MIRC Video: Public Private Partnerships for Broadband

Throughout the MIRC (Minnesota Intelligent Rural Communities) initiative, participants and invited experts in broadband community development were asked to give presentations on their projects. This week we are going to be sharing some of the videos. The goals of each video was to share lessons learned. Hopefully these lessons will be helpful to others looking to promote better broadband in their communities. I want to note that the intention was to share info; the idea of providing a public archive came later – so it might help to think of these as podcasts more than videos.

In this video Bill Coleman of Community Technology Advisors talks about successful models of public private partnerships.

Post-Conference and Extra-Conference Events

The 2011 broadband conference ended with a couple of post-conference sessions. A couple of the vendors gave Broadband 101 Product Demonstrations (thank you Calix, KPG Logistics, MP Nexlevel, CSI Digital and Power & Tel) and Ben Damman spoke about Duluth’s experience attracting Google attention in the question for the Google Gig. The MIRC communities met with Robert Bell to talk about Intelligent Communities. Throughout the conference PCs for People refurbished computers for attendees to bring back to their hometowns to donate to local folks in need. You can learn more from Casey Sorenson below:

It was a nice cap to what I heard several people say it was the best broadband conference yet!

Border to Border Broadband Learning Stations

Folks who have attended a Minnesota Rural Summit will be familiar with the concept of the Learning Stations. The idea is to have several mini-sessions available and have folks attend sessions together in a sub-group. It’s a fun way to learn about a few projects. It might whet your appetite for a new interest or might confirm something you already know. I know in my group I learned at least as much from the questions from my group buddies as the session themselves, which is a comment on the good questions.

Also in the sessions I really saw the diversity of attendees. I was with a couple of librarians, a research policy person and a super techie. Yet the sessions offered something for everyone. It demonstrated to me that we’re at a place in Minnesota where deployment and adoption are part of the equation for moving forward.

Here are the topics of the Learning Stations (get more details)…

1. Cook County: Fiber Optics Through the Forest
2. Fiber To The Premise in Southwest Minnesota
3. Greater Minnesota Broadband Collaborative
4. Bringing Fiber to the Premise in Rural Minnesota: A Private/ Public Partnership
5. Halstad Telephone Broadband Stimulus Project
6. Fiber To The Premise in Lake County
7. Integrating Computer Literacy and ELL with Urban and Rural Latinos
8. Northeast Minnesota’s Middle Mile Fiber Project
9. Learner Web – A New Tool Supporting Digital Inclusion
10. Broadband Access: Engaging Diverse Communities
11. Todd County Planning for the Future
12. Connect Anoka County Community Broadband Network

Understanding Minnesota’s Broadband Landscape: An Overview of the Connect Minnesota Project

Conference co-hosts Connect Minnesota presented their online tools and recently refurbished web site to the crowd at the 2011 Border to Border Broadband Conference.

Connect Minnesota has a collection of the mapping and tools available. Last summer they did a phone-based survey with residents focusing on broadband use; they also have an ongoing project mapping broadband access in the state. Here’s more info on bother from their website:

Consumer Broadband Adoption Trends
Connect Minnesota has conducted a survey of 3,032 residents across the state to see if they access broadband, and if so, how they are using it. In addition, we have conducted the largest state-level survey of people who do not subscribe to broadband to see what is preventing them from joining the digital community. Get more info by visiting the site to check out their interactive infographic.

Broadband Landscape
The Connect Minnesota mapping initiative is working closely with broadband providers from across the state to develop a variety of broadband inventory maps for public use.

36 Ways to use 100 Mbps

The second day of the 2011 Minnesota Broadband Conference started with a glimpse of the future from students from St Scholastica. They had worked with their teacher (Tom Gibbons) to come up with – A Vision of the Future: 36 Ways to use 100 Mbps. It was fun to hear their examples of how students are using technology now…

Minnesota Broadband – the musical

In the evening we had a fun time creating a song to celebrate broadband with the help of Grammy & Emmy nominated, CMA & ACM award winning hit songwriter-facilitator Billy Kirsch. Words can’t really do justice – you’ll just have to listen or you can get the lyrics