use of data to make better decisions
  • 19 percent want to use it to improve their efficiency
  • 10 percent cited cost savings