Posted by: Ann Treacy | February 27, 2014

Press Conference on Broadband: Feb 27 at noon at State Office Building

schmit map2Sorry for the late  notice and unfortunately I won’t be able to attend but I wanted to give the heads up…

Greater MN small business owners and civic leaders are holding a press conference to discuss how lack of broabdand is crippling Greater Minnesota Communities:

  • Thursday Feb 27 at noon
  • Room 181 of the State Office Building

An article in the Minneapolis Star Tribune forecasts the topic of the meeting…

Despite a goal to put broadband in the hands of all residents by next year, a quarter of households — nearly 500,000 — still don’t have it, a new report from the Minnesota Broadband Task Force shows. Minnesota also will likely miss its goal to land in the top five states nationwide for access to speedy Internet by 2015. Today, the state ranks just 23rd in broadband availability.

Some lawmakers say that after years of goals, it’s time to spend state money to fix the problem.

This week, Sen. Matt Schmit, DFL-Red Wing, will announce a bill that would create a $100 million matching grant program to help build broadband infrastructure.

Senator Schmit also had this to say…

“Following three Governor’s broadband task forces, numerous policy recommendations, and adoption of state speed goals — not to mention continued philanthropic activity, local initiatives, and our recent 16-city listening tour, we’re finally poised to start a meaningful conversation at the Capitol regarding the state’s role in promoting broadband investment in Greater Minnesota.  Our proposed $100 million Border-to-Border Broadband Fund promises to extend vital broadband connectivity to underserved areas of the state by promoting partnerships that leverage significant state, local and private investment.”

It’s exciting to see things happening. The map here shows the need for better broadband across the state, and having attended several of the listening sessions and most of the meetings for the three broadband task forces I have heard folks in the communities and provider say that ubiquitous broadband won’t happen without financial support.


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