Blandin Strategy Board advice to Task Force

Earlier today the Blandin Foundation Broadband Strategy Board sent the following letter to the Ultra High-Speed Broadband Task Force. It includes advice and praise for the hard work the Task Force has been doing.

I’m going to cheat and put my favorite advice from the letter upfront – and then provide the full letter.

1. Focus on the Broadband Gap.
2. Address affordability.
3. Upload speeds matter.
4. Competition is good.
5. Encourage investment. .
6. Be inclusive.
7. Aim higher.

 Dear Mr. King:

In 2003, Blandin Foundation called-out robust broadband as an issue critical to the future of Minnesota, and especially critical to the vitality of rural communities. We formed a statewide advisory group – the Blandin Broadband Strategy Board – which developed a vision and set of principles that guides its work. That guiding vision, also endorsed by the Foundation, challenges all of us to aim high:

To ensure a high quality of life and a globally competitive future for its citizens, businesses, and communities, Minnesota is committed to making the necessary investment to become a world leader in the universal deployment and use of ultra high-speed next generation broadband.

Today, the Minnesota Ultra High-Speed Broadband Task Force is grappling with the same set of issues in service to the Governor, legislators and state. The Blandin Foundation appreciates the hard work and public mindedness required to reach consensus in this dynamic and complex area. As our vision statement attests, we share the goal of helping all Minnesota communities realize the full promise of broadband.

From the perspective of an organization deeply committed to the future of rural Minnesota communities, I am keenly aware of the importance of the Task Force’s work in helping Minnesota address these challenges. While recognizing the difficulties inherent in finding consensus on complex issues, I call on you to exercise the leadership necessary to ensure that Minnesota remains technologically and economically vital. “Above average” isn’t good enough.

The Foundation’s Broadband Strategy Board has raised a number of excellent issues and suggestions through the lens of our vision and principles. I commend the views (attached) of these insightful and diverse experts in response to the Task Force’s invitation for comments on its draft report.

Thank you for your public service and for the opportunity to provide input to your important work.

Sincerely,

James J. Hoolihan
President, Blandin Foundation

Attachments:
Assessment of Task Force Report by Blandin Foundation Broadband Strategy Board
Blandin Foundation Broadband Vision and Principles
Broadband Strategy Board Member Listing