EVENT Oct 27: East Range Broadband Feasibility Study Presentation

An invitation from the  East Range Broadband group…

Over the past two years, the East Range has worked on a regional project to understand what we need to do to improve our broadband. Now, it’s time for our broadband consultant, Diane Kruse of NEO Connect, to share the results of her work. The data she shares will give us the necessary information to make a case for stronger service and apply for state and federal grants.

Join us 10:30 on Tuesday, October 27 using this Zoom link!

OPPORTUNITY: US Ignite to find novel broadband tech solutions

US Ignite is looking for projects to fund…

At least 17 million U.S. residents lack the basic Internet access necessary for remote work, online learning, and telemedicine. While ensuring greater connectivity has always been important, the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have turned a desire to deliver broadband to everyone into a critical priority for the nation. The goal of the OVERCOME project is to select, launch, and oversee five proof-of-concept efforts to deploy novel broadband technology solutions to both rural and urban underserved communities. These communities will be chosen to reflect a mix of density, demographics, regions of the United States, housing types, local and industry collaborations, and technical approaches.

To explore further strategies for broadband expansion, US Ignite has published a solicitation (including broadband network examples) calling for communities and their partners to participate in the OVERCOME project to connect the unconnected. Responding communities will propose their team members, identify underserved area(s) they will connect, and recommend specific technologies to be used for broadband delivery. US Ignite will select five strong and diverse proposals, oversee broadband deployment efforts, provide national publicity for the effort, and charter leading faculty to measure the effects of the project – both technical and social – as it evolves.

They are hosting a webinar on November 10 to learn more.

CTC proposes better broadband in Greenwood Township for $6.3 million

The Ely Timber Jay reports…

A preliminary proposal from CTC, a broadband (high speed internet) supplier, puts the cost of bringing broadband-level service to as many as 1,370 residences in the Greenwood Township area at around $6.3 million dollars. The project would include the installation of almost 106 miles of fiber optic cable, which would be buried underground.
Greenwood is currently served by Frontier Communications, offering a lower-speed DSL service, which is not sufficient for those wishing to telecommute. The company is also unreliable, often requiring long wait times for repairs.
Chairman Mike Ralston said costs for similar projects in northeastern Minnesota were in the same ballpark. One recent project, he said, was funded almost entirely with grant dollars, with a cost of just $100,000 to the township.
The cost estimate, Ralston said, is preliminary, and would change once actual groundwork and mapping is done.
Ralston said estimates of monthly costs for broadband customers would be between $60 and $100, depending on the speed of service.
The project would be done in conjunction with expansion of broadband service to the Vermilion Reservation.
The board, at Tuesday’s meeting, passed a motion to continue working with CTC. They also passed a motion to search for and hire a grant writer to work with the township to apply for available federal, state, and local grant programs.
The proposal would not include bringing broadband service to island properties.
“This is a starting point,” said Ralston. “We can use these numbers in our grant application to move forward….this is a good first step.”
The township had initially been soliciting proposals from a second company, Paul Bunyan from Bemidji, but they hadn’t yet responded to township requests for preliminary cost estimates, Ralston said.
Byron Beihoffer pushed back against reports that he was against broadband.
At last month’s meeting, Beihoffer said he wasn’t hearing any enthusiasm for broadband, and he speculated that the community wasn’t “gung-ho” on proceeding, and that “a lot of people…are happy with the internet they have.”
Beihoffer called the reporting that he was against broadband “fake news.”
“I was in support of the $50,000 proposed in the levy for broadband,” he said. “The people who voted against the $50,000 are against it.”
“I will continue to work for it,” he said.

Statewide Broadband Speed test: Which county has the most testers? Not too late to compete!!

The MN Broadband Coalition is asking folks to take a broadband speed test – from home, from work, from wherever you are. Why? Because those tests will be used to create a map based on what customers report from the front lines. The more tests people take the better the maps will be. The speed tests will be mapped by GEO Partners to clearly show the speeds available throughout the state. (Learn more.)

The Coalition was kind enough to give us an insider glimpse on which counties are most active on the maps. You can see below but also know – tomorrow morning Broadband 2020 conference attendees will test their broadband (and chat about it) before the first session! Also – the Coalition will be hosting an “office hours” session as part of the conference on Monday October 12!

Aitkin County Count 224
Anoka County Count 138
Ashland County Count 1
Barron County Count 1
Becker County Count 38
Beltrami County Count 40
Benton County Count 125
Big Stone County Count 23
Blue Earth County Count 96
Brown County Count 46
Burnett County Count 3
Carlton County Count 1168
Carver County Count 71
Cass County Count 87
Chautauqua County Count 2
Chippewa County Count 58
Chisago County Count 152
Clay County Count 21
Clearwater County Count 4
Cook County Count 63
Cottonwood County Count 48
Crow Wing County Count 113
Dakota County Count 372
Dallas County Count 1
Dodge County Count 104
Douglas County Count 201
Eau Claire County Count 5
Erie County Count 1
Faribault County Count 37
Fillmore County Count 139
Freeborn County Count 119
Goodhue County Count 138
Grand Forks County Count 1
Grant County Count 7
Grundy County Count 1
Hennepin County Count 376
Houghton County Count 2
Houston County Count 41
Howard County Count 1
Hubbard County Count 18
Iron County Count 1
Isanti County Count 67
Itasca County Count 998
Jackson County Count 20
Kanabec County Count 47
Kandiyohi County Count 186
Kane County Count 1
Kankakee County Count 1
Kittson County Count 6
Knox County Count 1
Koochiching County Count 602
La Crosse County Count 2
Lac qui Parle County Count 20
Lake County Count 79
Lake of the Woods County Count 7
Laramie County Count 1
Le Sueur County Count 384
Lincoln County Count 10
Louisa County Count 1
Lucas County Count 1
Lyon County Count 43
Mahnomen County Count 5
Marshall County Count 6
Martin County Count 69
McLeod County Count 35
Medina County Count 1
Meeker County Count 19
Mille Lacs County Count 68
Minnehaha County Count 1
Monroe County Count 3
Morrison County Count 53
Morton County Count 1
Mower County Count 92
Murray County Count 53
Niagara County Count 1
Nicollet County Count 53
Nobles County Count 46
Norman County Count 6
not found Count 167
Olmsted County Count 752
Ontario County Count 1
Otter Tail County Count 91
Outagamie County Count 1
Pennington County Count 14
Pierce County Count 3
Pine County Count 220
Pipestone County Count 14
Polk County Count 48
Pope County Count 169
Ramsey County Count 198
Red Lake County Count 2
Redwood County Count 194
Renville County Count 44
Rice County Count 106
Rock County Count 4
Roseau County Count 17
Saginaw County Count 1
Sawyer County Count 4
Scott County Count 576
Shawano County Count 1
Sherburne County Count 99
Sibley County Count 41
St. Croix County Count 9
St. Joseph County Count 1
St. Louis County Count 5846
Stearns County Count 125
Steele County Count 26
Stevens County Count 16
Summit County Count 1
Swift County Count 16
Todd County Count 48
Traverse County Count 22
Trempealeau County Count 2
Tuscola County Count 2
Wabasha County Count 110
Wadena County Count 18
Walworth County Count 2
Waseca County Count 48
Washington County Count 296
Washtenaw County Count 1
Watonwan County Count 101
Wayne County Count 1
White County Count 1
Wilkin County Count 3
Winneshiek County Count 1
Winona County Count 102
Wright County Count 192
Yellow Medicine County Count 33

 

Dakota County approves $800,000 in CARES Act funding for broadband

Dakota County Commissioners meeting notes from September 15, 2020, indicate an approval for $800,000 of CARE Act funding for broadband investment…

On a motion by Commissioner Thomas A. Egan, seconded by Commissioner Mary Liz Holberg, the consent agenda was unanimously approved as follows:

Operations, Management And Budget

20-436 Authorization To Execute Agreement With Hiawatha Communications Ltd. To Implement Broadband Connectivity Improvements For COVID-19 Response, Amend 2020 Non-Departmental Budget And Amend 2020 Information Technology Budget

WHEREAS, during the COVID-19 pandemic, Dakota County residents, families and schools are experiencing a greater need for affordable, fast and reliable internet connectivity; and

WHEREAS, Dakota County received funds to use through the Federal CARES Act; and

WHEREAS, the County Board has determined that assisting broadband carriers to implement immediate broadband connectivity improvements to unserved and underserved areas of Dakota County is a necessary and reasonable response to the COVID-19 pandemic, therefore eligible for the use of CARES Act funds; and WHEREAS, the County Board directed staff to seek out interest from providers in expending their network in unserved and underserved communities; and

WHEREAS, staff sent letters of interest to providers on July 28, 2020 and received six proposals; and WHEREAS, staff presented the six proposals to the County Board at the August 25, 2020 County Board meeting; and

WHEREAS, the County Board directed staff to award Broadband Connectivity funds to Hiawatha Communications LTD (HBC); and WHEREAS, speeds of service will be offered in Nininger, New Trier, Hampton and Miesville between 10 Mbps minimum and a maximum of 100 Mbps.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, That the Dakota County Board of Commissioners hereby authorizes the Chief Information Officer to award Broadband Connectivity Cares Act funds to and execute an agreement, approved as to form by the County Attorney’s Office, with Hiawatha Communications Ltd., in an amount not to exceed $800,000;

Le Sueur County uses CARES funding for wireless towers in Tyrone Township

Le Sueur County News reports…

One of Le Sueur County’s top priorities for the year is to expand broadband into under-served areas. Hundreds of thousands of dollars in planned and proposed broadband projects are scheduled to be completed by the end of the year through federal funds from the CARES Act.

Le Sueur County received $3.4 million from the federal government. One of the first projects approved with that money is a $140,000 proposal to bring high speed wireless internet to Tyrone Township in partnership with Netwave Broadband.

Netwave, a subsidiary of Access Networks Inc., brought a proposal to set up a 5G 900 Mhz wireless tower. The tower would provide 100 mb speeds for up to 218 homes in a 7-mile coverage radius from a tower off Hwy. 169 near the Cambria Processing Facility.

And here’s what it will look like to customers and the provider…

On the customer side, it would cost $299 for a basic one-time installation fee. Customers would be charged $99.99 per month for 100 mb of service in a three year contract. The $99 would only cover internet, but NetWave also has a phone service and is in the process of setting up television services.

In the deal, NetWave Broadband would take on most of the risk for keeping the wireless tower operational.

“All the risk as far as the tower maintenance, keeping everything afloat as far as tower rent, power, the responsibility is all on us,” said Steve Herman with NetWave Broadband. “We’re just asking for capital investment to provide service in the area and then we’ll take all management and everything over from that point.”

RDOF Bidders Mapped from CNS – any bidders if your area?

Cooperative Network Services (CNS) shares (via email) an interative map for RDOF bidder and eligible areas…

505 potential bidders filed the FCC’s short form application to bid.
We mapped most of them to help you identify who your potential auction competitors might be, based on the blocks they report on the FCC form 477.
While the map is not comprehensive, it does illustrate that there could be a lot of competition in the auction.
If you have any questions, please reply.
If you’re still looking for precise RDOF location counts, or need a hand with the technical review of an “incomplete” short form, please reach out.

Here are two screenshots that I hope will be helpful . On the left is RDOF short form applicant bidders and on the right they’ve overlayed the final RDOF eligible blocks.

You can learn more about the map by clicking on the info buttonon the top right. Here’s the small print from the website about the map. It’s a reminder that it’s not comprehensive but helpdul nonetheless. They also include a key to the specific providers shown in the map…

For more information, raw data, or RDOF location count assistance, please contact Paul Solsrud paul.solsrud@cooperative-networks.com

For fully interactive data, CNS provides the CNS Broadband Operations map which includes 477 data for the Midwest as well as many other layers including ACAM, CAF, RDOF, Study Areas, etc. More information can be found here: https://www.cooperative-networks.com/broadband-operations-map-app/

This map represents the reported serving areas (derived from the most recently released FCC 477 data) of most of the assumed smaller RDOF Short Form Applicants and potential bidders in the upcoming Rural Digital Opportunity Fund auction. The goal of this map is to help potential bidders understand which entities are likely to bid on RDOF Eligible Census Block Groups.

This map is made from a dissolved data set meaning that all reported serving areas have been dissolved and flattened into one layer on the map. In some cases, there may be multiple providers who serve an area. This map does not individual feature data for provider areas, and has also been tiled to improve performance, and thus clicking a map location does not identify the reported carrier.

Due to a variety of factors, this is not a comprehensive list of bidders. Price Cap carriers like Frontier, Centurylink, Consolidated, Verizon, Windstream,  are not included since they cover and surround the RDOF eligible areas. Of the 505 short form applicants, 166 were not readily matched to their reported 477 data. 27 of these were matched using additional sources. This leaves approximately 139 short form applicants as either being Price Cap, a part of a bidding consortium, a new market entrant, existing carriers using a new FRN, and or new or different holding company name, Satellite provider, large Cellular, etc.

Since it’s not possible to know which carriers may be included in a consortium, the areas identified in this map are not complete or comprehensive.

Some providers who do not appear on the map are providers who only recently have begun offering services and the 477 data does not reflect their recent build outs. Other providers like Charter use “CCO Holdings’” FRN for their short form application. Other providers used a variety of methods that appear to obfuscate who may be behind the bidding entity.

Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation ask people in South MN to take the MN Broadband speed test

Owatonna”s People’s Press reports…

outhern Minnesota Initiative Foundation is seeking input from community members in southern Minnesota to help define where broadband service is available and what speeds people are receiving. SMIF is partnering with the Minnesota Rural Broadband Coalition, among other partners, on this Minnesota Speed Test Initiative by asking people in its 20-county region to take a one-minute test.

The pandemic has highlighted how important access to broadband is for every Minnesotan now that more people are working, learning and receiving care from home. “There is no doubt that the lack of broadband in rural Minnesota hampers telework, distance learning and telehealth,” said Vince Robinson, Chair of the Minnesota Rural Broadband Coalition.

The speed test can be taken with any device that has an internet or cellular connection and takes less than one minute to complete. No personal information will be collected. For people who are unable to access the internet at all, please call 715-222-2824 to take the test. The test can be found at mnruralbroadbandcoalition.com/speedtest.

Kentucky Judge offers tips for getting folks to take a Broadband Speed Test – after seeing amazing results in his county

On Monday (Aug 17), Judge Joe Pat Covington of Georgetown Kentucky sent the following message to constituents…

Scott County Broadband Speed Test
We realize during this unprecedented time, the need for reliable, affordable internet service in all parts of our community is more important than ever.  Scott County Fiscal Court is working with a company called GEO Partners LLC to address this need.  We need your help to test the broadband speed and access throughout all parts of Scott County.

We are calling on all community members, including those with students in grades K-12 and citizens working from home, to complete a one-minute speed test.  The test can be done from any device connected to your broadband internet signal in your home.  Your participation is very important!  Please complete the internet speed test by 5:00pm on Tuesday, August 25, 2020.

Make sure your device is connected to your broadband service and no one in your household is streaming video or gaming at the time you conduct the test.  Disconnect from VPN if you use it to work from home.  For those individuals without broadband internet access in your home, the only thing you will have to do is enter the address of the home with no available service.

Take a one-minute speed test to help all of Scott County get reliable internet access.

CLICK HERE [NOTE: for speed readers like myself that’s a link to Kentucky’s speed test – here’s the Minnesota speed test]

He was hoping for 2,000 responses, although some guesswork went into that number. When I spoke to him a couple hours ago, they were at 3448. Wow! (IAbove is a map of their results from an earlier day.)

Scott County Kentucky is partnering with GEO Partners to do a countywide speed test – similar to Minnesota’s partnership with GEO Partners to do a statewide test.

(Sidenote: GEO Partners is hoping to create the national active and evolving statistically valid citizen broadband map! Which would be a cool counter to the FCC maps.)

I was so impressed with Kenticky’s numbers I had to ask for tips. It turns out Joe, now a judge, used to be a school principal, which explains a lot. Here are some of the things they have done:

  • Sent a mass test and email through the schools (with an easy link)
  • Used all of their social medis channels and outlets
  • Got some local TV coverage
  • Built upon the dire need in much of the county. People are hungry for broadband

I know some communities in Minnesota have tried these things; maybe others have not. Either way, I thought Kentucky’s story might inspire Minnesotans to push again. Make it your plan for the weekend – get two new people to take the Minnesota speed test. The greater the input, the greater the decision making.

And for folks working in the broadband world, Joe’s plan after this is to continue working with GEO Partners and once he gets the results and the analysis, he’s going to be looking for federal funding. Maybe we can help Minnesota help Kentucky if there are any grant writing readers looking for an opportunity.

 

What are Digital Navigators? They help your unconnected neighbor get online!

Earlier today I posted a video from a conversation with folks in Kanabec County and mentioned that ECMECC’s Marc Johnson spoke about working on Digital Navigators to help in their schools and students should education in the area go hybrid or distance again.

Then like a Baader-Meinhof knock on the door, the NDIA (National Digital Inclusion Alliance) send a link about their latest work on Digital Navigators.

What is a Digital Navigator?

Digital Navigators are individuals who address the whole digital inclusion process — home connectivity, devices, and digital skills — with community members through repeated interactions.

Navigators can be volunteers or cross-trained staff who already work in social service agencies, libraries, health, and more who offer remote and socially distant in-person guidance. Often at trusted community-based organizations, Digital Navigators are familiar with resources that relate to digital equity, and they help residents learn to use critical online services that provide guidance with food support, rent, education, employment, childcare, government benefits and more. They recommend resources and check back with the client.

NDIA is working with some groups to deploy and/or start Digital Navigator groups. And they are sharing the information they create and acquire in the process.

Want to know how MN is doing with broadband? Ask WI

Sometimes it’s hard to see ourselves clearly. Often a good way to assess how we’re doing is to listen in as our neighbors talk about us. Thanks to the Wausau Pilot & Review, we can do that. They are talking about ways to improve broadband in rural Wisconsin.  Minnesota comes up…

The Wisconsin government has done relatively little to help. From 2013-2019, the state funded about $20 million in grants for expansion of broadband, an amount experts say is less than negligible. In a similar time period, Minnesota shelled out more than $108 million in broadband expansion grants, and providers had to match those grants with another $146 million, said Eric Lightner, a spokesman for the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.

That’s a total of $255 million for broadband expansion in Minnesota, more than 10 times greater than Wisconsin’s investment. Now, about 16 percent of rural households in Minnesota lack access to high speed internet, Lightner said.

They talk about the frustration at the State level, where it seems politics may be standing in the way of getting things done and they offer some steps a community can take at the municipal, state and federal level to improve access. The very abridged version sounds things we hear about in Minnesota: look at local investment in infrastructure, contact your legislator to demand more and improve maps.

Range Association of Municipalities and Schools (RAMS) Working on better broadband in St Louis County

KBJR Channel 6 reports…

RAMS sent out a survey to districts across Northern Minnesota to determine how many families were lacking much-needed internet service.

The pandemic is forcing many to now learn from home which is proving to be an issue for families in rural communities.

Steve Giorgi, Executive Director of RAMS said there are many solutions that could help expand the access that they are researching.

“We’re getting student’s addresses. We’re able to plot that on a map and try to look at, can we place some towers, or are there existing towers in a geographical area where we can provide some wireless broadband connection?” said Giorgi.

RAMS is encouraging families to conduct a speed test for their internet connection ahead of the school year.

You can find more information on speed tests or check your connection here.

RAMS was an early adopter and proponent of the statewide speed testing – now everyone in Minnesota is encouraged to take the broadband speed test.

Aug 11: Blandin Broadband Leadership Roundtable on MN Broadband Coalition and speed test

A message from the Blandin Foundation…

Join Blandin Foundation on Zoom Tuesday morning at 9:00 am for our Broadband Roundtable conversation. This week, Nathan Zacharias of the Minnesota Rural Broadband Coalition will discuss how communities and counties can best make use of the statewide broadband speed test opportunity.

You can register for this and future Roundtables here.

 

Lake Shore City to seek bids from providers to extend broadband (Cass County)

Pine and Lakes Echo Journal reports…

Continuing work started three years ago to provide better internet service in underserved areas, the Lake Shore City Council agreed Monday, July 27, to seek bids from providers for improved broadband in the city.

Council member John Terwilliger cast the only “no” vote. After hearing from Pequot Lakes School Board member Susan Mathison-Young during the meeting, which everyone attended online via Zoom, Terwilliger said the city should table any action for a month to wait for more information to be gathered regarding programs available to help improve broadband access.

Other council members agreed the city could seek proposals from broadband providers while exploring other programs at the same time.

City Administrator Teri Hastings said COVID-19 funds the city receives could be used toward broadband services. The first step, she said, is to get an idea of what it would take to build out areas of Lake Shore that are currently underserved. The city planned to seek bids from CTC, TDS and Charter Communications, internet providers in the Lake Shore area.

Hastings also said Sylvan Township is receiving additional money from Cass County for broadband.

“So there are some options out there to help improve broadband for the community,” Hastings said.

Mathison-Young said areas underserved by broadband is a problem throughout the state, not just in Lake Shore. She said 28% of all Minnesota students have internet issues, and businesses and groups are working with state government to bring broadband to those rural students who are underserved.

She advised the council to wait to seek bids from providers until more information is gathered about programs designed to help with this issue. Also, she said Thursday, July 30, the state will have a better idea of what schooling will look like this fall with an announcement by Gov. Tim Walz.

“If some is digital curriculum, which is a strong possibility, this has to be ready to go,” she said.

 

Dakota County plans for CARES and Broadband (Meeting Aug 4)

If you have an interest in what’s happening in Dakota County or you just want to hear/see what another county is doing, you might consider attending the discussion (online and in person) in Dakota County

WHEREAS, Dakota County is committed to be a high-performing organization for the citizens of the County; and

WHEREAS, the Workshop will be an opportunity for the County Board to discuss Broadband; and

WHEREAS, staff recommends holding a workshop to allow staff to receive direction from the County Board on Broadband.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, That the Dakota County Board of Commissioners hereby schedules a County Board Workshop for Tuesday, August 4, 2020, following the General Government and Policy Committee, in the Boardroom, Administration Center, 1590 Highway 55, Hastings, MN, or via telephone or other electronic means if necessary due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic to receive comments on staff direction for Broadband.

You can learn a little more about their plan (easier to read on their site)

Update On Process And Timeline For Potential COVID-19 Related Broadband Expansion Using CARES Act Funding

PURPOSE/ACTION REQUESTED
Provide an update on the process and timeline in developing COVID-19 related Broadband Expansion in Dakota County.
SUMMARY
The County is interested in learning about potential opportunities to invest CARES Act funds to better support our residents to engage in remote learning, work from home, and other activities that require a robust network of connectivity and to better meet the public service needs revealed by the pandemic. Dakota County requires broadband infrastructure built out to serve the unserved and underserved. The County is interested in exploring all technologies available to address the unserved and underserved areas of the County (Attachment A). These areas can be large or small geographically or in population.
The County will mail letters of interest (Attachment B) to all service providers (Attachment C) in the County asking them to respond with project areas that can be built out to better serve the residents of the County. Submissions must specify the unserved or underserved area(s) to be addressed, the total cost and funds requested from the County, and the timeline including the firm completion date. The Information Technology (IT) Department will review and recommend the best potential projects and setup meetings to fully develop project plans.
Proposed Time Line:
July 28, 2020 – send Letters of Interest to all service providers
August 12, 2020 – deadline for receipt of responses
Week ending August 21, 2020 reviewing responses
Request Board approval in September
Contracts for approved projects executed September
October/November buildout
Payment before December 1st
County IT will update the board with specific project locations, cost and project schedules.
RECOMMENDATION
Information only; no action requested.
EXPLANATION OF FISCAL/FTE IMPACTS
Funding for any projects, if approved, would be expected to use CARES Act funds with an amount to be
determined.

And a look at the letter that is going out…

DATE: July 28, 2020
TO: Interested Parties
FROM: Dan Cater, Chief Information Officer
SUBJECT: Broadband Connectivity within Dakota County borders
Dakota County Government has an interest in expanding high speed internet throughout Dakota County as the COVID-19 situation has illustrated the need for faster more reliable connectivity for our citizens, business, and other agencies.
The County is interested in learning about potential opportunities to invest CARES Act funds to better support our residents to engage in remote learning, work from home, and other activities that require a robust network of connectivity and to better meet the public service needs revealed by the pandemic.
Dakota County requires broadband infrastructure built out to serve the unserved and underserved. The County is interested in exploring all technologies available to address the unserved and underserved areas of the County. These areas can be large or small geographically or in population.
Attached is the most recent service inventory map produced by the State of Minnesota Deed Office of Broadband. CARES Act requires an aggressive timeline. Submissions must specify the unserved or underserved area(s) to be addressed, the total cost and funds requested from the County, and the timeline including the firm completion date. Work and payment need to be completed before
December 1st of this year. A high-level timeline is below:
– July 28th – letter soliciting proposals/plans
– August 12
th – deadline for receipt of responses
– Week ending August 21st review responses, setting up zoom meetings
– Request Board approval in September
– Contracts executed in September
– October/November buildout
– Payment before December 1st
Please let us know if you have an interest in discussing in providing a solution by contacting
Dan.Ferber@co.dakota.mn.us or Dan.Cater@co.dakota.mn.us.

Dakota County is always generous with public access to documents, which I think can be a gift to counties with fewer staff working on broadband.