Broadband Communities

NOV-DEC 2013

BROADBAND COMMUNITIES is the leading source of information on digital and broadband technologies for buildings and communities. Our editorial aims to accelerate the deployment of Fiber-To-The-Home and Fiber-To-The-Premises.

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ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT Broadband Adoption And Economic Opportunity Lessons from an NTIA-supported broadband program in Minnesota show that adoption is as important as access in ensuring the benefts of broadband to communities. By Bernadine Joselyn / Blandin Foundation Editor's Note: Te following is excerpted from the testimony of Bernadine Joselyn, Director, Public Policy & Engagement, Blandin Foundation, before the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation's Subcommittee on Communications, Technology and the Internet on October 29, 2013. Blandin Foundation, based in Grand Rapids, Minn., works with rural communities in Minnesota; supporting rural broadband is one of its missions. 86 | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | Lake Band of Ojibwe. Janice Gale, director of the Leech Lake Band's Temporary Employment Program, had long seen the digital challenges that her neighbors and workers faced in seeking even temporary employment. She quickly put to work the resources and relationships available through our network of partners to teach online job search and work skills and to expand the availability of computers on the reservation. A computer lab at the Boys and Girls Club, for example, attracts 250 students each month. Photo: Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe W hen we met Kristin Fake, a sole proprietor in tourism-dependent Akeley, Minn., it was a leap of faith for her to come to the workshop hosted by the University of Minnesota Extension Service, one of our partners in our broadband work. Like so many, she couldn't imagine how technology might beneft her home staging business. At the workshop, she quickly discovered that her clients were being misdirected by Google Maps, how keywords drive inquiries and how she might use a smartphone to dramatically improve her customer service. Her annual sales now are much higher than before she took the class, and products she advertises on Facebook often are purchased before she even gets them displayed in her shop. Kristin is poised to take her business to a new level as Akeley continues to recover from a very tough economic patch. Kristin went from not being able to imagine how technology might be helpful to her business to creating demand for products and services that the marketplace hadn't yet imagined. Empowering people through technology also was the focus of our partnership with the Leech A student at the Leech Lake Band's Temporary Employment Program learns digital skills. | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2013

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