Blandin Foundation Recognizes Christopher Mitchell’s Leadership on Broadband Policy

Date: 10 Oct 2019 | posted in: Press Release | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

MINNEAPOLIS, MINN. (October 10, 2019) – The Blandin Foundation, an organization dedicated to strengthening rural Minnesota, awarded Christopher Mitchell with a Blandin Foundation Courageous Leadership Award at their 2019 Broadband Conference. The award celebrates acts of leadership that have significantly contributed to the vibrancy and livability of rural Minnesota communities. Christopher directs the Community Broadband Networks initiative at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR).

For more than a decade, Christopher has led a team focused on researching and creating resources about community broadband networks. He’s worked with local leaders, advocates, and engaged residents from hundreds of communities. By reporting on the successes of many different broadband models, such as municipal networks, cooperatives, and partnerships with local independent providers, the Community Broadband Networks initiative has helped communities across the country dramatically improve Internet access for residents and businesses. Christopher’s efforts have helped shift municipal broadband from a niche approach to a national movement.

High quality connectivity ensures the long-term success of communities by connecting residents to educational, health, and economic opportunities. Christopher Mitchell and ILSR’s Community Broadband Networks initiative continue to be champions of a more equitable digital future.

“It is an honor for our work to be recognized by the Blandin Foundation, which has done so much for Greater Minnesota. Achieving the promise of Border-to-Border broadband Internet access requires contributions from everyone, especially communities themselves. We have always felt that Internet access — a service that education already depends upon and medicine soon will — needs much more local leadership. That leadership is what we have seen from the communities that are reaping the rewards of the best connectivity available today,” Christopher said.


FOR MORE INFORMATION and to schedule an interview with Christopher, call Jess Del Fiacco at 612-540-5997 or email



The Institute for Local Self-Reliance
2720 E. 22nd Street
Minneapolis, MN 55406