Four more communities selected for Blandin Community Broadband Program

Blandin Foundation announced today that it has selected four additional rural Minnesota communities for intensive, two-year partnerships with the Foundation to advance local broadband initiatives.

Swift County, Rock County, Cannon Falls and Koochiching Technology Initiative were successful in their communities’ bids to become Blandin Broadband Communities (BBC).

Communities were selected based on demonstrated commitment to work together across sectors to set and meet information technology goals and bridge digital divides.

Blandin Foundation staff and consultants will work with the four communities to provide planning, technical and financial support as diverse, local leadership teams design and drive digital technology initiatives that position their communities and every resident for greater success.

“High-speed Internet access – and the skills to use it – is fundamental to vibrant rural communities,” said Bernadine Joselyn, director of public policy and engagement at Blandin Foundation. “We’re excited to partner with the communities to imagine new possibilities that come with enhanced Internet access and use.”

This cohort joins 25 rural Minnesota communities that have gone through the BBC program.

“It takes strong local leadership and commitment from whole communities to tackle the tough issues related to Internet access and use,” said Dr. Kathy Annette, Blandin Foundation CEO. “We’re honored to stand with rural communities across the state as they design and claim vibrant, connected futures.”

Next steps for each community include assessing the community’s current broadband access and use and holding a series of public planning meetings.