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Broadband Discussion Series

Links to upcoming Broadband Lunch Bunch discussion sessions and archived sessions where MN and national broadband leaders share insights and tips to transform communities.

Blandin Community Broadband Program webinars and discussion groups are designed to provide rural Minnesota leaders with information and resources they can use to help transform their communities into tech savvy places to live, work and visit. Communities serious about attracting new businesses, entrepreneurs, young people, and tourists must consider technology and Internet access as an essential amenity for community economic growth and vibrancy.

Blandin Broadband Lunch Bunch
A virtual series for 2021, Blandin Broadband Lunch Bunch took place the second and fourth Wednesdays of the month from noon-1:00 pm. Meetings alternated between Broadband Infrastructure and Digital Use and Equity. Click here to view report-outs from select sessions on the Blandin on Broadband blog.


Lunch Bunch sessions concluded in 4th quarter 2021.


Webinars are recorded and archived on the Blandin on Broadband blog (with the exception of Lunch Bunch). Click the links below to access the webinars.

Broadband Leadership Roundtable Discussions:

During the summer of 2020, weekly roundtable discussions were held on a variety of broadband-related topics with the goal of increasing the ability of local broadband leaders to solve their local broadband puzzle. Participants were invited to ask questions, promote broadband partnership opportunities, share positive experiences, and express frustrations. Host Bill Coleman had topics in mind, but participants could steer the conversation and initiate conversation around other topics.

Broadband Leadership Roundtable Discussions – 2020
August 25 – CARES Funding to Further Broadband Access
August 18 – Public Engagement in Broadband Network Development with Christopher Mitchell of the Institute for Local Self Reliance (
August 11 – MN Rural Broadband Coalition and the Statewide Speed Test
August 4 – Partnership for a ConnectedMN
July 28 – Data and Broadband Investment with Michael Curri of Strategic Networks Group
July 21 – MN Rural Mental Health and Telehealth with the MN Rural Health Association, NAMI Minnesota, and MN Dept of Health
July 14 – 5G with Brian Pickering of Nokia
July 7 – MN Children’s Press with Anne Brataas, Director
June 30 – Small-Scale Economic Development Strategies with social media experts Ann Treacy and Molly Solberg
June 23 – Telehealth Response to COVID-19 with Bois Forte Band, Tri-County Health and GPTrac
June 16 – Social Media for Community Broadband
June 9 – Polco’s Civic Engagement Platform
June 2 – Broadband Funding Available From the Federal EDA with Robin Weiss and Jay Trusty from Southwest RDC
May 26 – Community Efforts to Spur Broadband Adoption and User Sophistication
May 19 – Selecting the Right Private Sector Broadband Partner
May 12 – Speed Tests: The What, Why, and How
May 5 – The FCC’s Rural Development Opportunity Fund

Special Webinars:

Broadband Leadership Webinar Series: Creating Successful Broadband Infrastructure Projects

The coronavirus pandemic has made it clear that access to broadband is necessary for everyone. Communities cannot merely hope that a comprehensive broadband solution will be delivered to their doorsteps; local leaders must take an active role to ensure their community’s long-term broadband needs are met — that broadband is an asset, not a constraint.

The series addressed broadband infrastructure project planning best practices and tips – from partnering effectively with ISPs and units of government, to working with broadband consultants, to successfully applying for public funds.

Topic Description
Series Overview – March 31, 2020 A review of the entire broadband development process.
Setting the Vision – April 2 The hows and whys of developing a shared community broadband vision to engage community leaders, citizens, and broadband provider partners.
Broadband 101 – April 7 An introduction to various broadband technologies highlighting capabilities, liabilities, and comparative costs of each.
Community Broadband Surveys – April 9 An overview of broadband surveys including a comparison of random sample surveys and canvassing techniques, key questions, the importance of GIS mapping technology, and data ownership considerations.
Broadband Mapping – April 14 An introduction to broadband mapping data sources, with demonstration of various GIS capabilities for data display and grant eligibility determination. Strategies for challenging broadband map data will be discussed.
Ownership Models and Provider Partnerships – April 16 An overview of models concerning network ownership and operations providing options for working with existing and prospective partners.
Feasibility Studies – April 21 Presentation and discussion of the key elements of broadband feasibility study design, implementation, and use; including tips on selecting a consultant.
Federal and State Broadband Finance Programs – April 23 An overview of existing and emerging broadband finance programs.
Local Broadband Finance Options – April 28 An introduction to the finance tools available to cities, counties, and towns to assist in broadband development.
Communicating to Achieve Your Community Broadband Vision
April 30, 2020
A strong messaging plan is essential to building citizen and elected official support for broadband projects. Learn how to plan your messaging strategy. 


Blandin Broadband Webinar Archives

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Your feedback strengthens our broadband programs. Contact us to share your thoughts. You may also subscribe to our mailing list, or contact the following Broadband team members.

Mary Magnuson March 2016-crop

Mary Magnuson

Community Broadband Program - Public Policy & Engagement

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Direct: 218-327-8738

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