Today I attended the first meeting for the third Minnesota Broadband Advisory Task Force. I’ve taken notes as best I could below. As usual I try not to attribute names to comments unless it’s unusually pertinent. The quick take on the meeting is that they will be working on the report for the Dec 30, 2011 deadline. That report will be high level and factual. It may be modeled after previous reports. At the next meeting they will be looking at the draft of the report and working to finalize.
Once the first report is complete the group will work on the January report, which is more of a potential roadmap for better broadband in the state. They plan to use subgroups as past Task Forces have done; they plan to visit outstate locations once weather permits.
Here are my full notes.
Agenda: 1. Greetings and Introductions 10:00 – 10:20
(You can get quick bios here – I just took notes on their other comments.)
Anderson Kelliher – When she was speaker she was familiar with high level work and work at MHTA works more closely with goals. Broadband is important to prosperity.
Wells – Heads up new BB Office – worked in telecommunications at State for 25 years
Hoffman – Connect MN – works on broadband development as well as maps
Ideker – works on telehealth in rural hospitals but also working with UMN on telehealth for many years. Worked with public/private VPN for rural networks.
Peterson – Councilmembers for 12 years and involved with National League of Cities and has been active in broadband on national level.
Ring – CenturyLink – 29 years in business – was in LaCrosse. Understand needs of rural markets
Lewsader – CWA – keenly aware of broadband efforts nationwide.
Sjoberg – ISP in rural area on original Task Force – has an interest in getting broadband in rural areas. Part of Impact 2020
Evans – ISP in SW MN. Interested in broadband as a community betterment tool. Seen what broadband can do to benefit a community.
MacKenzie – got involved in 1994. Has a boots on the ground perspective of a community without broadband
Grose – Deer River school – broadband is an equalizer for students in schools
Walz – former Task Force member, assisted original Task Force. Worked with MJTA to make Minnesota more globally competitive.
Richter – MVTV – an opportunity to tell his story better. Using wireless to serve rural areas – got ARRA funding. Advocate for co-ops.
Bass – AT&T – was on earlier Task Force. Has worked through several bell companies. The solution will be created with/by many providers.
Joselyn – from Grand Rapids. Representing the community perspective in rural areas. Recipient of ARRA broadband adoption funds.
Modglin – Ojibwe – we have clinics and schools that are still using satellite to access broadband.
Others in the room: Heather Rand, Ann Higgins, Dave Minke, Tony Mendoza, Mike Martin, Andy Schriener, Will Seifert, me
2. Review of Task Force Requirements (Diane Wells) 10:20 – 11:00
Here’s info on the report due on Dec 30:
By December 30, 2011, the task force shall inventory, assess and report on:
- The needs, barriers, issues and goals for broadband access
- The needs and use of broadband in Minnesota’s education systems, health care system, energy sector, industries and business, libraries, governmental operations, public safety and other key economic sectors
- Internet literacy
- Broadband accessibility for unserved and underserved populations
- Progress of the federal ARRA broadband projects and mapping in Minnesota
- Opportunities to coordinate with federal, state, and local agencies
Only a high level report is expected.
The January 30 report is probably more important. It will still need to be high level outline due to time constraints – but it should provide a pathway to accomplish goals:
The executive order says this about the Jan 30 report:
By January 31, 2012, the task force shall develop a Minnesota Broadband Plan outline, including strategies, tasks, action items and recommendations.
2. Legislative Review – Broadband Goals
The Legislative goals are: State broadband leadership position. It is a goal of the state that by 2015 and thereafter, the state be in: (1) the top five states of the United States for broadband speed universally accessible to residents and businesses; (2) the top five states for broadband access; and (3) the top 15 when compared to countries globally for broadband penetration.
A possible fourth issue is adoption rate. We can talk about whether we want adoption to be part of future reports. Right now the goals are focused on infrastructure and access, but not necessarily adoption.
Sometime in the next two weeks, Connect MN will have the most updated info of their reporting for adoption and deployment.
There is also a Feb 10 deadline – that is a statutory goal – up to the Department of Commerce, with support from the Task Force.
3. Open Meeting Law Overview [Ann's note: I added link]
Need to promote sessions on web site. Department of Commerce will take care of most of the issues. These apply when group meets as a quorum. The law has not kept up with technology – so the Department will keep a print version of notes.
Potential Issues – in the past people have wanted closed online discussion boards but that would violate law. Any communication with Dianne or Bill could be made public if requested.
The Legislature is exempt for open meeting law.
The Open Meeting doesn’t mean you can’t talk about issues offline – we just need to be considerate of the potential of the quorum. This may come up at social settings.
Sub groups are possible but must include fewer than seven people are cannot meet as in a quorum. The Connect Minnesota site will be the official site for the Task Force.
3. Recommendations on How Best to Proceed 11:00 – 11:45
Task Force members got a roadmap on how to proceed – including [Ann's note: I retyped a handout below]
- 9/6/2011 – Announcement for BB Task Force
- 11/7/2011 – Members appointed
- 11/29/2011 Hold first meeting – intros, ovreview, tasks outlines. Task Force decides what to submit by Dec 30 2011 and Jan 31, 2012. Task Force Decides decides on how to prepare submissions. Suggested timeline/submission prep:
- Dec 7 – any task force member wanting to submit content do so
- Dec 13 – Diane & Bill take content submitted and draft to fill gaps to achieve the Executive Order, para 3 requirement at a high level
- Dec 16 – Task force members submit edits/comments to Bill & Diane
- 12/19/2011 – Hold second task force meeting. Review draft of Dec 30 submission. Allocate time to plan I more detail content and timeline for Jan 31, 2012.
- 12/30/2011 – Report submitted per Executive Order
- 1/10 & 1/24 – Task force meets to discuss and finalize MN Broadband Plan outline and reviews MN DOC’s proposed submission of achievement of broadband goals.
- 1/31/2012 – MN Broadband Plan Outline (including strategies, tasks, action times, and recommendations) submitted)
- 2/10/2012 – MN DOC submission to Legislature on achievement of broadband goals
- Feb 2012 – Begin monthly meeting schedule
- Regular (monthly) meetings – carry out plans/goals of task force
The idea is that we’d get a copy of the report due Dec 31 before the next meeting. It will really be an update of what’s been done in the past. The idea is that it’s better to meet deadlines with a less deep report than not meet them.
The January report will get more attention – but the schedule is ambitious.
The timeline makes sense. But do we know how big the report will be? 10 pages, 100 pages?
We think something shorter –more of a factual update. Compilations of research – not much original content.
We can use previous reports as models. The last report was more of a State of the State report.
The structure will be the executive order. There are some new areas (energy, public safety) but really the executive order will provide an outline.
Does anyone have a connection or friend with a connection that might be helpful? Please let Diane know – especially if there are any guests with skills to share.
So under healthcare – we might look for sources that might help flesh out this area.
Progress is already being made on the document.
Maybe Bill Hoffman can provide the group with a list of what areas Connect MN has covered. That might help determine holes.
There are two pieces of education (K12 & Higher Ed) so MNSCU will be able to cover some of this, Extension Service might be helpful.
The report talks about other key economic sectors – maybe we want to define those other areas. Are there some sectors we want to pull out?
It seems like everyone has a story – both of success and need. Maybe we could gather those.
Maybe out future meetings could include regional convening. There are several folks who are interested in the issue. It’s an opportunity to engage citizens and spur conversation.
How about addressing adoption rates?
Connect Minnesota has an adoption survey that could be used.
The group we can best benefit is the non-adopters. Right now folks not in need (high income, high edu) are the greatest adopters. There are programs out there – such as Comcast & CenturyLink have deals in some communities. Blandin has done good work and research on adoption.
Although some things are still in their infancy – so maybe a high level mention is enough right now.
Part of this is making policymakers aware of what’s happening and this is an opportunity to inform them.
There’s a lot of money and effort being spent in rural areas (ARRA and private) and more is being planned.It’s important to recognize that the problem is being solved – although maybe not as fast as we’d like. Improving the adoption will do more for society than a strict focus on deployment. We’ll want to record progress.
We could go through an update on the impact of ARRA. We can use Connected Nation stats to compare.
We do know that the more people adopt – the faster technology goes.
Private investment is also key here. If you pair it with stimulus – we probably touch most of Minnesota. Maybe we can pull out ag stats.
GreaterMSP and the Itasca Group have focused on 5 areas where they are going to focus their attention – maybe we can look at these too.
More on adoption rate – there’s a lot of research on health literacy and adoption rates. It might be worth considering that too.
The arts and culture resources have not been brought up either. Is technology being used to tie communities together?
When we did the last report there was a tight deadline. Maybe we want to save some of these ideas for the January report.
The Task Force in consultation with executive branch to see if a more in depth report makes sense for next year.
Will Seifert – on the State’s need
We are flexible. We’d like to encourage finding policy levers and education policymakers.
Q – what is the goal? The original report is to take a snapshot of where we are – especially with time constraints.
Commissioner Rothman is interested in these efforts and so Dianne will be working on this.
The Legislators from the area were invited – but they may be attending the meeting on the Vikings stadium
It’s good practice to invite policymakers and elected officials.
Any comments from the guests? Nope
How do we make decisions in the group? Consensus has been a good way. Although maybe we’ll want to vote on topics such as completed reports. It offers flexibility and agreement.
Does anyone have great concern about the time constraints? Nope.
4. Future Meeting Dates: Through January and Beyond 12:30 – 1:15 1. Meeting Dates 2. Potential Locations Handouts went to task force members.
Maybe we could try some free videoconferencing systems. A key is making sure that the room is set up well. Location – Dec 19 Bloomington or maybe TIES
Other possible locations: Grand Marais Winona Windom Duluth Rochester Mankato Bemidji Crookston Marshall
Might be nice to include tours of different industries
Maybe we could get a task team to choose locations – maybe a community engagement group
Lunch 11:45 – 12:30 1. Discussion on Information and Resources for Task Force 1:15 – 1:45
Brainstorm on Task Teams
Any special skills/presentations folks want to share to help educate everyone on different aspects broadband?
Steve Peterson will give a presentation next week.
Shirley has a lot of info from past Task Forces – is there a repository for such info? Some is on the web site. Maybe send to Diane & Bill.
Maureen could present on telehealth. There are some good resources too – Greater MN Rural Telehealth project. The Office of Rural Health tracks MN healthcare facilities and their technology.
Penetration is adoption. The FCC has a report that has some good data.
We should remember that acronyms will lose people – so using specific terms or spelling out terms may be helpful.
Dick Sjoberg has a video that might be helpful. A day made of glass – a glimpse of the future of how we will interact with technology: It will make us realize how much broadband we’ll need for this to come to fruition. [Ann's note: I added video embed]
The Microsoft Home of the future is another example of how much technology we’ll need.
There’s a fridge that will now email when it needs to be cleaned.
Do we have info on tribal broadband adoption & deployment?
The FCC has some info. The Harvard Native American group may have some data as well. Someone we can look Indian Affairs Department.
2. Other Business 1:45 – 2:00