Intensive, two-year partnerships with Blandin Foundation to advance local broadband initiatives.
The Blandin Broadband Communities (BBC) program is an intensive, two-year partnership 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 a $75,000 matching grant for locally developed projects that advance community identified technology goals over the two-year project period.
Blandin Broadband Communities 2021-23
Austin/Mower County, Big Stone County, Lincoln County, Mahnomen County, Pine County, and Warroad/Roseau County
Blandin Broadband Communities 2020-21
Chisago Lakes Area, Le Sueur County, Otter Tail County, and White Earth Nation
Iron Range Broadband Communities 2019-20
Made possible with funding support from the Minnesota Department of Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation (IRRR) and St. Louis County, the Iron Range cohort of Blandin Broadband Communities are located in IRRR’s service area: East Range Joint Powers, Laurentian Chamber of Commerce, Tower Economic Development Authority, and Iron Range Tourism Bureau.
Blandin Broadband Communities 2018-20
Cannon Falls (school district), Koochiching Technology Initiative, Rock County, and Swift County.
Iron Range Broadband Communities 2017-18; 2019-20 Alumni
Aitkin County, Bois Forte Reservation/Cook/Orr, Chisholm, Ely, Hibbing, and Mt. Iron-Buhl.
2015-16 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.
2013-14 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. The Demonstration Communities were: Benton County, Cook County, Grand Rapids Area, Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe, Stevens County, Thief River Falls, Upper MN Valley RDC, Willmar, Windom, Winona, and Worthington.
Minnesota Intelligent Rural Communities
Research, tools and commentary on our federally funded, groundbreaking collaborative spanning 30 Minnesota communities from 2010 to 2013.