Stirring the Pot: The high wire act of public-private partnership

Originally posted in Blandin Foundation eNews

This morning, I saw a picture of one of the famous Wallenda family crossing between Chicago skyscrapers.  So routine was the crossing that Nik Wallenda wore a blindfold.  One of the crossings was downhill at a steep 15% grade.  Obviously that shows great talent and lots of repetitive practice. Even so, the Wallenda’s have had disastrous events in their history.

Many communities and broadband providers are now out on the wire of public-private partnerships.  Available funding from the FCC and MN DEED have pushed both providers and communities out onto the wire in relatively large numbers for the first time.  It remains to be seen of the program rules and regulations will be safety nets to prevent disaster or tall barriers blocking otherwise safe implementation.   I expect that these first rounds of funding will give us examples of the full range of partnership experience, from smooth stepping to swaying in the wind to severe difficulties.  I give a lot of credit to all of the prospective partners for their courage and determination to move ahead on these projects!

We will learn about some of these partnerships at the Border to Border Conference!  Attending and learning will give participants to a bit of a safety net as you consider your own partnerships!

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