Minnesota Broadband and Biz: May 2012

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Blandin FoundationBy Ann Treacy,

Last fall, broadband analyst Craig Settles published a survey of economic developers indicating that 58% of rural respondents either have broadband strategies and tactics worked into their economic development plans, or are writing plans currently with these elements.

With that in mind, it’s interesting to see how broadband is having an impact in rural areas. Currently there seem to be at least three potential revenue streams born of broadband:

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Akamai State of the Internet – Where is Minnesota?

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By Ann Treacy, Blandin on Broadband

“The latest Akamai report on global broadband speeds and rankings is out – based on Q4 2011 research. The news isn’t great for the US, it’s even worse for Minnesota.

…The report looks at global ranking and ranking by geography. Minnesota is not listed – not once. In the past we have occasionally ranked. Minnesota Broadband buffs will know that part of the Minnesota Broadband Bill was an aspiration to be a national and world broadband leader.”

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Minnesota Broadband and Biz: April 2012

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Blandin FoundationBy Ann Treacy

Many Minnesota high tech companies convened in Minneapolis for the Minnesota High Tech Association Spring Conference last week. Broadband was in the air as Margaret Anderson Kelliher, Chair of the current Minnesota Broadband Task Force, hosted the event and Rick King, original Task Force Chair, presented the keynote.

While hot topics included robotics, cloud computing and security — improving broadband access through deployment and adoption efforts across Minnesota remains vital to Minnesota’s prosperity.

In the last month, the Blandin on Broadband blog has highlighted broadband deployment, adoption and policy successes and challenges in Minnesota:

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Minnesota Broadband and Biz: March 2012

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Blandin FoundationBy Ann Treacy

According to Boston Consulting Group’s recently published ‘Internet Economy in the G20’ report, “the Internet accounted for $684 billion, or 4.7% of all U.S. economic activity in 2010.”

Some of that activity comes from the cost of deploying broadband, while most comes from connective benefits of having broadband. In the last month, the Blandin on Broadband blog has highlighted some specific economic activity that relates to broadband in Minnesota:

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Minneapolis Digital Inclusion Fund Languishing

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By Ann Treacy, Blandin on Broadband

“The Freedom Foundation recently asked some good questions about Minneapolis Wireless and the Minneapolis Digital Inclusion Fund (DIF). As a  reminder: US Internet  Wireless  provides wireless service to Minneapolis.

Part of their original contract included a clause that said that they would contribute on an ongoing basis to the DIF. Apparently that’s not going as well as planned.”

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Computers to Low Income Families in Brainerd

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By Ann Treacy, Blandin on Broadband

“In March of 2010, Jessica found herself without a working computer at home, and in danger of falling behind in her school work as a result.

Fortunately, thanks to a new project in the Brainerd area to provide refurbished used computers to income eligible families at a very low cost, Jessica now has a working computer at home, and thanks to a reduced internet access fee provided through Consolidated Telephone (CTC), she is also able to do on-line research from the comfort of her own home.”

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Broadband as a Community and Economic Development Tool in Rural Minnesota

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By Ann TreacyMinnesota broadband pipe

If a community is only as strong as its weakest link, how can we encourage stronger linkage across all of Minnesota’s counties?

Minnesota 2020 reports:

“Minnesota’s latest Census figures don’t paint a promising future for many rural communities. In fact, of the 37 counties that lost population since the 2000 Census all but one were rural. Now most towns rely on the strength of their nearby regional center for survival, making adequate infrastructure crucial to the countryside’s preservation.”

That may sounds like a rural issue, especially to folks living outside rural areas – but another recent report from the Minnesota Rural Partners indicates that there are inter-dependencies between rural and urban areas demonstrating that what happens in rural, doesn’t stay in rural– it trickles and flows to urban counterparts.

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Minnesota at forefront of Health Information Exchange (HIE)

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By Ann Treacy, Blandin on Broadband

“According to CMIO.net, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) held a press conference this week lauding recent success of two pilot projects that are part of the Direct Project initiative.

The Direct Project is a public-private partnership to develop web-based tools for transmitting patient data via electronic health information exchange (HIE). One of the two projects that are currently up and running is based in Minnesota.”

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2010 Minnesota Broadband Advisory Task Force Report is Out

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By Ann Treacy, Blandin on Broadband

“Late last week the Department of Commerce posted the 2010 Broadband Report from the Advisory Task Force; it details the progress in reaching the goal of universal ultra-high-speed-broadband access in Minnesota. I’ve been following the Advisory Task Force as a fly on the wall of their meetings, which began as soon as they were appointed in August 2010. In many ways I think the latest report is a benchmark with a promise of more.”

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Association of Minnesota Counties Unveils 2011-2012 Broadband Positions

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By Ann Treacy, Blandin on Broadband

“The Association of Minnesota Counties (AMC) recently unveiled their 2011-2012 Policy Positions; you can see a push towards public-private partnerships and the push to get rid of the super majority requirement for municipalities looking to provide telecommunications services.”

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