Late last week the Department of Commerce posted the 2010 Broadband Report from the Advisory Task Force; it details the progress in reaching the goal of universal ultra-high-speed-broadband access in Minnesota.
I’ve been following the Advisory Task Force as a fly on the wall of their meetings, which began as soon as they were appointed in August 2010. In many ways I think the latest report is a benchmark with a promise of more. As Department of Commerce Commissioner Glenn Wilson put it in the intro…
In the 2010 report, the Minnesota Broadband Advisory Task Force has established the baseline measurements for compiling the required reports to the Legislature through 2015. In future years, the task force can focus more on recommendations for how to achieve the goals that have been set. Those recommendations would be of high value to broadband users and providers and include actions that could be implemented by the Legislature.
There are some gems in the report – many of them supplied by Connect Minnesota, who will be publishing their own report soon. They have also included some nice Minnesota-specific info on the ARRA awards including a nice map of recipients (pg 12), a table of awards (pg 23) and a detailed table of awards in the Appendix, which I think will be a boon for the techies out there.
There’s also a laundry list of expectations for next year…
We anticipate a much fuller examination of the status of the state goals next year. Items on the list for investigation and exploration going forward include:
- stimulus projects progress
- the increased use of broadband in healthcare
- the funding and support of broadband technology in our schools
- digital literacy improvements
- the correlation between federal actions and Minnesota goals
- gaps in broadband connectivity for local governments
- solutions for the unserved populations in MN
It will be interesting to see what happens with the report. There are so many changes at the Capital and so many priorities – I don’t expect that we’ll see a lot of ripples unless we make them ourselves. It’s never a bad time to share your opinions with elected officials, this report might provide an opportunity.