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Is lack of internet service adversely affecting Carlton County?

Officials from the Carlton County Broadband Steering Committee are seeking public input to understand how levels of broadband Internet service currently affect residents at work and at home.

Officials from the Carlton County Broadband Steering Committee are seeking public input to understand how levels of broadband Internet service currently affect residents at work and at home.

The survey is part of a larger trend in Minnesota where rural counties across the state investigate local internet service - and in some instances have partnered with telecommunications companies to get state grants for building high-speed fiber Internet networks.

“Broadband access has become essential to the health and vitality of any community, especially rural communities,” said Dennis Genereau, Carlton County coordinator and a member of the broadband steering committee. “Carlton County is exploring ways to expand that access in the rural areas - some that have not been upgraded to high speed internet. We want to know what’s available, and gauge the level of community support for a partnership.”

The Carlton County Broadband Steering Committee has been actively exploring all options available for bringing more broadband access to area residents.

Members of the steering committee come from many interests and backgrounds. Marv Bodie, Carlton County commissioner and an IT professional, is also a member of the committee.  

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“We’re asking the public to weigh in on the subject through this survey,” Bodie said. “Love it or hate it, we want to know.”

In addition to this Countywide Broadband Feasibility study, the committee works on a broad range of projects related to technology. This includes community training programs for kids, adults and businesses, securing funds

for school technology in all districts, as well as a PC’s for People distribution to giveaway computers to those in need.

The public is invited to go to www.CarltonInternet.com to provide feedback on what types of broadband services are currently available to them, what costs are, what other kinds of services they seek, and give direction to county officials for further action.

Results of the survey will be shared in the forthcoming feasibility report.

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