Committees

Broadband and Advanced Technology Committee

The Broadband and Advanced Technology Committee meets at 12 noon on the first Monday of each month at the Kandiyohi County Health & Human Services Building.

Although this committee has been active for many years, the EDC boards identified broadband as one of its four priority areas for 2019.

Priority Summary

Lobby, collaborate and educate to secure broadband services throughout Kandiyohi County.

Objectives

  1. Develop a  coalition of Kandiyohi County townships willing to facilitate the investment of broadband for the benefit of their residents.
  2. Identify specific people in government that would carry policy bills leading to statutory changes that allow grants for the rural areas of Kandiyohi County. 
  3. Increase our involvement in the Minnesota Rural Broadband Coalition to bring more awareness of the challenges in Kandiyohi County, including the correct information about current speeds and access.

Expected Outcomes

  • Students are able to do homework from home
  • Seniors can take advantage of telemedicine healthcare
  • Businesses are able to have employees work remotely from their homes
  • Entrepreneurs have more opportunities to expand their businesses
  • Agriculture professionals will be able to use precision ag data
  • House values increase with broadband access

Broadband Initiatives

Kandiyohi County was approved for two state Border-to-Border Grants. 

  1. Consolidated Telecommunications Co. (CTC) received the highest award ever given by the state of Minnesota, a $4.94 million grant, to improve high-speed broadband to north central and northwestern Kandiyohi County. The grant was subsequently declined by CTC and the project was not done.
  2. Frontier Communications was awarded $1.02 million to expand broadband access in rural southeastern Kandiyohi County.

Read more about the projects.

The EDC has received several grants from the Blandin Foundation to further broadband initiatives in Kandiyohi County:

  • In 2016, the EDC was awarded a grant for a robust network feasibility study of Kandiyohi County.
  • In 2015, the EDC received a grant to install WiFi hotspots for its grant partners Central Community Transit, New London-Spicer Schools, United Way of West Central Minnesota and the city of Willmar. All grant partners purchased portable WiFi routers that can be used on their buses, except for the city of Willmar, which used the grant funds to expand WiFi at the Willmar Civic Center.
  • In 2014, the EDC received a grant to host the county’s first-ever hackathon. Hack20 was held September 18-20, 2015 and resulted in four potential apps for the community. 
  • In 2010, the EDC was 1 of 11 demonstration communities to receive funding through the Minnesota Intelligent Rural Communities (MIRC) Initiative.Hack20

Mark Boeschen, Chairperson
David Sisser, Vice Chair

Staff Liaison:
Connie Schmoll, Business Development Specialist

Broadband Committee Minutes