From the MN Broadband Coalition…

“The Minnesota Rural Broadband Coalition is pleased to announce the launch of the Minnesota Speed Test Initiative,” said Vince Robinson, Chair of the MN Rural Broadband Coalition. “There is no doubt that the lack of broadband in rural Minnesota hampers telework, distance learning, and telehealth.
Our goal is to find out exactly where broadband service is available in rural Minnesota and what speeds people are receiving.”
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A pilot program for speed testing is ongoing in St Louis, Koochiching, and Itasca Counties. The Range Association of Municipalities and Schools has been leading the way to create a different set of broadband maps based on approximately 7,000 broadband speed tests submitted by area residents and businesses.

These speed tests, mapped by GEO Partners, clearly show the speeds available in cities and townships across the three northern Minnesota counties.
“For years we’ve been relying on incomplete data to make big decisions on broadband infrastructure in Minnesota,” said Nathan Zacharias, Project Manager for the Minnesota Speed Test Initiative. “Most broadband maps stop at the census block, township, or county level. The Minnesota Speed Test Initiative will give us house-by-house data that just isn’t available anywhere else. We’re very excited to get this project in the field.”
The speed test can be taken with any device that has an internet or cellular connection and takes less than one minute to complete. No personal information will be collected. Testing data will be statistically valid and provide a map of what service levels are for any given area in the state. This information will be an important tool for communities that are planning a broadband expansion project through the FCC, USDA, or MN Borderto-Border Broadband Grant Program.
COVID-19 has shown us how important access to broadband is for every Minnesotan now that we’re being asked to work, learn, or receive care from home. Broadband is no different than any other basic utility that people need. It is an essential part of our daily lives.

green极光加速器 MN, Opportunities, 极光加速器安卓 | Leave a reply


极光加速器官方网站As part of the Fall Broadband 2023: Connected We Stand conference, the Blandin Foundation is partnering with Purdue University’s Center for Rural Development‘s Roberto Gallardo and Annie Cruz-Porter to offer a unique opportunity for up to five communities to work on becoming a Digital Ready Community.

This is a chance to join an abbreviated and accelerated pilot program to create an initiative to take the reins on the digital goals and standards for your local community to help improve marketing to the folks outside the community, encourage community-wide digital inclusivity by actively inviting all corners of the community and build trust in local digital communication – by aligning local websites, Facebook groups, Twitter accounts and other existing assets. Imagine working together to build your digital reputation!

The program will include video lessons and/or coaching on:

  • Networking 101 – learning how to work
  • Digital Assets Group (DAG) – creating a local group that will lead the digital ready effort

DAG Operational Agreement – setting rules, procedures and bylaws that will guide the use of digital assets by the community in an effort to become more responsive and increase civic engagement and trust

Post conference, the communities will be encouraged to work on:

  • Community survey
  • Digital Engagement plan

What do we need from you?

  • A community leader to compile a team that is willing to work on this effort during the conference (October 2023) and beyond
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  • A commitment to check in with the Blandin/Purdue team six months after the conference to report in and offer feedback

How do you start?

The Blandin/Purdue team will host an introduction soon – watch here for that announcement. Join us and let us know you’re interested ( Enrollment is open until three communities are selected.

Posted in Blandin Broadband Summit 2023, Blandin Foundation, Conferences, MN, Opportunities | 极光加速器安卓


As part of the broadband fall conference planning team, I am excited to announce the first of our four Keynote speakers…

Roberto Gallardo, Director of the Purdue Center for Regional Development will present on, From digital infrastructure to transformation: leveraging broadband for community economic development (speaking Oct 7).

His presentation will discuss some digital applications and uses to help communities leverage this technology to improve their quality of lives.

Roberto holds an electronics engineering undergraduate degree, a master’s in economic development, and a Ph.D. in Public Policy and Administration. He has worked with rural communities over the past decade conducting local & regional community economic development, including use of technology for development.

Careful readers will remember Roberto’s presentation at the 2017 Blandin Broadband conference asking if rural Minnesota was poised for the digital age? He has a gift for bringing research to the playing field, making information practical and recommendations actionable; we are looking forward to more of the same this year.

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Posted in Blandin Broadband Summit 2023, Blandin Foundation, Conferences, MN | Leave a reply


Join Blandin Foundation on Zoom Tuesday morning at 9:00 am for our Broadband Roundtable conversation, where Bernadine Joselyn will lead a presentation and discussion about the new public-private 极光加速器官方网站 initiative and how the effort hopes to benefit Minnesota students during the upcoming school year. Bernadine will describe the partnership’s new Request for Proposal, and describe what entities are eligible to apply for what kind of support.

You can register for this and future Roundtables here.

Posted in Blandin Foundation, 极光加速官网, Digital Divide, education, MN | Leave a reply


Pine and Lakes Echo Journal reports…

Continuing work started three years ago to provide better internet service in underserved areas, the Lake Shore City Council agreed Monday, July 27, to seek bids from providers for improved broadband in the city.

Council member John Terwilliger cast the only “no” vote. After hearing from Pequot Lakes School Board member Susan Mathison-Young during the meeting, which everyone attended online via Zoom, Terwilliger said the city should table any action for a month to wait for more information to be gathered regarding programs available to help improve broadband access.

Other council members agreed the city could seek proposals from broadband providers while exploring other programs at the same time.

City Administrator Teri Hastings said COVID-19 funds the city receives could be used toward broadband services. The first step, she said, is to get an idea of what it would take to build out areas of Lake Shore that are currently underserved. The city planned to seek bids from CTC, TDS and Charter Communications, internet providers in the Lake Shore area.

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“So there are some options out there to help improve broadband for the community,” Hastings said.

Mathison-Young said areas underserved by broadband is a problem throughout the state, not just in Lake Shore. She said 28% of all Minnesota students have internet issues, and businesses and groups are working with state government to bring broadband to those rural students who are underserved.

She advised the council to wait to seek bids from providers until more information is gathered about programs designed to help with this issue. Also, she said Thursday, July 30, the state will have a better idea of what schooling will look like this fall with an announcement by Gov. Tim Walz.

“If some is digital curriculum, which is a strong possibility, this has to be ready to go,” she said.


Posted in Building Broadband Tools, Funding, MN, Policy | Tagged coronavirus | Leave a reply


Online and open to all, here are the details from the Office of Broadband Development…

Governor’s Task Force on Broadband

August 4, 2023

10:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.


Webex/Conference Call
1-619-377-3319 or 1-888-742-5095, Passcode 3249482049

Meeting link:


Meeting Number: 130 292 7338

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10:15 a.m. – 11:10 a.m.  Minnesota Department of Education Overview of CARES Act Funding for Distance Learning Alicia Waeffler, Equity and Opportunity Programs Supervisor

Michael Dietrich, ESEA Policy Specialist

Sara George, ESEA/ESSA Title I Part A Program Specialist

11:10 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.                Break

11:15 a.m. – 11:35 a.m.  Report out by Minnesota Model Subgroup (Chair: Brian Krambeer; Members: Steve Fenske, Theresa Sunde, Paul Weirtz)

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11:55 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. Report out by Economic Development and Digital Inclusion Subgroup (Chair: Bernadine Joselyn; Members: Dale Cook and Micah Myers)

12:15 p.m. – 12:25 p.m. Discussion of Report Writing Process

12:25 p.m. – 12:30 p.m. Public Comment, Other Business, September Meeting Plans, Wrap-up

Posted in Conferences, Policy, MN, Minnesota Advisory Task Force, MN Office of Broadband Development | Leave a reply


If you have an interest in what’s happening in Dakota County or you just want to hear/see what another county is doing, you might consider attending the discussion (online and in person) in Dakota County…

WHEREAS, Dakota County is committed to be a high-performing organization for the citizens of the County; and

WHEREAS, the Workshop will be an opportunity for the County Board to discuss Broadband; and

WHEREAS, staff recommends holding a workshop to allow staff to receive direction from the County Board on Broadband.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, That the Dakota County Board of Commissioners hereby schedules a County Board Workshop for Tuesday, August 4, 2023, following the General Government and Policy Committee, in the Boardroom, Administration Center, 1590 Highway 55, Hastings, MN, or via telephone or other electronic means if necessary due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic to receive comments on staff direction for Broadband.

You can learn a little more about their plan (easier to read green极光加速器)

Update On Process And Timeline For Potential COVID-19 Related Broadband Expansion Using CARES Act Funding

Provide an update on the process and timeline in developing COVID-19 related Broadband Expansion in Dakota County.
The County is interested in learning about potential opportunities to invest CARES Act funds to better support our residents to engage in remote learning, work from home, and other activities that require a robust network of connectivity and to better meet the public service needs revealed by the pandemic. Dakota County requires broadband infrastructure built out to serve the unserved and underserved. The County is interested in exploring all technologies available to address the unserved and underserved areas of the County (Attachment A). These areas can be large or small geographically or in population.
The County will mail letters of interest (Attachment B) to all service providers (Attachment C) in the County asking them to respond with project areas that can be built out to better serve the residents of the County. Submissions must specify the unserved or underserved area(s) to be addressed, the total cost and funds requested from the County, and the timeline including the firm completion date. The Information Technology (IT) Department will review and recommend the best potential projects and setup meetings to fully develop project plans.
Proposed Time Line:
July 28, 2023 – send Letters of Interest to all service providers
August 12, 2023 – deadline for receipt of responses
Week ending August 21, 2023 reviewing responses
Request Board approval in September
Contracts for approved projects executed September
October/November buildout
Payment before December 1st
County IT will update the board with specific project locations, cost and project schedules.
Information only; no action requested.
Funding for any projects, if approved, would be expected to use CARES Act funds with an amount to be

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DATE: July 28, 2023
TO: Interested Parties
FROM: Dan Cater, Chief Information Officer
SUBJECT: Broadband Connectivity within Dakota County borders
Dakota County Government has an interest in expanding high speed internet throughout Dakota County as the COVID-19 situation has illustrated the need for faster more reliable connectivity for our citizens, business, and other agencies.
The County is interested in learning about potential opportunities to invest CARES Act funds to better support our residents to engage in remote learning, work from home, and other activities that require a robust network of connectivity and to better meet the public service needs revealed by the pandemic.
Dakota County requires broadband infrastructure built out to serve the unserved and underserved. The County is interested in exploring all technologies available to address the unserved and underserved areas of the County. These areas can be large or small geographically or in population.
Attached is the most recent service inventory map produced by the State of Minnesota Deed Office of Broadband. CARES Act requires an aggressive timeline. Submissions must specify the unserved or underserved area(s) to be addressed, the total cost and funds requested from the County, and the timeline including the firm completion date. Work and payment need to be completed before
December 1st of this year. A high-level timeline is below:
– July 28th – letter soliciting proposals/plans
– August 12
th – deadline for receipt of responses
– Week ending August 21st review responses, setting up zoom meetings
– Request Board approval in September
– Contracts executed in September
– October/November buildout
– Payment before December 1st
Please let us know if you have an interest in discussing in providing a solution by contacting or

Dakota County is always generous with public access to documents, which I think can be a gift to counties with fewer staff working on broadband.

green极光加速器 Building Broadband Tools, Community Networks, Funding, Government, MN, Policy, Vendors | green极光加速器


As every parent, teacher and student in Minnesota waits to hear later today from Governor Walz about how the State recommends schools handling pandemic learning this fall, I think it’s helpful to look at who is left behind when/if we move education online.

Online education is tough enough when all of the tech pieces are there; lack of computer and broadband makes is almost insurmountable. Only last year, report from the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis finds Minnesota is one of the worst states in the country for education achievement gaps. We need to find ways to make that gap more narrow and shallow. Proving access to adequate technology is a small, but necessary step because as the report below shows, technology does not currently help to close that gap. And the irony is, it could.

Here’s the status as Future Ready Schools reports…

The COVID-19 pandemic caused a near-total shutdown of the U.S. school system, forcing more than 55 million students to transition to home-based remote learning practically overnight. In most cases, that meant logging in to online classes and accessing lessons and assignments through a home internet connection.

Sadly, that was not an option for children in one out of three Black, Latino, and American Indian/Alaska Native households. Nationwide, across all racial and ethnic groups, 16.9 million children remain logged out from instruction because their families lack the home internet access necessary to support online learning, a phenomenon known as the “homework gap.”

According to an analysis of data from the 2018 American Community Survey conducted for the Alliance for Excellent Education, National Urban League, UnidosUS, and the National Indian Education Association, millions of households with children under the age of 18 years lack two essential elements for online learning: (1) high-speed home internet service and (2) a computer.

Here’s what they found in Minnesota:

Percentage of Households Without High-Speed Home Internet 19%
Number of Children Without High-Speed Home Internet 264,334

Minnesota By Income

Percentage of Households with Annual Income Less Than $25,000 Without High-Speed Home Internet 40%
Number of Children in Households with Annual Income Less Than $25,000 Without High-Speed Home Internet 极光加速器官方网站
Percentage of Households with Annual Income Between $25,000 and $50,000 Without High-Speed Home Internet 29%
Number of Children in Households with Annual Income Between $25,000 and $50,000 Without High-Speed Home Internet 66,298
Percentage of Households with Annual Income Between $50,000 and $75,000 Without High-Speed Home Internet 24%
Number of Children in Households with Annual Income Between $50,000 and $75,000 Without High-Speed Home Internet 44,869
Percentage of Households with Annual Income Between $75,000 and $150,000 Without High-Speed Home Internet 15%
Number of Children in Households with Annual Income Between $75,000 and $150,000 Without High-Speed Home Internet 极光加速官网
Percentage of Households with Annual Income Greater Than $150,000 Without High-Speed Home Internet 9%
Number of Children in Households with Annual Income Greater Than $150,000 Without High-Speed Home Internet 27,803

Minnesota By Race

Percentage of White Households Without High-Speed Home Internet 17%
Number of White Children Without High-Speed Home Internet 184,337
Percentage of Asian Households Without High-Speed Home Internet 14%
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Percentage of Black Households Without High-Speed Home Internet 27%
Number of Black Children Without High-Speed Home Internet 44,036
Percentage of Latino Households Without High-Speed Home Internet 35%
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Number of American Indian/Alaska Native Children Without High-Speed Home Internet 9,655

Minnesota By Location

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Number of Children in Nonmetro “Rural” Households Without High-Speed Home Internet 79,087
Percentage of Metro Households Without High-Speed Home Internet 17%
Number of Children in Metro Households Without High-Speed Home Internet 极光加速器官方网站


Posted in Digital Divide, education, MN, Policy, Rural | Tagged 极光加速器安卓 | Leave a reply


The Brainerd Dispatch reports…

The Crow Wing County Board Tuesday, July 28, approved a plan to distribute dollars from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, or CARES Act. After $1.5 million expected to be applied toward reimbursing the county’s expenses, the program includes $3 million toward grants for businesses, $1.5 million for broadband expansion and $1 million for nonprofits grants. An additional $1 million could be shifted to any of those categories, depending on need.

Sounds like folks were OK with broadband but some discussion on the details…

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County Administrator Tim Houle said last week applying these funds toward broadband expansion would not only better equip residents for the new realities of virtual communication, it would be an investment outlasting the pandemic. With social distancing playing a major role in the response, the demand to connect virtually for distance learning or telework has increased dramatically.

The funding will go to CTC telecommunications company, which will also receive funds to cover the cost of providing Wi-Fi access points throughout the community to aid in distance learning efforts and COVID-related broadband installations completed from March to May. CTC CEO Kristi Westbrock said Monday they were in the process of surveying customers to determine how many of those new installations were directly related to needs associated with telework, distance learning or telemedicine.

The measure passed 4-1 with Commissioner Doug Houge opposed. Houge voted against the package because he said he didn’t think it was fair to offer CARES Act dollars only to CTC, when he thought other providers would be interested in pursuing broadband projects in the county.

“We’ve got, how many, four or five providers up there that I know would have projects if this is a definite allowable use of these dollars,” Houge said. “I think it’s only fair that we give them the opportunity to utilize those if they’re comfortable that it’s an allowable use. It just seems like we’re pushing this through without all of the information.”

There was some question as to whether applying CARES Act funding to broadband expansion would be an allowed use of those dollars. Westbrock previously said she’d done the legwork to help ensure it would pass an audit and committed to paying the money back if it became necessary, although there was no official word giving it the OK.

Houle said the contingency dollars could potentially be used for other companies’ broadband projects.

“There is still the potential to do some additional project work and … consistent with what the board’s action, or discussion I should say, was yesterday, I am reaching out to the other telecommunications companies,” he said. “ … What I’m suggesting is, that door’s not closed yet. It’s a pretty tight timeframe. It has to be in the ground by Dec. 1st.”

Houge said with $1.5 million set aside for CTC alone and $1 million in the contingency fund, the other companies would receive much smaller amounts if it was determined to be an allowable use. He said he agreed with all the other aspects of the CARES Act funding program, but was concerned the board was making a decision too quickly on the broadband piece.

Franzen said she thought Houle was doing a good job contacting providers and noted CTC was the only company stating it would pay back funds if the use was not allowed. Houge reiterated he thought that point should be nailed down.

“Well, I think this is a great opportunity,” Franzen said.

“I’m not saying it isn’t a great opportunity, I’m saying let’s make it fair to all the providers,” Houge replied.

“It is,” Franzen said.

“I don’t believe it is,” Houge replied.

Chairman Paul Koering suggested he’d postpone the matter until the next county board meeting. Houge said he still wanted to move forward on the other items. Franzen made a motion to approve the plan, which was seconded by Commissioner Steve Barrows.

Posted in Building Broadband Tools, Funding, MN, Vendors | Tagged coronavirus | 2 Replies

EVENT Aug 3: Workshop Examining the Role of Libraries on Broadband Adoption and Literacy

An invitation from the FCC…

Workshop Examining the Role of Libraries on Broadband Adoption and Literacy
Aug 3, 2023
10:00 am – 1:30 pm EDT
Online Only

The Digital Empowerment and Inclusion Working Group of the Advisory Committee on Diversity and Digital Empowerment (ACDDE) and the Media Bureau is hosting this virtual workshop to examine the role of U.S. libraries as community hubs to drive digital adoption and literacy. The workshop will be convened via WebEx in light of travel restrictions and other concerns related to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, and will be available to the public via live feed from the FCC’s web page at

The workshop will feature experts from libraries, academia, and civil society organizations who will discuss efforts to support underserved rural and urban communities’ acquisition of digital skills. Experts will consider what constitutes digital inclusion today and the role of libraries and public-private partnerships in supporting digital literacy. Panelists will also address the impact of COVID-19 on advancing digital inclusion, as well as the impact of various local, state, and federal interventions in recent months.



Posted in 极光加速器官方网站, Digital Divide, education, FCC, Government | Leave a reply

Klobuchar Highlights Need to Address Challenges in Rural America During Pandemic

From Senator Klobuchar, her speech on the needs of rural America, including the Accessible, Affordable Internet for All Act…

— Today on the Senate floor, U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) spoke on the Senate Floor to address the impact that the coronavirus pandemic is having on rural America—and the need to help our rural communities withstand this public health crisis and the resulting economic uncertainty. 

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“The rural hospitals, the equipment…all of this. And that is beyond what we all know already, and that is the food supply change, our nutrition program. We certainly don’t want a situation where you can’t get homegrown American food, just as we have learned with the supply chains of medical equipment you can’t always get the swabs that you need for so many of our testings and the like.

“We want to maintain not just some romantic vision of the past, our rural areas, we want to maintain them for America. It’s for having that food that’s ours and having it made in America so we’re not dependent on foreign food…It’s for having our own energy supply which can be varied and vast…It’s about having our own technology and developing the next new idea and the next new iPhone. We’re not going to be able to do that if we shut out a big swatch of our country. That’s not going to work. We actually want to encourage the development in rural America. That’s what I think we need to do.” 

As a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, Klobuchar has worked hard to ensure our rural economy is strong and rural communities have the tools they need to spur innovation, create jobs and opportunities, and confront the challenges posed by crises like COVID-19.

In May, following a request from Klobuchar, the Administration provided flexibility for doctors who assist in the fight against coronavirus. Agreen极光加速器 was made in April by Klobuchar, along with Representatives Tom Cole (R-OK), Abby Finkenauer (D-IA), and Brad Schneider (D-IL). Without a waiver of these restrictions, doctors in the Conrad 30 program who provide care in crisis locations, even remotely, would be putting their immigration status in jeopardy.

Klobuchar has advocated for many years for the Conrad 30 program, which allows doctors to stay in the United States without having to return home if they agree to practice in an underserved, often rural, area for three years. The “30” refers to the number of doctors per state that can participate in the program.

Earlier this month, Senator Klobuchar introduced The Accessible, Affordable Internet for All Act,which Klobuchar introduced earlier today in the Senate, which wouldill invest $100 billion to build high-speed broadband infrastructure in unserved and underserved communities to close the digital divide and connect Americans to ensure they have increased access to education, health care, and business opportunities. 

In May, Klobuchar and Senators Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Gary Peters (D-MI), and Jacky Rosen (D-NV) introduced theSupporting Connectivity for Higher Education Students in Need Actto help ensure that college and university students with the greatest financial needs can access high-speed internet during the coronavirus pandemic. The bill would appropriate $1 billion to establish an Emergency Higher Education Connectivity fund at the National Telecommunications Information Administration to help ensure that college and university students at historically Black colleges and universities, Tribal colleges and universities, Hispanic-serving institutions, and other minority-serving institutions, as well as rural-serving institutions, have adequate home internet connectivity during the coronavirus pandemic. The bill provides federal support for these colleges and universities to directly help students in need pay for at-home internet connections and equipment such as routers, modems, Wi-Fi hotspots, laptops, tablets, and internet-enabled devices to students. 

In March 2023, Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Senator Kevin Cramer (R-ND) introduced bipartisan legislation to sustain rural broadband connectivity during the coronavirus pandemic. The极光加速器安卓版下载 极光加速器安卓版最新版下载_百人游:2021-11-4 · 极光加速器安卓版是一款可伍用来降低延迟的网游加速器,首创的手机网络加速技术,支持所有热门网游加速,让PK、团战更流畅。喜欢的小伙伴伊快来百人游下载吧! 软件介绍 极光加速神器是一款极速流畅、稳定、简单好用的网络加速工具,全球多条线路随心选,不限流量,不限时长,智能选择 ... would appropriate $2 billion for a temporary Keeping Critical Connections fund at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to help small broadband providers sustain internet services and upgrades for students and low-income families during the pandemic.

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In June, Klobuchar led a极光加速破解 joined by Smith, with Senators Joni Ernst (R-IA), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) urging the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to reject petitions for Small Refinery Exemptions (SREs) under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) for past compliance years.

In December 2023, Klobuchar led a public comment letter to EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler expressing concern over the proposed supplemental rule establishing the Renewable Fuel Standard’s (RFS) 2023 Renewable Volume Obligations and 2021 Biomass-Based Diesel Volumes. The senators argued that the proposed rule—which determines how much biofuel is required to be blended into our transportation fuel supply on an annual basis—fails to adequately account for the waivers, including those given to big oil companies. In October 2023, Klobuchar sent a letter to U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue asking the agency to document the impact of small refinery waivers on farm income, commodity prices, and renewable fuel usage.

At a Senate Agriculture hearing in June, Klobuchar极光加速官网 the urgent need to help farmers identify conservation techniques that would have the greatest benefit for the climate and farmers’ bottom lines.

As a senior member of the Senate Agriculture Committee Klobuchar successfully pushed for key climate provisions in the 2018 Farm Bill, including provisions to increase acres in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) by 3 million acres, invest in renewable energy programs including the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), protect native prairies by fixing a loophole in the “Sodsaver” program, and improve the use of conservation data so that farmers are able to make better choices about conservation practices that benefit their yields and the environment – based on her Agriculture Data Act with Senator Thune.  

Transcript of remarks as delivered below and video available HERE.

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极光加速破解 MN, Policy | Tagged coronavirus | Leave a reply

EVENT OCTOBER: Mark Your Calendar! Broadband 2023: Connected We Stand

极光加速官网From the Blandin Foundation…

We invite you to join us this October for a next generation broadband-enabled, broadband-focused conference.

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The world is in flux and broadband seems to be at the center of it. The COVID-19 pandemic and guidelines on social distancing are creating the need and opportunity to learn how to do things differently, often with an online element. Meanwhile, the internet and social media are allowing people from all over the world in real time to witness and participate first-hand in the movement to end racial inequities in Minnesota and nationwide.

From telework to distance learning to keeping in touch with family and friends; from citizen journalism to starting a movement online; one thing is certain – access to broadband and the skills to use it is more important than ever.

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The conference will be entirely virtual – but that doesn’t mean a series of online lectures. While we have planned a few traditional presentations, we have also created opportunities for discussion and collaboration, such as:

  • Custom meetup/mentoring sessions where you can meet online with potential partners and/or experts in broadband adoption and deployment.
  • Learning Cohorts (small groups) to connect you with other attendees to bounce ideas and traverse an online event throughout the conference.
  • Exciting keynote speakers with the option to ask questions in real time or later
  • Opportunities for small group discussion

For more information including a preliminary schedule of events, visit the conference webpage.

Posted in Blandin Broadband Summit 2023, Blandin Foundation, Conferences, MN | 极光加速器安卓

One in Five in Rural MN unserved – can better maps or federal funding help?

极光加速器安卓 reports…

For decades there has been a push to bring high-speed Internet service to all of Minnesota, but today about one in five rural Minnesota households still lack access.

“It’s criminal we don’t have high-speed Internet in rural areas,” said Wes Gilbert of Mankato Computer Technology.

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Bill Coleman of Mahtomedi-base Technology Advisors Corp. has for 20 years worked with counties, communities, schools and others to improve Internet access.

“We’re chasing something that’s running very fast in front of us,” he said of getting universal access.

He said poor Internet speed is especially highlighted as people try to upload data.

The state’s definition of and goal for high-speed broadband has been a 25 megabits download speed and 3 megabits upload.

Bill offers an option for better mapping…

He said there are companies now able to better measure who really has high-speed Internet. A current speed test is being conducted in northeast Minnesota.

“Their mapping in a very sophisticated way and they can show where service is and isn’t despite what providers say. In many cases the service providers say they’re providing doesn’t really exist,” Coleman said.

“A lot of providers say they deliver 25 megs but it’s actually maybe 5.” Depending on how the service is being delivered, customers living farther away from certain equipment will have a slower speed than advertised, and if copper wires or other equipment isn’t good, it weakens speeds.

And hope from federal funding…

One federal program Coleman is hopeful could provide a boost is the Rural Development Opportunity Fund, funded through the FCC.

There is a total of $20 billion available and the money is to be distributed across the country using a “reverse auction.” That means Internet providers who show they can provide the most broadband for the lowest cost will qualify for the grants.

“The lower the speed (providers) promise, they get penalized. So the FCC is incenting the higher speed.

“It will be interesting to see the strategy of providers and how they bid and who gets these dollars,” Coleman said.

Posted in Digital Divide, MN, Policy | Leave a reply

OPPORTUNITY: MRHA Emerging Rural Health Leader Award nomiations open

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Each year at the MN Rural Health Conference MRHA Awards a deserving student the Emerging Rural Health Leader award. Unfortunately this year’s conference has been cancelled. However, the opportunity to acknowledge an up-and-coming rural health leader is not.

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Click here for the NOMINATION FORM

With the growing reliance of telehealth, it feels like this belongs in a broadband blog as well as any health resource out there. Deadline is Oct 23, 2023.

Posted in Healthcare, MN, 极光加速官网 | Leave a reply


High Plains Journal reports on a recent webinar on rural telehealth…

A July 15 webinar on those issues was hosted by Kevin Oliver, lead relationship manager at CoBank, part of the Farm Credit System that supports key initiatives in both rural broadband and healthcare. Titled “COVID-19 Impacts On Rural Healthcare and Broadband,” it is the fourth in the “From the Farmgate” series of webinars sponsored by CoBank. The speakers were Rick Breuer, CEO of Community Memorial Hospital, located in a rural area of Minnesota just west of Duluth; and Catherine Moyer, CEO of Pioneer Communications, which provides connectivity services in western Kansas via coaxial cable, copper wire, fiber and wireless.

I was especially interested in the bottom line impact to the broadband providers versus the healthcare facilities (the tele vs the health)…

Oliver noted that the cost dynamic was different for health care facilities and communications. Health care facilities saw a simultaneous increase in costs and decreases in revenue. On the other hand, communications companies have added customers and grown more quickly than they might have otherwise. While some payments are in arrears, “most of those arrears will be collectible,” said Moyer—whether from customers, or by laws like the Critical Connections Act that reimburses communications companies. Moyer said Pioneer had “donated” about $500,000 worth of connection services that may or may not be reimbursed.

Breuer said he doesn’t expect revenues at the hospital to return to anything like their full levels for at least a year.  The hospital has managed to avoid layoffs or furloughs, “but we’re getting [through] by the skin of our teeth.” Whatever happens with COVID, he said, “telehealth will definitely be part of our future. Home and hospital connections are equally important, since telehealth often happens from home.”

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His hospital could not have kept its doors open without help from 10 separate funding organizations, said Breuer—but that in turn created a lot of documentation paperwork. He said independent clinics have been the worst-hit by the COVID crisis, especially those that service mostly rural populations but that don’t technically qualify as rural health clinics for one reason or another. Breuer supports changing those designations to allow more clinics to be helped.

Moyer supports what she calls contribution reform. Bill surcharges are based on an outdated model of long-distance service, now that texting has taken the place of phone calls for many. Fortunately, “the COVID crisis has focused the attention of many in Congress. I’ve been talking about all these connectivity issues for 20 years,” she said. “The silver lining is a lot of other people are focused on this issue now too.”

For so many years, the providers have invested (often with public support) in the networks that have made millions for private industry without reaping the same benefit. (A couple years ago, I looked at the 极光下载下载_极光下载绿色版_极光下载2.0.3-华军软件园:2021-5-2 · 极光下载致力于提供一个最高速的下载工具。极光下载不仅支持多连接 。 智能的下载调度: 极光下载采用了智能分块、智能调度、智能镜像分析等。 简洁为美的人性化设计: 极光下载专注于简洁为美的设计。从界面到功能都保持最简洁的设计。 纯绿色: – the community sees the return much more quickly than the provider.) It will be interesting to see what happens with healthcare and telecom/broadband. Many broadband providers are being generous with free/low cost connection right now and hopefully that will be an investment in a future paying customer. While the hospitals are in a different situation – the article points out that “163 rural hospitals have closed and about 600 more are vulnerable, or a third of all rural hospitals in the United States.“

极光加速器安卓 Conferences, Digital Divide, Healthcare, Rural, Vendors | Leave a reply