A program of the Blandin Foundation

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Blandin Broadband Communities Program

Blandin Foundation is now taking applications for a cohort of four Blandin Broadband Communities (BBCs) from the Iron Range, made possible through a partnership between the Foundation and Iron Range Resources & Rehabilitation Board (IRRRB). Communities must be located within IRRRB's service area in northeastern Minnesota. See below for a link to the program application.

Teams from the Iron Range cohort communities will receive planning and organizing support, and the opportunity to apply for approximately $65,000 in grant funding over two years for locally developed projects that address community identified needs, and up to $25,000 to conduct a Robust Network Feasibility Study. However, Blandin Broadband Communities are not guaranteed any grant support.

Significant commitment on the part of Blandin Broadband Communities will be expected and required throughout the two-year grant period. 

  • Communities must commit to recruiting and supporting an inclusive community steering committee that reflects community composition.
  • Community steering committee members must be able and willing to commit time and attention to community planning and project development and management.
  • Community steering committee member representatives must participate in virtual and in-person meetings with other participating communities.

The 2015-16 cohort of Blandin Broadband Communities are: Carlton County, Central Woodlands (east central Minnesota), Chisago County, Martin County, Redwood County, Red Wing, Renville/Sibley Counties, Resilient Region (Region 5 in north central Minnesota), and Sherburne County.

The 2013-14 cohort of Blandin Broadband Communities are: Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, Itasca Area, Kanabec County, Lac qui Parle Valley School District, Lake County, Lake of the Woods County, Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe, Mille Lacs County, and Southwest Minnesota Broadband Services.

The Blandin Broadband Communities Program builds on the success of the Demonstration Community component of the Minnesota Intelligent Rural Communities (MIRC) program, which was funded by federal grant dollars and administered by the foundation.

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