A program of the Blandin Foundation

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In 2005, Blandin Foundation asked its Broadband Strategy Board to imagine what it would take for Minnesota and its communities to take full advantage of broadband-based technologies. Their vision and guiding principles have been driving the Foundation’s work ever since:

To ensure a high quality of life and a globally competitive future for its citizens, businesses and communities, Minnesota is committed to making the necessary investment to become a world leader in the universal deployment and use of ultra high-speed next generation broadband.

At the November 2015 Border to Border Broadband: Better Together conference hosted by Blandin Foundation and the Minnesota Office of Broadband Development, more than 170 people from across Minnesota kept the previous vision in mind as they worked to create a new vision for broadband for our state:

Everyone in Minnesota will be able to use convenient, affordable world-class broadband networks that enable us to survive and thrive in our communities and across the globe.

Why broadband?

Blandin Foundation believes that encouraging more, and more sophisticated use of high-speed Internet is a critical component for increasing the vitality of Minnesota's rural communities.

The Broadband Initiative funds innovative programs and works in partnership with others to:

  • Increase awareness about the value of broadband (high-speed Internet)
  • Increase business and residential use of broadband in rural communities
  • Increase public and private investment in rural broadband capacity.

This is important work. Blandin Foundation believes that high-speed access to the Internet – and the skills to use it – is fundamental to vital communities. High-speed Internet is revolutionizing business, government, education, work and lifestyles. It creates new jobs and provides hope to communities in transition. It puts workers into wage and skill competition with people around the globe. Absent adequate broadband access and technologically literate populations, rural communities are unable to take advantage of the extraordinary benefits that ultra high-speed next generation broadband can provide.


Our work to date

In 2002, Blandin Foundation began its Broadband Initiative based on the belief that rural communities were losing competitive advantage because they lack the telecommunications infrastructure to fully take advantage of the increasingly global, knowledge-based economy. Since 2003, the Broadband Initiative has:


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