Community invited to attend planning meeting for future internet projects

Published 1:00 pm Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Local leaders invite the public to attend a Blandin Broadband Community Vision meeting where priorities will be determined, and projects developed to improve Internet access and use in the Austin area. 

The meeting will be held via Zoom meeting from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Nov. 18, to help identify local technology strengths and gaps, brainstorm project ideas and prioritize potential projects. Cross-sector and collaborative efforts will be a priority. Once projects emerge, Austin area nonprofits, schools and governments will have the opportunity to apply for up to $100,000 in total grant funding over two years. 

Austin was named one of six new Blandin Broadband Communities, a program that provides planning, technical and financial support to communities that demonstrate the determination to bring the benefits of a broadband-enabled economy to their communities. These six communities will have access to a special grant fund, but projects will have to meet Blandin Foundation standards in order to be funded.

“Broadband has the potential to create happier, healthier, and more resilient communities,” said Molly Lanke, executive director of the United Way of Mower County and member of the Digital Equity Steering Committee. “The Austin area will be positively impacted by the Blandin Foundation partnership and participation of passionate residents who are ready to move this work forward.”  

Because broadband’s applications are so wide ranging, it can deliver services that impact every social determinant of health. From economic stability, to education, to social support, to civic agency, broadband and the digital services it enables are today intrinsically tied to collective health, equity, social, and economic outcomes. 

RSVP for at the following link or email director@austinaspires.org: bit.ly/bbcvisionmeeting.