MN East (Iron) Range Broadband Feasibility Study Presentation: lessons for the area and beyond

Thanks to Karl Schuetter from the Northspan Group for sending me info on the recent East Range Broadband Feasibility Study Presentation. It’s clearly helpful to anyone in the area but helpful to folks in different areas too. Listen to what might be similar in your community and what differentiates your situation. That will help you recognize your assets and “areas for improvement.” Honestly it really helps to see what other communities are dealing with to see your own community more clearly and it’s inspiring to hear the good questions from community members and the plans to approach decisions makers to make things happen!

(And if you have similar to share from your community – please send it my way!)

The presentation looks at:

  • Why Local Governments are Investing in Broadband
  • Lessons learned from the pandemic
  • Existing services and providers
  • Models for gigabit service (costs and financial help)
  • Next steps

From their site…

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. Watch the video of the event here!

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!

Franconia is working on getting better broadband – with an impressive community input proposal

Franconia has been working on getting better broadband. They have a Franconia Township Communications Committee on Broadband. They got funding from Blandin (combined with County and Township investment) to do a feasibility study, where the surveyed community members and looked at options for better broadband. They used that to create a broadband proposal that they shared earlier this month at the monthly Franconia town hall meeting where the township supervisors voted 3-0 on moving forward to partner with CTC to apply for the state boarder to boarder broadband grant.  If approved, this will bring rural Franconia Township residents fiber.

Chisago County Press reports…

People who live in Franconia Township are all about getting more fiber into their lives– fiber optic that is.

About 50 citizens attending a townhall supervisor meeting August 13 were able to exit happy,  after Franconia Township supervisors passed a resolution 3-0 expressing official support to applying for state Border to Border grants earmarked for upgrading Internet services.

An Internet citizens group represented at last week’s meeting by Angel Phillips Permaloff, Wade Vitalis, Dan Omdahl and Aaron Froberg–is working with a Minnesota telecommunications cooperative, CTC.  The company has been around since 1950 and is motivated to add high capacity and high speed service territory covering both Chisago Lake Township and Franconia.

Franconia’s current sole Internet provider is Frontier Communications of MN.  In a just-completed survey, township property owners registered little satisfaction with Frontier Internet.  Even more disheartening is Frontier doesn’t seem to care, according to anecdotes shared during last week’s meeting.

Now their citizen lead communications committee is hosting a township broadband dinner at Bloom Lake Barn on September 5th from 6pm-8pm. It’s an opportunity for community members to come, ask questions and learn more. I think it’s a great way to build community support. I plan to attend and will report back.