The elusive Holy Grail for broadband is proof. Specifically, useful and accurate data that proves to some extent how broadband impacts local economies. But this could be changing as data-gathering efforts started several years ago in various communities are starting to bear fruit.
The Minnesota Rural Intelligent Communities (MIRC) was one such project that provides valuable lessons. MIRC involved extensive research to determine if and how broadband impacted personal economic advancement, continuing education and business performance in 11 communities.
Bernadine Joselyn, Dir. of Public Policy and Engagement for the Blandin Foundation, and Robert Bell, co-founder of the Intelligent Communities Forum (ICF) present the MIRC report's key findings, and discuss what these mean for rural communities in Minnesota and throughout the U.S. The Foundation administered the project on behalf of the initiative's partners, including ICF which established measurement criteria. Listeners also get tips on effective techniques for assessing broadband's economic impact.
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