Author Archive

Bringing the countryside to ICF Summit and ICF Summit to MN rural communities

Last week the Blandin Broadband crew led a group of intrepid broadband community leaders to the ICF (Intelligent Community Forum) Summit in New York. It was a great opportunity for us to learn from the Top Seven Smart Communities about what is working in their areas. It was very inspiring. We made some great connections. […]

Stirring the Pot: Preparing for MN Broadband Grant applications

As originally posted in Blandin on Broadband eNews… Thanks to the good work of the MN Rural Broadband Coalition and politicians keeping their promises, there is $40 million of funding coming through DEED Office of Broadband Development for grants to be distributed over the two year budget.  As a result, many community leaders are now […]

What’s a suburban guy to do?

As originally posted in Blandin Foundation eNews… This morning I received a call from a Dakota County resident near Lakeville.  He sought me out in response a Strib broadband article.  I could feel his frustration right through with his 4 Mb DSL connection. He purchased his home with the expectation of working from home.  The […]

Support the Minnesota Rural Broadband Coalition

As originally posted in the Blandin Foundation eNews… Bernadine is fond of the Grateful Dead’s Jerry Garcia classic quote: “Somebody has to do something and isn’t it pathetic that it has to be us?”  While this is true no matter where you live or work, I find it especially true in rural communities.  During meeting […]

Stirring the Pot: What do you want for Christmas? Broadband!

Originally posted in Blandin eNews… For many rural communities, the answer to the “what do you want for Christmas?” question is simple.  “Broadband!” But broadband is a big ask and from my experience, Santa does not always deliver on the big asks.  We may get an envelope with some of the money, but we need […]

Stirring the Pot: broadband requires leadership and technical knowledge and opportunity

Originally posted in Blandin eNews Moving a community broadband initiative forward requires a mystical blend of community leadership and technical/financial knowledge meeting opportunity.  When I review the many successful broadband projects, I see that each project has a unique mix of these elements.  For me, community leadership is the most interesting facet.  Leadership can emerge […]

Stirring the Pot: balancing the business case with equity considerations

Originally posted in Blandin eNews… The toughest decisions that rural places have often come early in the broadband discussion process.  They are not technical questions, but rather policy choices around balancing the business case with equity considerations.  Sometimes these decisions are made with little or no discussion or even recognition of the long term impact. […]

Stirring the Pot: a chaotic broadband scene in the rural countryside

Originally posted in Blandin eNews We live in interesting times and that is not always for the best.  It is, at best, a chaotic broadband scene in the rural countryside. We have a host of emerging and improving technologies (many of which are highly touted, but unable to meet Minnesota’s 2026 state broadband goal).  We have existing […]

Stirring the Pot: Blandin Foundation and the Intelligent Community framework

Originally posted in Blandin eNews… It is exciting to work with three new communities in the Blandin Broadband Communities Program.  This group of communities is unique in our Blandin team experience of working with 36  communities in four previous cohorts.  Each of these three communities is or is in the process of being very well-served.  […]

Stirring the Pot: Follow suit or get left behind!

Originally posted in Blandin eNews… On Minnesota’s broadband maps, far too much of greater Minnesota is still unserved. If you zoom into the map, however, you will see that most towns are considered served, with 100 Mb/20 Mb service available, areas outside cities and towns are not.  Many communities have three wired providers for businesses […]