Minnesota Broadband and Biz – August 2013

by Ann Treacy

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Blandin-Foundation_1According to a recent article in the Daily Yonder broadband has a positive impact on median household income, employment and number of local businesses. The Daily Yonder also reported on the gap between rural and urban access.

For example, in Minnesota four percent of urban areas have no access to wireline broadband; in rural areas 26.6 percent lack access to wireline broadband.

In the last month, the Blandin on Broadband blog highlighted stories on broadband providers and broadband in the business community:

  • Thief River Falls Mayor Jim Dagg talks about how technology and participation in Blandin Foundation’s broadband adoption project has improved the local quality of life.
  • Minnesota High Speed Broadband Task Force Chair Margaret Anderson Kelliher speaks publicly against the telecommunications equipment sales tax. In the last session, Legislatures revoked a sales tax exemption on telecommunications equipment.
  • Verizon is testing wireless-only access in communities such as Fire Island. Local residents and businesses are unhappy with results. Communities around the US are watching.
  • Red Wing Ignite hosts an open house to celebrate their efforts to promote and support Gigabit broadband use.
  • A Duluth resident pleads guilty to a gross misdemeanor after he threatened to blow up a Charter Communications office in Duluth last summer because was upset about his internet service.
  • Blandin Foundation is named one of the FTTH Top 100 by Broadband Communities Magazine.
  • Kansas City Digital Inclusion Fund debuted with an event that featured Minnesota’s own Lac qui Parle Computer Commuter, a mini-bus outfitted with computers and broadband access to provide access and training to LqP County residents.
  • The community-owned fiber network in Monticello offers to buyout bondholders at a price greater than what their bonds are currently worth but not close to original value, in exchange from their releasing the city from further obligations under the bonds.

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