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Bringing broadband to Greater Minnesota

Gary Evans, former president and CEO of Hiawatha Broadband Communications (HBC), addressed city leaders from throughout Greater Minnesota at the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities’ Fall Conference on November 14 at the Arrowwood Resort and Conference Center in Alexandria.

Evans’ keynote speech focused on the importance of bringing high-quality broadband to cities and rural communities in Greater Minnesota, as well as the challenges communities face in trying to obtain the increasingly necessary technology.

The broadband issue also tied into the conference’s focus on economic development and growth in Greater Minnesota.

Evans has more than 20 years of experience in bringing broadband to Greater Minnesota communities. In 1992, he was one of two people who performed the study that led to the creation of HBC’s predecessor, Luminet.

Luminet connected schools and universities in Winona with advanced communications infrastructure, including fiber optic cable. That nonprofit turned into HBC, which Evans joined in 1998.

After retiring in 2012, Evans worked as a broadband consultant before being named interim vice president of advancement at Winona State University.

The Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy organization representing 85 cities outside of the Twin Cities metropolitan area. The Coalition educates legislators about issues important to Greater Minnesota.