More than 170 people—including SherBand representatives—gathered in November at the 2015 Border to Border Broadband: Better Together conference and worked together to create and adopt a new vision for broadband for our state:
Everyone in Minnesota will be able to use convenient, affordable world-class broadband networks that enable us to survive and thrive in our communities and across the globe.
Since then, dozens of other organizations have formally endorsed this vision. They all have the same goals of affordable, robust broadband access. Like SherBand, they believe broadband is a critical component for economic vitality and prosperous communities. With the vision in place, the work continues…
Connecting the County
Here’s how broadband is improving connectivity and quality of life around Sherburne County:
Sherburne County History Center – installed fiber and provides public WiFi
Becker Athletic Complex – provides public WiFi and now streams events
Lake Side Park in Big Lake – provides public WiFi
Rivers Edge Park in Elk River – provides public WiFi and improves public safety with cameras
Elk River School District – extended hours for computer lab
Spectrum High School – added Chromebooks and new curriculum
Elk River to Zimmerman Fiber – installed fiber and provides remote training
SherBand Community Outreach – Educate, Partner & Advocate for better broadband
We’ve also completed our feasibility study that includes details on a Middle-Mile Fiber Network and Fiber to the Home solution for Sherburne County. Click HERE to learn more.
Border-To-Border Broadband Update
Last year the Border-To-Border fund had $10 million to grant to broadband projects around the state. This year the Legislature is expected to dedicate more funds to the project.
A Minneapolis Star-Tribune article offered a glimpse at what some of the discussions in the Legislature might be like with Governor Dayton proposing $100 million for the broadband grant program, an effort legislative Democrats say they support. However house Republicans have called for reforms to how the broadband grants are administered, saying Minnesota should do more to leverage existing federal funding for broadband access.
In a recent letter to the St. Cloud Times, Representative Tom Emmer called broadband “a critical component of the infrastructure of the 21st century” and labeled it a priority. He said elected officials have been leveraging federal funding, state grants and private investment to expand broadband access. And, as a result, he believes we will see historic funding levels the next several years.
NOW is the time to contact your legislators to ask for their support in fully funding Sherburne County’s broadband needs. Click HERE for a list of your elected officials.
Learning Opportunity for Small Business Owners
Are You a small business owner with questions about broadband? Do you know how to use it effectively to boost management, marketing, and sales? Blandin Foundation recently hosted a webinar on this very topic. Check out the Blandin website to learn more about the discussion and to listen to the webinar.