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Since 2003, Blandin Foundation has studied and supported locally-driven efforts to increase the ways rural Minnesotans connect to and use high-speed internet.
In 2002, Blandin Foundation began its Broadband Initiative based on the belief that rural communities were losing competitive advantage because they lack the telecommunications infrastructure to fully take advantage of the increasingly global, knowledge-based economy.
This is important work. Blandin Foundation believes that high-speed access to the Internet – and the skills to use it – is fundamental to vital communities. High-speed Internet is revolutionizing business, government, education, work and lifestyles. It creates new jobs and provides hope to communities in transition. It puts workers into wage and skill competition with people around the globe. Absent adequate broadband access and technologically literate populations, rural communities are unable to take advantage of the extraordinary benefits that ultra high-speed next generation broadband can provide.