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.
- Expand a robust high-speed broadband network, utilizing fiber‑to‑the‑premise (FTTP) networks wherever possible and a mix of other communication technologies where fiber is not possible, to attain broadband access to every premise and business in Kandiyohi County.
- Educate legislative leaders on broadband and continue to advocate for state and federal legislative action that secures helpful policies and adequate funding to support robust high-speed broadband development, including through membership in the Minnesota Rural Broadband Coalition.
- Identify and secure funding sources to proceed with implementation of broadband in Kandiyohi County.
- Secure public/private partnerships with one or more broadband providers to move forward with improved broadband network deployment in Kandiyohi County with a preference for FTTP wherever possible.
- Continue to gather data and secure updated maps on current broadband offerings.
- Recommend solutions that the Kandiyohi County Board of Commissioners will approve and invest in with financial support.
- Keep informed of and educate the public and businesses on broadband and advanced technology offerings and what they can do for them. Promote and assist communities in utilizing broadband and advanced technologies and assist with adoption of these technologies for those who need help.
Kandiyohi County was approved for two state Border-to-Border Grants.
- 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.
- Frontier Communications was awarded $1.02 million to expand broadband access in rural southeastern Kandiyohi County.
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.