As originally post on Blandin on Broadband blog…
Blandin Foundation offers a couple approaches for communities wanting to work on broadband access and use. The Foundation is recruiting communities right now for both approaches.
Blandin Broadband Communities (BBC) – The BBC program requires a community team – City, County, School District, Tribal Government, or multi-county region – to work on both broadband access and use over an 18-24 month period. Communities receive leadership education, facilitation and grant resources to plan and implement projects that improve broadband access and use. This might include anything from wi-fi hotspots to e-commerce assessments and training to tele-health to training elders. Each community receives up to $75,000 to implement projects. Projects must fall into one or more of the six Intelligent Community framework, including broadband, workforce, innovation, digital equity, sustainability and/or community engagement. Blandin has worked with more than 40 communities on this program and the results always surpass expectations, even in this virtual environment.
Community Broadband Resources: Accelerate! – This program is focused on equipping your community broadband team to successfully plan and implement broadband infrastructure projects. Over a 16-week timeframe, community teams watch online broadband webinars, then meet Friday mornings for two hours to learn more about that week’s topics and plan the upcoming broadband development efforts. Through the program, community teams conduct surveys, interview incumbent and prospective providers, develop consensus around local broadband partnership and finance strategies, etc. We have just completed our first cohort of four county/tribal communities and now these communities are off and running on prospective broadband public-private partnership projects, including the pursuit of federal grants.
If you are interested in either of these programs, please contact Bill Coleman at 651-491-2551 or email@example.com. Application timelines on both programs are short, so do not delay.