MinnPost: How broadband helped a small town in Greater Minnesota land a high-tech business

EXCERPT: “City Administrator Dana Lietzau looked out the window of her office and counted the empty buildings along First Avenue, the street that runs through the business district of Gibbon. Twelve buildings, four of them empty. ‘Our downtown is really struggling and has been for a while,’ she said. ‘The question is: ‘How do you find businesses to come here?’’ The answer that landed one entrepreneur is clear: high-speed internet access . . . So when Adam Stegeman, an engineer with a background in 3D printing technology – a growing form of manufacturing – opened a 3D printing business in an old bank building here, residents took notice. ‘Any employment in this city is huge,’ Lietzau said . . . Stegeman looked at commercial buildings in several cities when he began to think about starting his own business. He had hoped to locate in Gibbon (his family lives eight miles north of town), but he first needed to make sure that the town had reliable broadband Internet access, which he needs for downloading 3D design files. It does. Gibbon is one of several cities and townships in Renville and Sibley Counties that got together a few years ago to create RS Fiber, a cooperative that has brought broadband Internet access to thousands of people in this region.” FULLSTORY: http://bit.ly/2MG3lBX