March 25th, 2011
Minnesota Public Radio Ground Level just published a nice web site featuring several aspects of broadband in rural Minnesota. One of the good questions they ask is – Who should build the next generation of high-speed networks? They came to LqP for part of the answer…
Eighteen state projects are set to receive more than $228 million in federal stimulus dollars, infusing public money into many private systems and ushering in the heyday of the public/private hybrid.
One project, in western Minnesota’s Lac qui Parle County, serves as a good example both of a public-private partnership and of a big private provider taking a pass. Pam Lehmann, executive director of the county’s economic development authority, wanted to bring fiber to every home in the county.
She likens fiber to electricity or the telephone, explaining, “People who reside here have as much value as people anywhere in the whole world.” Lac qui Parle was willing to throw in for a feasibility study and even planned to apply for federal stimulus dollars.
The article continues with Pam talking about the process that we’ve gone through and continue to go through to get broadband to our homes and businesses.