ED Pro observations about the importance of broadband internet access

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Mon, 12/20/2004 - 15:03.

In his ED Pro, Ed Morrison highlighted important observations about the importance of broadband internet access... in this case highlighting a foundation initiative to improve access for rural regions of Minnesota, but the same thinking must be applied to underserved, disconnected urban populations, like in inner-city Cleveland and East Cleveland. Note, in the grand spectrum of Internet access, dial-up is the minimum need of every citizen of the new economy, the level of broadband discussed here (e.g. DSL or Cable, via wires or wifi) is a valuable step beyond dial-up, and beyond that is ultra-broadband, like with OneCleveland, which provides even higher speed communications for large institutions. Toi consider what action is needed here, read the insightbelow, inserting "urban NEO" for "rural MN" and replacing "Blandin" with "Cleveland", "Gund" or any other area or national foundation.

The Blandin Foundation’s Get Broadband! community grants program is
accepting new grant applications from rural Minnesota communities in
2005 to stimulate the use of broadband-based technologies.

Applicants are urged to demonstrate community commitment to increasing:

• Awareness about the benefits of broadband

• Business, institutional and residential use

• Public and private investment in broadband capacity

“We are eager to work with farsighted community leaders who
understand how critical broadband is for community survival in the new
economy,� Joselyn said.

The Foundation launched the Broadband Initiative in 2003 because it
believes that broadband technology facilitates rural community economic
development and is important to rural economic success – broadband
technologies can help transform rural communities into centers of
innovation and technology.

Communities that get broadband can increase their potential to
retain and attract good jobs, grow new markets for business, improve
health care, enhance educational opportunities, improve quality-of-life
and help local governments deliver more and better services for less
cost.

“In today’s global economy, we are no longer competing with our
neighbors in South Dakota,Iowa or Wisconsin,� Joselyn said. “We are
competing with every country, every business, everyday. Communities
that want to thrive must embrace broadband. It’s as simple as that.�

Read the related press release