Minnesota Broadband and Biz: July 2013

by Ann Treacy


Blandin Foundation_1In a report to the FCC, the Leading Education by Advancing Digital (LEAD) Commission called broadband access imperative for education of students and future of the US. Yet despite reports such as these, Connect Minnesota reports that 22 percent of Minnesotans (age 18 and older) do not subscribe to home broadband service.

Citing lack of relevance, or the belief that home broadband service is not beneficial or useful to them, were the top two reasons for not adopting.

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

  • Bernadine Joselyn from the Blandin Foundation is featured on Gigabit Radio talking about measuring the impact of broadband on economic development with the Minnesota Intelligent Rural Communities (MIRC) program.
  • Dr. Cable Green, keynote for the Minnesota eLearning Summit, speaks about online curriculum and the need to change entirely how school textbooks are produced and distributed to save school millions of dollars and provide the best access to information and education.
  • Fond du Lac plans to bring small businesses together to receive training and hands-on experience to show business owners how to research, purchase, market and sell online.
  • The Lac qui Parle Valley school district heads a Blandin Broadband Community effort to expand broadband in the area. Increasing broadband hotspots and working with the school are two approaches they are taking.
  • The USDA’s Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grant Program issues a Notice of Funding. Eligible applicants must operate a rural community facility or deliver telemedicine or distance learning services to an organization that operates such a facility. Applications are due August 12.
  • The State of Minnesota is hiring a Director for the Office of Broadband Development; deadline to apply is August 12.
  • The Minnesota Broadband Task Force monthly meeting features broadband providers talking about their investments and business plans for broadband in their areas. ROI is a deciding factor.
  • Mediacom Upgrades Broadband Service in 22 rural Minnesota Counties.
  • Chaska.net (a community run broadband service provider) is reconsidering its operations as upgrades are required to their infrastructure.
  • Arrowhead Electric Coop reports updates on fiber construction in Cook County.
  • Just two months after signing their first provider, AccessEagan signs its third telecommunications carrier, opening up new broadband options for local businesses.