Last Monday I traveled with Bill Coleman to Lac qui Parle County in western Minnesota. I went to work with the LqP Economic Development Authority to promote local businesses via social media. Bill was going to work with Lac qui Parle Valley folks on their Blandin Broadband Community projects.
LqPV is one of nine communities selected to become a Blandin Broadband Community and part of the package is getting support from a community coach. Bill has years of experience, including being one of the main drivers for the recent MIRC (Minnesota Intelligent Rural Communities) project at Blandin – a project that results in driving greater broadband expansion to rural areas. I wanted to share notes on the meeting for a few reasons – but mostly as a help to other communities that are interested in expanding broadband in their own areas.
On a high level, it’s easy to see the value of outside support. The project will not work without local champions – but I think it can be made easier with support from someone who has experience and expertise expanding broadband. Bernadine Joselyn from the Blandin Foundation is fond of saying that “you have to do it yourself but you can’t do it alone.” Also I think there’s a certain value in having to report updates to someone.
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