I just got the following message from the Minnesota Ultra High-Speed Broadband Task Force:
The Minnesota Ultra High-Speed Broadband Task Force is requesting input from the public in order to submit to the legislature a proposal for “Shovel Ready Projects” in Minnesota.
Do you know of any projects that could start soon and benefit the expansion of Broadband in Minnesota? Projects that would create jobs and help grow the economy?
The formula for success is s little nebulous at this point. Here’s some of what I was able to garner from the Energy, Utilities, Technology and Communications committee meeting last week:
What could the stimulus package mean?
• Funding for existing programs (with or w/o state match)
• Funding for authorized programs that have not been funded
• Funding for new programs
• Tax credits of incentives
• Loan guarantees
• Could be use it or lose it funds – there will be an expiration
• Likely to be additional oversight
• May be procedural waivers – especially for infrastructure
And here’s what I was able to garner from the last Task Force meeting:
Funds will (probably) use existing infrastructure, go to existing/proven resources and need to be personally certified by local official, no earmarks. $6 billion is going to broadband – but there are other possible pockets too – such as funding to schools. So it may make sense to look at RUS and other programs. Interest free loans are another tool that will be used.
Good luck! As always I’d love to see some Minnesota projects receive a boost!