Kanabec Broadband Initiative


The Kanabec Broadband Initiative is an ad hoc group of community organizations that recognize the importance of broadband to the economic competitiveness of Kanabec County – our residents, businesses and institutions.

We want Kanabec County to meet the statewide broadband goal of 25 Mbps to every home and business so that we can keep our Kanabec County community competitive with the rest of the state so that we can attract people and jobs to our area.

Blandin Foundation Funds Additional KBI Projects

GRAND RAPIDS, Minn. (January 24, 2014) – Blandin Foundation announced today that it has awarded 32 grants totaling $472,930 that assist rural Minnesota communities in advancing high-speed Internet access and use in their communities. Kanabec County was the recipient of three broadband grants, totaling $47,165, which will support local residents and community leaders in reaching their goal to utilize broadband (Internet) technology to remain economically competitive.

Read the entire press release…

LEC Video Conference Event

On December 10th, 2013, the Mora Housing and Redevelopment Authority (HRA), Kanabec Broadband Initiative (KBI) KBI and East Central MN Educational Cable Cooperative (ECMECC) joined together to present an interactive video conference (IVC) event at the Eastwood Life Enrichment Center (LEC) in Mora, MN. The LEC is a facility run by the Mora HRA as an event center for the residents of the Eastwood senior living complex as well as for community meetings and events. KBI, through the generous support of the Blandin Foundation, was able to outfit the LEC with modern audio/video equipment including a video conference system and high speed, broadband, Internet access (with support from Midcontinent Communications).

Nearly 60 people assembled at the LEC to view an interactive presentation lead by the National Park Service and broadcast live from the grounds of the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Mounument at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The presentation included a short documentary about the attacks of December 7th, 1941, an eyewitness account led by Jimmy Lee who was eleven at the time and living on a farm on the northern part of the harbor (a front row seat to the events of that day) and a question/answer session with Paul Heintz of the park service and Jimmy Lee.

Read more and see a video clip from the event…

Kanabec County / KBI Selected as a Blandin Broadband Community

DULUTH, MINNESOTA – Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012—Blandin Foundation announced today at its annual broadband conference in Duluth that Kanabec County was successful in its application to become a Blandin Broadband Community, one of only nine selected in the state.

The Blandin Broadband Communities program is an intensive, two-year partnership between Blandin Foundation and selected rural Minnesota communities. The program provides planning and organizing support to regions that demonstrate readiness and resources to either bring robust broadband adoption to communities without it, or assist already connected communities to make best use of information and services broadband can deliver.

Read the entire press release…

Robust Broadband Network Feasibility Study Results Released

In May 2012, KBI selected U-Reka Broadband Ventures as the consulting company to complete a comprehensive broadband network feasibility study covering all of Kanabec County. The study has been completed and results are being released in a series of public and stakeholder meetings during the month of October. The public is invited to attend any of the meetings to learn more about possible projects to bring broadband Internet service to all residents and businesses in Kanabec County. A special meeting will be held on Thursday, October 25th focused solely on this topic. See below for details. Please be aware that this is just a preliminary report. Many decisions are yet to be made and it will be important to hear from residents and businesses as decisions are made about where to go from here. Thanks to everyone who participated in surveys, roundtables and interviews during the study and please join us for one of the meetings and/or download the report and let us know what you think!

Download the entire report

Download the report summary slides

Information About and Examples of Broadband Needs and Uses

View the videos below for information about other Minnesota broadband initiatives, why broadband is important and samples of video content that is available with high-speed Internet connections.

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Broadband for Business, Music, Movies and Photos

Broadband access is increasingly important for business and entertainment applications of audio and video. Online sources of news and information utilize rich media content. Broadband users can upload photos and videos to online sharing sites or have photos printed or organized into memory books through online services. Increasing numbers of consumers are using online services such as Netflix and Hulu to bring entertainment into their homes through media players, computers and handheld devices. Banks, health service providers, retailers and government organizations continue to add rich media applications to their online services making it convenient for consumers to get information and services online. However, access to these services is requiring higher speed broadband access to use.