The Community Broadband Networks Team at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance has created a new fact sheet: Minnesota: Cooperatives and Local Governments Can Solve Rural Digital Divide.
This time of year, people come together to celebrate the things they are thankful for and appreciate. Here at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, we want to take a moment to appreciate all the communities, people, and wonderful ideas that help spread the concept of fast, affordable, reliable connectivity.
This is episode 225 of the Community Broadband Bits. Representatives of Midwest Energy Cooperative discuss their project to bring high-speed connectivity to rural southwest Michigan. Listen to this episode here.
Dave Allen: I really see this as a re-lighting of rural America.
Native American communities throughout the United States have rather bleak figures when it comes to Internet access. That’s about to change.
In Minnesota, Red Lake Nation now has access to some of the fastest Internet service in the entire country. The telephone cooperative Paul Bunyan Communications has extended its GigaZone, offering a Gigabit (1,000 Megabits) per second Internet service, to the tribal nation.
Paul Bunyan Communications in Minnesota reports it has expanded its “GigaZone” Internet service territory to Turtle River, Puposky, and Tenstrike and to additional areas of Bemidji.
More than 2,800 additional locations now have access to, among other services, Internet speeds of up to 1 Gigabit per second (Gbps) following the recent upgrades to its fiber-optic communications network, the Bemidji-based co-op notes.
People rave about next-generation connectivity’s possibilities in rural economies, but what does that mean for locals? A recent survey quantified the actual impact of a reliable high-speed Internet connection in an underserved area.
Saint Louis Park, a compact community along the west side of Minneapolis, has built an impressive fiber network, a conduit system, and several deals with developers to ensure new apartment buildings will allow their tenants to choose among high speed Internet access providers. Chief Information Office Clint Pires joins me for Community Broadband Bits podcast 219.
When the Rochester Post-Bulletin published Christopher Mitchell’s opinion piece in August, it wasn’t only because he is an expert on municipal networks. Christopher’s interest in all things geeky started in Rochester - he went to Rochester Mayo High School.
A Budding Idea
As the next President considers how to improve rural Internet access, the administration will have to decide where to focus policy. Some at NTIA - the National Telecommunications Information Administration, a part of the federal Department of Commerce - have argued for more middle mile investment. NTIA oversaw major investments in middle mile networks after the stimulus package passed in 2009.