Broadband continues growth in rural Minnesota

Posted in Broadband, Grants

Helping rural communities make the most of broadband takes work on many fronts. Communities across rural Minnesota are successfully tackling various facets of that work as part of the Minnesota Intelligent Rural Communities (MIRC) project. Community leaders have been focusing their efforts on reducing barriers and encouraging online ventures, and their work is bearing fruit.

Benton County, in central Minnesota, has several programs in place like Independent Lifestyles’ Project BRAVE to help low-income and older citizens get familiar with computers and basic software and internet connections. The St. Cloud Times is currently running a series of stories about broadband in that region.

Rural entrepreneurs are getting training in how to use online marketing tools in classes offered by the University of Minnesota Extension Service. According a recent Extension newsletter, more than 1,500 people have attended the classes in communities throughout rural Minnesota.

Lake and Cook counties are working hard to bring broadband service to their residents along the rugged North Shore of Lake Superior. Key leaders in these projects were recent guests on WDSE-TV’s Almanac North, providing an update on progress and outlining the kinds of opportunities high-speed internet connection will bring.