MIRC Presentation


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A presentation to the Minnesota Broadband Task Force meeting Oct 2013 in Windom MN

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  • MIRC is a story of alignment between opportunity and need. Funding from the National Telecommunications and Information Agency (NTIA) through the ARRA.
  • According to Akamai Technologies Inc.’s Fourth Quarter, 2012 State of the Internet Report, Minnesota is not in the top ten among US states in either average connection speed or adoption. But Jack Geller reports that rural Minnesota does lead rural America in adoption. … thanks, at least in part, to MIRC.For the purposes of the project, our goals were to:Support and encourage vibrant rural economies, through broadband adoption, as a strategy for job growth and wealth creation. AndAccelerate adoption by two percent over statistically anticipated growth (increasing broadband subscribers by 38,556 more than could otherwise be expected).In reality, our task was to help rural Minnesota communities keep up globally!
  • March 2010 – February 2013One of 44 sustainable adoption grants awardedFunded by a $4.8 million grant from the National Telecommunications and Information Agency (NTIA) through the ARRA.Leveraged $1.5 million in partner funds = $6.6 million total project budget Offered individuals training in computer literacy, online education, knowledge workforceProvided technical assistance and training to small businesses and entrepreneurs Distributed refurbished computers to low-income, rural MinnesotansEncouraged and support community-based approaches to broadband adoption and use
  • Work at the statewide level with concentrated effort in 11 demonstration communities…The DCs used the Intelligent Community Indicators to define and fund projects to address their community’s unique needs.
  • When it was said and done the communities had designed nearly 100 projects… Reference [HOLD UP] the Matrix for a complete listing and [HOLD UP] the Key Outcomes document and use examples on pages 3 & 4.
  • It was because of the community-based projects and the support of the statewide partners that MIRC accomplished or exceeded all the goals we set out to accomplish. Broadband adoption in participating communities grew close to 15% faster than in the rest of rural Minnesota.Communities that reported the highest rates of participation in MIRC activities also experienced the highest rates of broadband subscription growth.[HOLD UP] the Key Outcomes Document and invite your audience to go to page 5 for more detail.
  • Quote from community…
  • Quote from community…
  • I’ve picked four “Lessons Learned” to share with you today. The complete list is on page 8 in the Key Outcomes report.
  • Help local broadband champions get and use skills to frame issue, build and sustain relationships and mobilize people to build a community’s capacity to achieve its broadband goals.
  • Involve citizens directly in articulating their community’s broadband adoption and utilization goals to catalyze the long-term engagement needed to increase adoption.
  • It is a means to the higher ends of increased economic vitality and improved quality of life. Framing it this way helps.Connect the economic dots.Framing increased sustainable broadband use as a necessary but not sufficient ingredient in a “whole systems” approach to strengthen community vitality can help communities see and leverage the connection between the technology and benefits to community life.
  • This work takes time. Look for and celebrate early and easy “wins,” but think long term and build capacity and energy for the long haul. Money and other resources follow vision and commitment.
  • Since MIRC… Blandin’s commitment to rural broadband development continues The Blandin Foundation Board of Trustees committed $1.5 millionto continue to support broadband adoption efforts in rural Minnesota in 2013-2014.We are currently working with nine communities to continue building on the work!
  • Evidence abounds that high-speed Internet access has economic benefits (positive impact on median household income, employment, and business growth)
  • Thank you!
  • MIRC Presentation

    1. 1. MIRC What? So What? Now What?
    2. 2. Gaining access to the Internet is fast becoming a prerequisite for participating in civic and economic life. Jamilah King Editor, Colorlines.com
    3. 3. Our task Help rural Minnesota communities keep up globally!
    4. 4. MN Intelligent Rural Communities • Train individuals • Support small businesses and entrepreneurs • Distribute refurbished computers to low- income households • Encourage community- based approaches to adoption and use
    5. 5. Intelligent Community Framework Intelligent Community Indicators
    6. 6. DCs take action • Nearly 100 community- designed and administered projects were funded. • Projects addressed goals and opportunities identified by participating communities themselves.
    7. 7. MIRC set measurable goals. All were accomplished or exceeded.
    8. 8. “Such evidence allows us to conclude that community-based broadband literacy and market development efforts can and do make a difference.” Jack Geller project evaluator
    9. 9. “This project has permanently changed the way we think and the way we work together.” Della Schmidt Winona Area Chamber of Commerce
    10. 10. “I see, this is just the beginning: the hard work is ahead of us.” Cook County Resident • Cook County resident
    11. 11. Lessons Learned
    12. 12. Local Leadership matters
    13. 13. Communities know best
    14. 14. Broadband is not an end in itself . III.
    15. 15. Have patience
    16. 16. Now What?
    17. 17. Implications for the Task Force Access is key... … and so is adoption.
    18. 18. Adoption is a Driver of Economic Growth Non-metro counties with high levels of broadband adoption in 2010 had significantly higher growth in median household income between 2001 and 2010 compared to counties that had similar characteristics in the 1990s but were not as successful at adopting broadband. Broadband's Contribution to Economic Health in Rural Areas: A Causal Analysis, B. Whitacre, S. Strover, R. Gallardo, March 26, 2013
    19. 19. “While most government broadband policies have traditionally focused exclusively on providing infrastructure, there is a case to be made for focusing on demand. ...Investments in people, education and training are essential to achieve meaningful use of the Internet.“ The Daily Yonder
    20. 20. Public investments are needed in both.
    21. 21. “Intervention works.” Jack Geller
    22. 22. For More Information Blandin on Broadband blog www.blandinonbroadband.org Blandin Broadband website http://broadband.blandinfoundation.org Mary Magnuson memagnuson@blandinfoundation.org 218.326.0523
    23. 23. Vibrant. Rural. Community.