As originally posted on Blandin eNews…
While I have my own set of personal resolutions again this year, I have also created a short list around my broadband work. Here they are:
Get smarter about broadband co-ops
RS Fiber has shown that it is possible to create a new broadband cooperative and the citizens in their area are experiencing the benefits of ubiquitous high-speed broadband. Meanwhile, other communities are talking about the co-op model, but have not yet followed on this complex path. My resolution is to dig in on co-op formation and share what I learn.
Public policy advocacy
Broadband has moved from a “someday this will be important to your community” consideration to a “no one is coming to a place without quality broadband” crisis for rural Minnesota. It is clear that no provider, whether publicly traded, co-op or government utility, can conventionally finance 100% of the required investment for a quality rural broadband network. My resolution is to think and act more strategically about influencing public policy about broadband to benefit rural Minnesota.
Roberto Gallardo’s Digital Divide Index https://wp.me/p3if7-4j8 illustrates the strong relationship between rural broadband availability and enhanced economic vitality. We know from observation that access does not guarantee widespread effective use. I resolve to help rural communities design and implement strategies that directly improves business and workforce outcomes.
Resolutions are always more fun when it is a group activity. Who is in?