Koochiching Technology Initiative (KTI) and the Digital Connection Committee (DCC)
KTI was created in 2018 as one of the destiny drivers from the Voyage Forward group formed in response to the 2013 Boise curtailment that resulted in the loss of 265 jobs. We are primarily a group of like-minded volunteers championing the technological needs of our community, but we have been very effective. Our first big win was a $75K Blandin BB Community grant used to fund 21 local technology rooted projects. KTI has been instrumental in multiple broadband projects in the county including the Paul Bunyan Communications project in the Ericsburg and Pelland Junction areas that included county provided ARPA funded installations for long installation paths, the Midco projects on Co Rd 103 and HWY 11 E, and a proposed project for Hwy 332 S/CR 155 that is pending on the outcome of a Border to Border gran). Over the years, KTI has successfully made recommendations to Co Bd for a variety of broadband related actions. KTI is the current host site for a Program Year 2022 LFA/ACC fellow with the county now in process of moving forward with the hosting a 2023 fellow.
KTI registered with the MN Office of Broadband Development as a Digital Connection Committee in early 2023 with the goal of gathering both quantitative and qualitative information from our local community to ensure that Koochiching County’s digital equity needs and assets are represented in the State of MN’s Digital Equity Plan which will be available in draft form in late August to obtain feedback prior to the final version being submitted to the federal government on 11/30/23.