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    Blandin Broadband Communities Program

    Blandin Broadband Communities 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.

    Blandin Foundation is currently seeking up to ten new communities for the 2015-16 cohort of Blandin Broadband Communities. Applications will be accepted through October 17, 2014. See below for Application Instructions.

    In addition to the new communities, alumni Blandin Broadband Communities and MIRC Demonstration Communities are invited to participate on a smaller scale. 

    Once selected, new Blandin Broadband Community teams will receive planning and organizing support, and the opportunity to apply for grant funding for locally developed projects that address community identified needs.  Chosen communities may apply for up to $100,000 in matching funding over a two-year period, with the average amount of grant support anticipated to be $75,000 per community.  Being chosen as a Blandin Broadband Community, however, is not a guarantee of grant support.

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

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

    The 2013-14 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.

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