GRAND RAPIDS - Blandin Foundation announced Friday that Rock County leaders were successful in their application to become a Blandin Broadband Community, one of four 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, technical and financial support to communities that are determined to design and drive digital technology initiatives that position their communities and every resident for greater success.

Newsletter signup for email alerts

Rock County will join Swift County, Cannon Falls and Koochiching Technology Initiative in the 2018-20 cohort of Blandin Broadband Communities.

“High-speed Internet access - and the skills to use it - is essential to vibrant rural communities,” said Bernadine Joselyn, director of public policy and engagement.  “We’re excited to partner with Rock County to imagine new possibilities that come with enhanced Internet access and use.”

Communities were selected based on demonstrated commitment to work together across sectors to set and meet information technology goals and bridge digital divides.

“Rock County has border-to-border broadband, and we want to ensure our residents have the skills necessary to take advantage of this service,” said Calla Jarvie, director of the Rock County Community Library. “Rock County is thrilled to be a Blandin Broadband Community. We are excited to work with Blandin and our community to provide education and show what our broadband can do for our residents.”

Rock County Community Library will lead the Blandin Broadband Community work. Together, with educational, nonprofit and business partners throughout the county, the Library will rally local leaders to develop a sustainable model for broadband access and use.