At the monthly Minnesota Broadband Task Force meeting, Task Force members heard about the role that broadband could, maybe should, have in helping the Department of Human Services provide health care services to older Minnesotans in a way that keeps them in their homes longer.
It seems to have set off a trend in several sectors; broadband is infrastructure that can help businesses make money and help other sectors save money. In the last month, the Blandin on Broadband blog highlighted several stories related to Minnesota broadband policy and the business of broadband.
- Community leaders ask the Legislature to invest in the future of Minnesota with education from Legislation has been introduced to allow for online noncredit classes in Minnesota.
- Legislators hear about the need for increased technology training to support Minnesota jobs that are going unfilled.
- Rep. Mary Franson (R-Alexandria) sponsors legislation that would prevent employees from having to provide their social media passwords to employers as a condition of employment.
- Grassroots campaign promotes broadband advocate Susan Crawford for next Chair of the FCC.
Business of Broadband:
- Speculators look at CenturyLink’s business model as residential telephone services becomes less profitable, especially in rural areas.
- Arrowhead Electric Cooperative provides a brief history on their efforts to bring fiber to the North Shore as their installation of dark fiber is nearly complete.
- Farmers Mutual Telephone offers Fiber to the Premise services in Dawson, MN through network built with ARRA funding.
- Verizon is offering a new broadband service that provides connectivity for up to 20 Wi-Fi enabled devices and 4 wired devices at 4G LTE speeds. Available primarily in metro locations.
- Research indicates that broadband customers are migrating to faster speed tiers and receiving faster speeds than ever before, sometimes seeing speeds that exceed speeds advertised.
Broadband Supports Growth in All Sectors:
- Teachers are using technology in the classroom but there is discrepancy in availability and access based on socioeconomic standing of students.
- Patients in Cook County prepare to move health care management online with a new patient-center portal that promotes good health.
- Memorial Health Services in Dawson, MN support patients in rural areas with a growing range of e-services.
- Patrons are going to the library to get online and get books. It seems as if libraries and the Internet are here to stay, especially to support low income households.