A quick weekend post on broadband as a solution! I think sometimes broadband is considered an expense for a community, for a provider, for a business or even for a resident. I love when broadband is mentioned as a solution or investment. The quick take is that Greater Minnesota Partnership is touring rural areas in Minnesota to see what folks think outside of the Twin Cities, especially in terms of policy. It turns out that job and workforce development are top concerns. Here’s what was said about broadband at a recent meeting in Bemidji from the Bemidji Pioneer…
Part of Greater Minnesota’s solution for improving quality of life in rural areas and attracting more workers involves getting broadband Internet coverage in areas outside of the Twin Cities. Dorman spoke of relaxing the restrictions on state funding to assist with installing more fiber optic cables and possibly altering state law to allow cities to offer broadband service as a utility.
State Rep. Roger Erickson, DFL-Baudette, cautioned generally that pro-business initiatives from the state government require funding that originates in tax dollars. As with recent tax increases at the state level, it takes a commitment from the people who want the money those new taxes generate, he said.
“We had the political will to raise a couple billion dollars in taxes here,” he said. “Do we have that political will again? Can we get support from the greater Minnesota area if we want to do that, to spend money in greater Minnesota?”