The Blandin Broadband Communities (BBC) program from the Blandin Foundation has been helping local cities, counties, tribes, and other self-identified communities of interest or place take steps to meet technology goals since 2013. The foundation is once again seeking participant communities and is accepting applications to be part of the 2020-2021 program cohort.
Download the BBC Application Instructions here for more information on how to apply to the program. The application deadline is January 24th.
Helping Communities Meet Their Goals
Bernadine Joselyn, Director of Public Policy and Engagement at the Blandin Foundation alerted us to the search for participating communities. In an email, Bernadine stated:
This program emphasizes broadband adoption and use in rural communities through the provision of leadership and project development facilitation services as well as project funding of up to $75,000. Project examples include public Wi-Fi access, business technology assessment and training, workforce training, online community and business marketing, online government services and other community generated projects. Communities are required to create a steering team to oversee the effort over the 18-24 month program period
For communities that have quality broadband services in place, this program can showcase the value of broadband network deployment. For communities working to improve their broadband networks, Blandin Broadband Communities can provide a platform for building community consensus that enhanced broadband networks are critical to a community’s future.
Working for Other Communities Across Minnesota
The last cohort focused on Iron Range communities in northern Minnesota; the Blandin Foundation was able to make use of funding from the Minnesota Department of Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation (IRRR) and St. Louis County. Past entities working with the Blandin Foundation include the Cannon Falls School District, Bois Fort Reservation, Renville and Sibley Counties, the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe and Southwest Minnesota Broadband Services.
Applicants and interested parties can see a wealth of information on the program and on past projects at the Blandin Broadband Communities Program website.
Download the detailed Application Instructions here to find out how your community can apply to become a Blandin Broadband Community. Get your applications submitted by January 24th to qualify!