Cool Things Rural Communities are doing with Broadband
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Cool Things Rural Communities are doing with Broadband

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Keynote from 2014 Broadband Communities Summit in Austin TX

Keynote from 2014 Broadband Communities Summit in Austin TX

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    Cool Things Rural Communities are doing with Broadband Cool Things Rural Communities are doing with Broadband Presentation Transcript

    • Cool Things Rural Communities Are Doing With Broadband The Minnesota Experience
    • Community Technology Advisors Combining Knowledge in Broadband and Economic Development Since Dial-Up
    • Rural Broadband Initiatives By providing leadership development, technical assistance and funding, Blandin Foundation has helped rural communities launch almost 200 broadband-oriented projects over the past four years.
    • This is RURAL! From NW to SE, MN is 500+ miles Our “communities” include: Cities Counties Regions Tribal governments Our largest city has 20,000 people. Our most rural counties have around 4,000 people.
    • Blandin Foundation Strategy Targeted Communities  Select engaged communities  Organizational development  Strategic planning  Project development  Funding  Coaching Broadband Grant Programs  Robust Network Feasibility Fund  LightSpeed  Digital Inclusion Community Partnership  Broadband Innovation
    • Intelligent Community Indicators
    •  Community selection process as organizing tool  Steering team formation and support  Cross-sector community meeting  Intelligent community benchmarking  Assets/gap analysis  Outcomes  Project development and prioritization  Funding Planning Process
    • Improving Broadband Networks Community organizing, feasibility studies, partnering and financing Broadband
    • Success Stories Networks  Built  Cook County FTTH  LqP County FTTH  SMBS FTTH  Cloquet Valley Wireless  In Process  RS Fiber  Todd County  Redwood County  Kanabec County Critical Elements  Commonalities  Leadership support  Community organizing  Feasibility studies  Differences  Network owners  Technologies  Financing
    • Cook County ARRA grant to Arrowhead Electric Association as new provider Direct county grant from county economic development sales tax Result of long–term effort on Internet –- from dial-up to fiber
    • Lac qui Parle County ARRA grant to Farmers Mutual Telephone Direct loan/grant from County EDA plus shortfall guarantee Opportunistic initiative rewarded by stimulus
    • Eight communities in joint venture ARRA funding Partnering with an existing muni to deliver triple play over FTTH Southwest MN Broadband Services
    • Newly formed Initiative led by the area farmers’ co- 0p To be supported by private and public financing backed by area cities and townships FTTH to the Farm
    • Cloquet Valley Internet Initiative Nine sparsely settled townships Challenging terrains with woods & hills Partnership with Cooperative Power and Light, the electric co-op 700 Mhz wireless technology 15 mile range 7 Mbps
    • Growing a Knowledge Workforce Creating, supporting and recruiting talent Knowledge Workforce
    • Alternative Approaches  Cook County Higher Education  “The Education You Need Where You Live”  Programs  Local  Online independent  Group learning  Mentors, financial aid resources and more  90% completion rate for online courses
    •  Encouragement of telework by:  Partnering with local telecom to provide bandwidth and tech support  Marketing the community workforce to metro businesses  Providing job postings and local resources  Creation of telework hotel  Convinced State of MN to include a telework location category  Recognized by NTCA as Smart Rural Community for their telework initiative
    •  Courses  Local  Videoconferencing  Targeting to new Americans and older adults  Open lab with assistance available  Videoconferencing rental available
    • Innovation Spurring Innovation New companies, new processes, new products
    • A three pronged approach to spurring innovation and increasing broadband utilization in Itasca County • Business technology assessments, strategy development and implementation via financing  Social Media Breakfasts  IT Pros Networking Brown Bag Lunches
    • Facilitating collaboration among area volunteer fire departments to improve and share training resources  Install videoconferencing capabilities in ten fire halls across five counties  Coordinate training offerings led by regional center community fire department  Enable streaming of past events for 24x7 viewing by new and current firefighters
    • Southwestern Minnesota Adult Mental Health Consortium  Bringing desktop and mobile videoconferencing to coordinate and share mental health resources across 22 rural counties.  Care team coordination  Staff meetings  Direct care
    • Addressing Digital Inclusion Providing a computing device, training and connectivity Digital Inclusion
    • Turning trash to treasure for thousands of low-income families in Minnesota and now expanding into other states Partnerships with: • schools and non-profits to target eligible people • government and business to source computers • ISPs for discounted Internet service  Collected, refurbished and distributed over 7,000 computers in 2013, about half in rural communities  Set up local affiliate offices in three rural Minnesota locations, plus one additional independent project  With a mobile refurbishing lab, they collect, refurbish and distribute 100 computers in three days
    • Providing digital literacy training, computers and connectivity to new Americans Partners with • PCs for People • Winona State University • St. Mary’s University of Minnesota • Hiawatha Broadband Communications
    • Marketing and Advocacy Creating a tech savvy image for your community – to attract talent and investment Advocacy
    • Marketing/Advocacy Strategies  External marketing  Fergus Falls as Teleworking Capitol  60/90 Tech Corridor as fiber- rich agriculture and manufacturing region  Mobile sites  Cook County CVB  Google Place business initiatives  Internal marketing  “What’s up in Foley?”  “Finding Windom”  Public policy  Blandin events  18 Legislative rural listening sessions
    • Findings These elements are mutually reinforcing and bring together diverse stakeholders Multiple small activities have more impact than one big activity Cross-sector activities have the largest benefits When in doubt as to “what to do”, just do something!
    • Bill Coleman Community Technology Advisors 651-491-2551 bill@communitytechnologyadvisors.com Discussion Resources: http://Blandinonbroadband.org http://broadband.blandinfoundation.org www.communitytechnologyadvisors.com