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Creating a Rural Montana Ecommerce and Telework Support Network



To: Governor Brian Schweitzer


From: Frank Odasz, Lone Eagle Consulting

           Email: frank@lone-eagles.com

September 7, 2007


On behalf of struggling rural Montanans please acknowledge and celebrate the reality that a rapidly growing number of Montanans are preserving their cherished rural lifestyle through rural ecommerce and telework broadband innovations. The State has a role to play facilitating the sharing of such successes to stimulate more Montanan innovations. However, due to the lack of accessible and appropriate training most rural broadband sits unused.


The letter I sent you February 2006 has been validated by Senator Baucusís recent Economic Summit where the esteemed keynote presenters repeatedly stressed the fact that now rural Montanans can live and work anywhere they choose via Internet. Please consider Montanans are in desperate need of leadership able to actively address how rural Montanans can connect with ďthe promise of rural broadband.Ē 

Summary of that letter: Montanaís economic development leaders are urged to create a Rural Ecommerce Support Network which would begin with a Rural Ecommerce Champions Award Program to celebrate Montanaís early adaptersí rural Ecommerce and Telework successes. An online Resources Clearinghouse would showcase short video success stories, self-training online lessons, and a peer-mentoring program to establish a convenient means for all Montanans to share successful strategies and learn new skills.

Letter link: http://lone-eagles.com/support-montanans.htm 


Please consider the importance of your role identifying who in Montana genuinely advocates for rural ecommerce and telework, and who is actively offering the necessary training. It is possible for the State to actively provide links to the best online training resources to allow every Montanan the chance to learn these important skills.




Frank Odasz

Lone Eagle Consulting



To: Advocates for Sustainable Rural Montanan Communities

RE: Realizing the Social and Economic Promise of Rural Broadband (Internet)


From: Frank Odasz, Lone Eagle Consulting, Email: frank@lone-eagles.com


An increasing number of rural Montanans are working hard to find the right questions concerning our common goal of how broadband can be used to create sustainable rural Montanan communities. Perhaps it is time to assess the results of over ten years and billions of Montanan investment in rural broadband infrastructure?


What have we learned about rural innovation diffusion amid the accelerating volume of replicable ecommerce and telework innovations?




Billions have been invested in Montanan broadband with expectations of widespread rural economic and social returns, over the last ten plus years. Who should be monitoring the return on this investment?


Montana now has one of the highest level of broadband penetration of any state in the U.S.  (Pew Internet and American Life Report 2006) www.pewinternet.org


Has one or more of these communities been successful leveraging economic opportunities from broadband such as call centers and/or home-based self-employment?


Good Questions Demanding Real Answers:


Who is keeping track of how whether any number of Montanans have learned to use broadband to sustain themselves, economically, socially, and culturally? FYI, Susan Ockert has a detailed Powerpoint on broadband infrastructure in Montana .


Does Montana lead the nation in the number of rural ecommerce and telework success stories?


Where can Montanans go, online or offline, to learn rural ecommerce and telework strategies, particularly to support cultural communities? 


If rural Montanans have the opportunity to benefit economically from rural broadband, how many can afford home access and at what cost?


Is there a single rural community success story in Montana modeling whatís possible applying broadband to create economic, social, and/or cultural sustainability?  Does Montana have the resources to create one such model community?

Homesteading the Ecommerce Frontier in Montana
http://lone-eagles.com/montana.htm   Summarized pressing questions for Montanans.

Looking Beyond Our Borders Is Recommended

Ecommerce Update from Economist Magazine

The world Internet population will hit two billion by 2011, mostly from developing countries such as India, Brazil, Russia, Indonesia and China. In 2007, the number of Chinese with broadband will equal the number of Americans, 79 million. Business to consumer online sales will grow from $172 Billion in 2005 to $329 Billion in 2010, 14%/yr. European online shopping will grow from 100m to 174m and average yearly internet retail spending will grow from around $1,250 to $1,800/year.


By 2010, European marketers will spend $88 billion on emarketing. Mobile commerce via cell phones will be worth $88 billion by 2009. Europeans will make 28 million mobile transactions a year by 2009, fuelled by growing volumes of mobile micropayments. 

Lone Eagle Action Plans and Rural Ecommerce Grant Templates

Action Plan for Youth Entrepreneurship

Public/Private Partnership Model to Showcase Youths' Digital Skills
and Rural Community Web-based Innovations

Action Plan for Workforce

American Rural Teleworkers:  Great Employees, Lower Costs

Action Plan for Community Wellness and Health Information Technology

Health Information Technology and Community Wellness
Broadband Applications
http://lone-eagles.com/healthinfotech.htm  A follow-up letter after visiting the DC offices of Sen. Tester and Baucus on Health Information Technology Advocacy Day, May 15, 1007.

Action Plan for Rural Communities

Rural Ecommerce Grant Templates

Example: Fort Peck received $50,000 based on these templates, http://lone-eagles.com/fort-peck.htm and the Yukon First Nations Council received one million and other grants are pending.

Background for Frank Odasz, Lone Eagle Consulting

For 20 years Iíve been working in Montana to raise awareness for the opportunities informed use of the Internet offers Montanans. For 13 years I served on the faculty at UMW teaching teachers and created one of the first online educational systems in the state. Over 100 one-room schools came online via the Big Sky Telegraph, 1988-1998, a national first. Since 1998 Iíve been teaching online Ecommerce and Telework Strategies for USDA and USDOL demonstration projects. 

Statewide Advocacy for Rural Ecommerce and Telework Awareness

During 2003-2006, as Lone Eagle Consulting for a USDOL statewide rural ecommerce demonstration project over 60 rural community presentations were delivered. Also provided were the following unpaid presentations for Montanan leaders:


The Montana/Wyoming Tribal Economic Dev. Council (where you were campaigning)

The MITS telecom providers conference, presenting on Virtual Entrepreneurship.
The Montana Association of Counties Economic Development Committee

The Montana Indian Business Alliance
SBDC director Anne Desch and state entrepreneurship director, Phillip Belangie.
The 13 SBDC coordinators


Complete Roster of National and International Lone Eagle Presentations