Connect Minnesota Hosts the 2013 Broadband Summit

Roseville, MN (PRWEB) December 04, 2013

More than one hundred attendees came to the Radisson Hotel in Roseville for the 2013 Connect Minnesota Broadband Summit: The State of Broadband, an event designed to be a collaborative forum for learning about Minnesotas broadband landscape.

The Summit began with video greetings from Senators Al Franken and Amy Klobuchar. Following was a slate of panel discussions which included state and local policymakers, members of the Governors Task Force on Broadband and the Blandin Foundation, and technology providers. Mr. Thomas Cohen, representing the Fiber to the Home Council, offered a keynote address. The goal of the Summit was to provide attendees with an overview of where Minnesota stands in regard to broadband access, adoption, and use, especially in light of the states statutory broadband goals.

It is important for those of us involved with broadband in Minnesota to come together and share information and ideas, said Connect Minnesotas State Program Manager William Hoffman. Minnesota has made significant progress toward achieving our state speed goal; we are ranked in the top 10 in broadband adoption; and we have great stakeholders working in all areas of broadband access, adoption, and use across the state. There is still work to do, but I believe today was a benefit to all of us.

During his keynote address, Thomas Cohen of Kelley, Drye & Warren, LLP, and legal counsel for Fiber to the Home Council, provided insight on fiber development . You should be envious of everybody who has fiber to the home, Kelly said. Not just because you can download Netflix or upload all sorts of files to share with others. A recent study has shown that the value of your home goes up some 5 to 10 thousand dollars if you have fiber to the home. The issue is there is a gap in the market because the cost of fiber is expensive. You better have at least 30 percent of broadband penetration to make it feasible economically. What your community needs to think about is what model works?

The expansion of the broadband service to rural areas of Minnesota gives employers the ability to allow employees to work from home, said Margaret Kelliher, Chair, Governors Task Force on Broadband and President of the Minnesota High Tech Association This creates a wider market for employers to hire from and expands the knowledge workforce.

To recognize an outstanding contribution made to increase broadband service in the state, Connect Minnesota created the Minnesota Broadband Hero Award.

The 2013 Connect Minnesota Broadband Hero award was presented to JoAnne Johnson of U-reka Broadband Ventures for her significant contributions to Minnesotas broadband landscape.


Photo Captions:

Panel: Panel participants at the 2013 Connect Minnesota Broadband Summit

Keynote: Thomas Cohen of Kelley, Drye & Warren, LLP, and legal counsel for Fiber to the Home Council, gave a keynote address at the 2013 Connect Minnesota Broadband Summit.

About Connect Minnesota: As a public-private partnership, Connect Minnesota partners with technology-minded businesses, government entities, and universities to accelerate technology in the state of Minnesota. The work of Connect Minnesota is made possible by support from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. For more information about what Connect Minnesota is doing to accelerate technology in Minnesotas communities, visit

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