So who doesn’t have access to broadband? Well according to The Crookston Times, there are 681 residents in Polk County without access. The population of Polk County, according to a July estimate from the US Census is 30,694.
That info was the backdrop for Impact 20/20’s forum in Polk where Jack Geller, a prominent member of the Impact 20/20 Broadband Task Force (former member of the Minnesota Ultra High-Speed Broadband Task Force) outlined the group’s goals and strategies:
The goals are fairly straightforward:
All communities in the region with 500 residents or more will have business-grade broadband access of speeds greater than 20/10 (10 Mb download and 10 Mb upload) within five years.
All residents of the region will have access to broadband speeds of 10/5 (10Mb download and 5 Mb upload) within the same time period.
The group advocated Universal Service Funds (USF) as a means to serve even their most remote residents. In fact, again according to the Crookston Times…
Attendees were encouraged to do two things to support the efforts of IMPACT 20/20 and increase the level of broadband service in Northwest Minnesota: 1) join IMPACT 20/20’s Broadband Action Alert mailing list, and 2) tell their legislators to support extending the current Universal Service Fund to include broadband accessibility.