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Stirring the Pot: How to become a Blandin Broadband Community (BBC)

Originally posted in Blandin eNews… Earlier in this E-news blast, you should have seen some details about applying to become a Blandin Broadband Community (BBC).  I would like to fill in more details about why you should consider this intensive initiative for your community. If you have connectivity challenges, becoming a BBC can help align […]

Stirring the Pot: What is your broadband story?

Originally posted in Blandin eNews Over the past weeks, I have been privileged to participate in a number of events hosted by regional development commissions and an Initiative Foundation.  Attendees have included county commissioners, town board members, legislators, tribal government staff, Internet service providers, economic developers, school technologists, bankers and residents.  When we start these […]

Stirring the Pot: The gap is deepening

As originally post on Blandin Foundation’s eNews… According to company press releases, this summer will see the launch of Gigabit (1,024 Mb) services by both Mediacom and Midco in many regional centers and smaller communities in Greater Minnesota.  As a cheerleader for better broadband, I believe that this is great news for the businesses and […]

Stirring the Pot: Chisago Lakes Area quest as America’s Best Community!

As originally posted on Blandin on Broadband… This month I offer congratulations to Chisago Lakes Minnesota.  Two years ago, five small towns decided to identify and work together as one community in the America’s Best Communities competition sponsored by Frontier Communications, Dish Network, The Weather Channel and Co-Bank. Chisago Lakes includes Chisago City, Lindstrom, Center […]

Southwestern Minnesota Counties Working Together on Broadband with the Blandin Foundation

As originally posted on the Blandin on Broadband blog… Lincoln, Murray and Pipestone Counties are three rural counties that have decided to work together on better broadband.  The counties share a similar mix of small communities and big farms on the southwestern Minnesota prairie.  They also see a growing number of neighboring counties getting fiber […]

Bill Coleman speaks at MN Association of Townships

I was pleased to help start the conversation on broadband last week at Association of Townships annual conference in St Cloud. Blandin Foundation community partners Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, Chisago County and Cloquet Valley Internet Initiative were all featured as was the USDA and Paul Bunyan Telephone Cooperative.  It was great to […]

Stirring the Pot: Deploying $35 million in broadband grants in Minnesota

As originally posted on the Blandin on Broadband blog… With the $35 million of broadband funding now signed into law, both communities and telecom providers are beginning the process of project development. Some have projects lined up, engineering completed, business cases prepared and partnerships in place. Others are just getting started in their project planning. […]

Stirring the Pot: Understanding CAF 2

As originally posted in Blandin on Broadband… Nothing has confused rural community broadband policy discussion more lately than the FCC CAF2 funding program. $500 million dollars to rural Minnesota over the next six years is the good news; a minimum 10 Mb/1 Mb standard is the bad news. CenturyLink, Frontier, Windstream and Consolidated Communications (formerly […]

Focus your broadband marketing on the right audience

As originally posted on the Blandin on Broadband blog… Stirring the Pot Words count!  I heard that message again and again at the Border to Border Broadband Conference.  What do providers want to hear to entice their interest in partnerships?  What do county commissioners need to hear to spur their commitment of funds?  And what […]

Stirring the Pot: Standards and policies matter!

As originally posted in Blandin eNews… The new broadband maps published by the DEED Office of Broadband Development are like a step back in time.  More of Minnesota is considered “unserved” now than previously, breaking a trend that consistently had more Minnesotans covered by adequate broadband over time.  Providers certainly did not shut down services, […]