A program of the Blandin Foundation

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Blandin Broadband Communities Program

The Blandin Broadband Communities (BBC) program is an intensive, two-year parnership between rural Minnesota communities (cities, counties, tribes, or other self-identified communities of interest or place) and the foundation. Selected communities work through a proven process to define their technology goals, measure current levels of broadband access and use, and seek technical assistance and resources to meet their goals.

Each BBC has the opportunity apply to Blandin Foundation for matching grants (around $75,000) for locally developed projects that advance community identified technology goals over the two-year project period.

November 2, 2016

Blandin Foundation announced today that it has selected six Iron Range communities for intensive, two-year partnerships with the Foundation to advance local broadband initiatives.  

Ely, Hibbing, Aitkin County, Bois Forte Reservation/Orr/Cook, Mt. Iron-Buhl area, and Chisholm all have been successful in their communities’ bids to become Blandin Broadband Communities (BBC).

Made possible with funding support from the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board (IRRRB) and St. Louis County, this selection is unique in that all communities are located in IRRRB’s Northeastern service area. 

Read the full press release here

The 2015-16 cohort of Blandin Broadband Communities: Carlton County, Central Woodlands (east central Minnesota), Chisago County, Martin County, Nobles 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: 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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