Broadband Mapping: Blandin Broadband Leadership Webinar Archive

Thanks to the presenters and attendees for joining the latest Blandin Broadband Leadership Webinar: Broadband Mapping. Here we have the description, video archive, slides and chat transcript (get handouts)…

Join community broadband champions from across the state on Tuesday, April 14 at 9 am CDT to learn how maps and mapping tools are essential to community broadband planning and project development.  Diane Wells of MN DEED’s Office of Broadband Development will show how to access standard maps and data from the DEED website.  She will also demonstrate the capacity to build your own customer broadband maps using the interactive mapping system.  Diane will also talk about how the OBD staff handle disputes regarding actual broadband service levels compared to the information displayed on the maps which is critically important to the eligibility and competitiveness of prospective grant applications.

Glenn Fishbine of Geospatial Engineering & Optimization (GEO) will showcase his company’s GIS capabilities for broadband deployment planning.  The dynamic system combines geographic data, broadband construction data and ISP operational data from many public and private sources to analyze prospective broadband deployment financial models.  Communities can work with GEO to quickly come to general findings about the need for financial incentives necessary to support various deployment schemes.  Glenn will also demonstrate their ability to quickly launch and map data obtained from widespread community Internet speed testing.

And the chat:

  • 00:43:47              Dave and Bert Klimas:     Does it show population data?
  • 00:46:03              Bill Coleman:      the state maps do not show population but they do show the population density of unserved areas
  • 00:48:38              George Phillips:  is this map open to the public?
  • 00:50:50              Mary Magnuson:              yes it is!
  • 00:51:12              Bill Coleman:      google deed old maps
  • 00:51:56              Bill Coleman:      Sorry – DEED OBD maps
  • 01:17:36              BERNADINE JOSELYN:     question for Glenn: What are the best strategies for getting residents to participate in your crowd sourcing efforts?
  • 01:22:49              Dave and Bert Klimas:     I’ve used several community Facebook pages to ask people to run speed tests — and I told them why I was interested in it.
  • 01:24:11              Mary Magnuson:              The St. Louis County survey link is traveling around Facebook – I’ve seen friends sharing the link daily!

A wake up call on the importance of broadband mapping from Doug Dawson

Doug Dawson asks, “Are You Covered by the RDOF Grant?” But what he’s really saying is if you live in an area that doesn’t qualify for RDOF funding, yet needs better broadband, you are probably in trouble. There are a few other options that he mentioned but at the end of the day he’s emphatic…

If your neighborhood has poor broadband and isn’t covered by these grants, then you need to yell bloody murder to anybody and everybody. Complain to local, state and federal politicians. The fact is that if your neighborhood isn’t on these maps, or isn’t covered by a few other existing grant programs, then you are not likely to be getting broadband with federal grant assistance any time soon. You aren’t going to be alone and there are millions of other rural residents in this same situation – so join forces and shout until there is a solution.

He offers help figuring out if you qualify…

You can zoom in on this map to see if your home or business will be covered by this giant grant program.

And he details some of the other options. But if those don’t work out, you’ll want to be talking to your neighbors about how important this is to you. Is it important enough to start making noise?

EVENT April 16: Blandin Community Broadband Leadership Webinar – Ownership Models and Provider Partnerships

For many communities, turning a community broadband vision into a real project depends on their ability to determine if and how to partner with an existing broadband provider.  For many communities, identifying a quality partner speeds project deployment and reduces financial and political risk.  A partnership can range from active community endorsement, to financial contributions in the form of a grant or a loan, to actual community ownership of all or some of the network components with a lease agreement with the selected provider(s).

Community ownership of the physical network may provide long-term benefits that help a community achieve their vision.  Public network ownership can provide for enhanced choice of broadband providers, can enable deployment of Smart City applications around street lighting, public safety, and sewer and water utility operations as well as future 5G deployment.

CTC, a broadband cooperative in Brainerd, is active in multiple community broadband partnerships.  Joe Buttweiler, who leads CTC’s community partnership efforts, will showcase several public-private partnership examples joined by Rick Utecht of Todd County Development Corporation and Jon Rademacher of the City of Little Falls.  Each community has formed a unique partnership to bring fiber-based broadband to their communities.

This is the sixth of ten Blandin webinars on community broadband planning.

EVENT April 14: Blandin Community Broadband Leadership Webinar – Broadband Mapping

Join community broadband champions from across the state on Tuesday, April 14 at 9 am CDT to learn how maps and mapping tools are essential to community broadband planning and project development.  Diane Wells of MN DEED’s Office of Broadband Development will show how to access standard maps and data from the DEED website.  She will also demonstrate the capacity to build your own customer broadband maps using the interactive mapping system.  Diane will also talk about how the OBD staff handle disputes regarding actual broadband service levels compared to the information displayed on the maps which is critically important to the eligibility and competitiveness of prospective grant applications.

Glenn Fishbine of Geospatial Engineering & Optimization (GEO) will showcase his company’s GIS capabilities for broadband deployment planning.  The dynamic system combines geographic data, broadband construction data and ISP operational data from many public and private sources to analyze prospective broadband deployment financial models.  Communities can work with GEO to quickly come to general findings about the need for financial incentives necessary to support various deployment schemes.  Glenn will also demonstrate their ability to quickly launch and map data obtained from widespread community Internet speed testing.

This is the fifth of ten Blandin webinars on community broadband planning.

Broadband Communities highlights Scott County’s history of broadband partners

We want community broadband projects to read like a short story. The community realizes a need, they meet a partner, the get married, I mean connected, and like happily ever after. And sometimes it can happen that way and sometimes there are a lot more chapters to the story. It read more like an epic journey – not ups and downs necessarily, just not linear.

Scott County has an epic story and it was recently featured in Broadband Communities through a lens of tracing the partnerships with the county. The article is informative and inspirational, particularly to anyone is a similar boat or starting on a journey. Rather than try to retell it, I thought I’d try to pull out a timeline with a strong recommendation that you check out the article

  • 2002: works with school district and the county seat of Shakopee to build a hub-and-spoke network connecting public facilities.
  • 2007: Minnesota Emergency Safety Board decided to upgrade the county 911 system – Scott goes fiber
  • 2008: Using public-safety grant money in combination with tax-levy dollars, Scott County implemented a countywide fiber ring with Zayo
  • 2009: expanded westward to join the Carver County network and swapped two fibers for two of Carver County’s fibers And in other directions with other providers
  • 2015: enters into a joint-build partnership with the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community that saved hundreds of thousands of dollars for both parties

All of this and they are still working on plans for the future!

St Louis County – take a minute for a broadband speed test!

This is a great use of stay at home orders – get people to take a broadband speed test to help the county get a clear picture of what is currently available in the community…

St. Louis County in partnership with the Range Association of Municipalities & Schools (RAMS) is pleased to announce the formal public kickoff of a crowdsourcing project covering all of St. Louis County.  This broadband speed testing initiative is being conducted by GEO Partners, LLC during a time when more people are at home per the Governor’s “Stay at Home” directive. This includes over 30,000 students (K-12) as well as parents required to work from home and thus should provide the most comprehensive, accurate accumulation of actual broadband speeds ever conducted in the County while demand on the system is highest.

The data collected via a one minute speed test can be conducted from any device connected to your broadband signal including cell phones and will result in statistically valid data and mapping. This data will then enable any locale in St. Louis County to utilize the validated information for a broadband expansion project and seek grant funding from the FCC, USDA or Border to Border state program. We anticipate a higher than normal volume of participation, partially because of all the students who are struggling to stay connected to their E Learning while living in rural areas in the county.

RAMS, as an organization has been a strong advocate for broadband expansion across the region.  RAMS’ and St. Louis County Commissioners, recognize that high speed quality broadband is a critical utility to economic development, education, business and virtual healthcare.  RAMS is grateful to the partnership with St. Louis County on this project and encourages everyone to TAKE THE TEST and SHARE THE LINK https://expressoptimizer.net/public/   TAKE IT NOW! Your participation is important and no personal information will be collected.

For further comment Steve Giorgi – RAMS Executive Director is available via Zoom or by phone (sgiorgi@ramsmn.org 218.780.8877) or Matthew Johnson Director of Planning & Community Development  JohnsonM12@stlouiscountymn.gov  or phone (218) 725-5008
or County Board Chairman Michael Jugovich  jugovichm@stlouiscountymn.gov   218.969.4323

Community Broadband Surveys: Blandin Broadband Leadership Webinar Archive

Thanks to the presenters and attendees for joining the latest Blandin Broadband Leadership Webinar: Community Broadband Surveys. Here we have the description, video archive, slides and chat transcript (get handouts discussed in the webinar)…

The fourth of ten webinars – Community Broadband Surveys – over the next five weeks is April 9 at 9 am CDT.  Join Doug Dawson of CCG Consulting, Tom Johnson, County Coordinator for Nobles County and Nancy Hoffman, Executive Director of the Chisago County EDA/HRA as they talk about best practices in designing, implementing and interpreting community broadband surveys.

Online chat Continue reading

Clearfield announces Home Deployment Kits to Streamline FTTH Ad minimize customer interaction in time of social distancing

This is a little more industry than I usually post – but I think it’s interesting in an era of social distancing and Clearfield is a Minnesota company; they report

Clearfield, Inc. (NASDAQ:CLFD), the specialist in fiber management for communication service providers, today announced the introduction of Home Deployment Kits. Designed to streamline and ease the task of FTTH deployment, Home Deployment Kits include everything you need to connect a home to fiber — all in one box. Clearfield’s Home Deployment Kits can reduce install time by 30 minutes per install. For carriers looking to deploy a fiber network to 1,000 homes over the next year, this equates to a time savings of 500 hours with a lower-cost per install team. For those consumers willing to take a do-it-yourself approach, the Home Deployment Kit enables a contactless installation keeping residents and fiber technicians at a safe distance.

Blandin Broadband Leadership Webinar – Broadband 101 Archive

Thanks to the presenters and attendees for joining the latest Blandin Broadband Leadership Webinar: Broadband 101.  Here we have the description, video archive, slides when available and chat transcript (get handouts discussed in the webinar)…

The third of ten webinars – Broadband 101 – over the next five weeks is April 7 at 9 a.m. CDT.  Join Carl Meyerhoefer of Calix and Tim Johnson of MVTV Wireless as they share their expertise in helping to create and spread a shared broadband vision in their area.

And chat Continue reading

NEO becomes GEO and can help with strategic hotspot placements

I just got an update from GEOspatial Engineering & Optimization (GEO, formerly NEO) about how they can help schools and other pick the most strategic placement of hotpots based on surrounding households. I know many schools (and perhaps others) have been racing to use hotpots to get better broadband to those who need it as quickly as possible to help people keep learning and earning and living online during the coronavirus threat. Here’s what they offer…

When we do an RF design study, we have the option to locate optimum places for hotspots and identify the number of households that are covered by them.

 

This was originally designed around Ruckus equipment, but the Cisco Aironet series will work with this model.  We would recommend 2.5 and 5 ghz channels be set to the 200mw setting and using the 6 db antennas.

 

The base display shows, based on a cutoff, in this case, of 10 households within wifi range, where we should place the hotspots.  These are the purple dots.

We can see alternative locations for hotspots indicating the # of households and hotspots required to service them.  By placing the mouse over a dot, we see the number of hotspots required in that area, the square miles of that area, and the number of households served.

 

We then can come up with an optimal installation strategy – minimizing distance traveled between each installation, shown both as waypoints, and as a route map.

EVENT April 9: Blandin Broadband Leadership Webinar – Community Broadband Surveys

As the need for better broadband everywhere becomes more evident every day, are you – as an elected official, government staff or concerned citizen – wondering how to get your community or county on the right path to fixing the problem?  Would you like a better understanding of how to organize your area, select the right technology, attract the right project partners and obtain the necessary project, including grants, funding?  The Blandin Broadband Leadership Webinar Series is for you.

The fourth of ten webinars – Community Broadband Surveys – over the next five weeks is April 9 at 9 am CDT.  Join Doug Dawson of CCG Consulting, Tom Johnson, County Coordinator for Nobles County and Nancy Hoffman, Executive Director of the Chisago County EDA/HRA as they talk about best practices in designing, implementing and interpreting community broadband surveys.

  • Doug has operated a number of ISPs and is a highly regarded community broadband consultant. Understanding the marketplace – who wants the service, what will they pay and who is the competition – is a critical requirement for successful broadband projects.  Doug will provide an overview of the entire survey process, including discussing the importance of the survey questions, the different ways to implement and promote the survey and results analysis.
  • Tom Johnson will talk about their experience in survey implementation in Nobles County and how the results led to successful broadband deployment. Tom will discuss the value in having key stakeholders participate in and promote the survey.
  • Nancy will explain the different survey approaches used to build community support for broadband and to attract broadband provider interest to invest in Chisago County.

Click here to complete the week two pre-webinar survey. Your responses will help inform the presentations and kick-off the Q&A.
Handouts:
Week Two Worksheets.
Corning Fiber Optics
Next Century Cities Toolkit (or download the PDF)
WISPA Graphic
Broadband Now
Maine Broadband Institute Guidebook 

Join us by clicking here.

EVENT April 7: Blandin Broadband Leadership Webinar – Broadband 101

As the need for better broadband everywhere becomes more evident every day, are you – as an elected official, government staff or concerned citizen – wondering how to get your community or county on the right path to fixing the problem?  Would you like a better understanding of how to organize your area, select the right technology, attract the right project partners and obtain the necessary project, including grants, funding?  The Blandin Broadband Leadership Webinar Series is for you.

The third of ten webinars – Broadband 101 – over the next five weeks is April 7 at 9 a.m. CDT.  Join Carl Meyerhoefer of Calix and Tim Johnson of MVTV Wireless as they share their expertise in helping to create and spread a shared broadband vision in their area.

  • Carl will provide an overview of fiber optic networks, including technology choices between passive optical networks (PON) and Ethernet and considerations in deciding whether to bury fiber or hang it from existing poles. He will also inform attendees about the prospective benefits of publicly owned networks to support future innovation.
  • Tim will discuss the various flavors of wireless technologies, including information on the varying capabilities of different radio spectrum in terms of bandwidth and distance. He will also discuss about the prospective impact of 5G in rural areas.
  • Together, they will talk about the mutuality of fiber and wireless technologies so as to connect people in a variety of ways for various purposes.

Click here to complete the week two pre-webinar survey. Your responses will help inform the presentations and kick-off the Q&A.
Handouts:
Week Two Worksheets.
Corning Fiber Optics
Next Century Cities Toolkit (or download the PDF)
WISPA Graphic
Broadband Now
Maine Broadband Institute Guidebook 

Join us by clicking here https://zoom.us/j/308862200 or typing 308 862 200 in the Zoom mobile app.

Setting the Vision: Blandin Broadband Leadership Webinar Archive

Thanks to the presenters and attendees for joining the latest Blandin Broadband Leadership Webinar: Setting the Vision. Here we have the description, video archive, slides when available and chat transcript (get handouts discussed in the session here)…

The second of ten webinars over the next five weeks is April 2 at 9 a.m. CDT.  Join Bernadine Joselyn, Blandin’s Director of Public Policy and Engagement, Rich Sve, Lake County Commissioner, Mark Erickson, citizen volunteer from south central Minnesota and Betsy Olivanti from Minnesota’s Iron Range as they share their expertise in helping to create and spread a shared broadband vision in their area.

And chat that happened during the session Continue reading

EVENT April 2: Blandin Broadband Leadership Webinar Series: Setting the Vision

As the need for better broadband everywhere becomes more evident every day, are you – as an elected official, government staff or concerned citizen – wondering how to get your community or county on the right path to fixing the problem?  Would you like a better understanding of how to organize your area, select the right technology, attract the right project partners and obtain the necessary project, including grants, funding?  The Blandin Broadband Leadership Webinar Series is for you.

The second of ten webinars over the next five weeks is April 2 at 9 a.m. CDT.  Join Bernadine Joselyn, Blandin’s Director of Public Policy and Engagement, Rich Sve, Lake County Commissioner, Mark Erickson, citizen volunteer from south central Minnesota and Betsy Olivanti from Minnesota’s Iron Range as they share their expertise in helping to create and spread a shared broadband vision in their area.

  • Bernadine will discuss the importance of vision in creating and reaching policy goals here in Minnesota and across the world. She will demonstrate how important words can be in spurring world-class broadband or accepting lesser choices.
  • As a Lake County commissioner, Rich has seen the value of setting a high standard for broadband deployment and the benefits that achieving the vision has brought to the rugged wilderness of his area. Widespread acceptance of the vision allowed the community to stay the course in spite of many challenges to the project.
  • Mark Erickson will describe how collaboration among ten small cities allowed RS Fiber Cooperative to form and build fiber to the home in two counties and provide high-speed, fiber-fed wireless services across very rural farm country.
  • Betsy Olivanti has helped to lead a cross-Iron Range effort involving two large scale feasibility studies stretching from Hibbing to Ely. An ad hoc grass-roots group of community activists has worked to build elected leader support at all levels – township, city, county and legislative leaders – moving broadband to the top of the region’s policy agenda.

Please Click here to complete the week one pre-webinar survey. Your responses will help inform the presentations and kick-off the Q&A.

Webinar Handouts
– The Broadband Development Process
– Worksheets (webinars 1 & 2)
– Community Broadband Infrastructure and Services Assessment Tool

Join us by clicking here: https://zoom.us/j/829313397 Pre-registration is not required.

For information about the webinar series: https://blandinfoundation.org/programs/expanding-opportunity/broadband/blandin-community-broadband-program-webinar-series/

Blandin Broadband Leadership Webinar Series Overview Archive

Thanks to the presenters and attendees for joining the inaugural Blandin Broadband Leadership Webinar. Here we have the video archive, slides when available and chat transcript…

And chat Continue reading