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Broadband workshop offered Aug. 13 in Bemidji

The Northwest Minnesota Foundation and the Blandin Foundation will co-host a workshop from 9 to 11 a.m. Monday Aug. 13 at Beltrami Electric in Bemidji to inform rural communities about the importance of broadband planning, deployment and use throughout the region.

Launching in the fall of 2012, the Blandin Community Broadband Program (BCBP) continues to deliver on the Broadband Vision for Minnesota, developed in 2003 in partnership with leaders across the state:

To ensure a high quality of life and a globally competitive future for its citizens, businesses and communities, Minnesota is committed to making the necessary investment to become a world leader in the universal deployment and use of ultra high-speed next generation broadband.

Speakers from Northwest Central Minnesota will share their experiences in how expanding access and affordability to broadband has impacted local communities.

Learn how coalitions of local organizations have banded together to ensure that all community members have broadband access and are empowered through the use of broadband technology.

Ten communities will be selected to participate in the two-year BCBP. Communities are encouraged to organize around any geographic (city, county, geographic corridor) or interest area (economic development, arts, education, etc.).

Communities will receive planning and technical assistance and an average of $75,000 for project funding.

All rural communities will have access to additional funding opportunities for broadband feasibility studies, digital inclusion initiatives, broadband technology applications like distance education and tele-health, and a special projects fund.

Beltrami Electric is located at 4111 Technology Dr. NW, Bemidji.

Refreshments will be served.

The Northwest Minnesota Foundation serves 12 counties by investing resources, creating opportunities and promoting philanthropy to make the region a better place to live and work.