I’ve heard from a few people who plan to attend the Ultra High-Speed Broadband Task Force on Friday, which is great news. The more the merrier!
I’m looking forward to hearing from the health care folks on the agenda. I notice that the task force also plans to talk about their value statements – they have given me permission to share the notes from previous discussions on value statements here. It’s a work in progress.
In my opinion the discussions the task force has had on the value statements have been the most interesting conversations they have had. There are some value statements that everyone can agree to quickly – there are others that are open for greater discussion. There are 2 topics so far that have been particularly sticky:
- Broadband should be treated as a utility and available to every home, government entity, institution and business in the state, regardless of location, regardless of cost to bring it to the site. The Internet is used as a means, and sometimes the only means, of business, communication, and government services. Minnesota currently denies many citizens access simply on the basis of location and this Task Force needs to address that. “Almost everywhere” is not good enough.
- Competition (We value market competition and not sole source providers to achieve affordability and choice of services)
There are a couple of other issues that seem to be open for greater discussion but from what I’ve heard – these are the potentially hot topics.
I’ve also included the task force’s notes on their criteria for selecting broadband projects for the stimulus funding. (You can get a list of potential projects on the Urban Users’ blog.) This too was an interesting conversation last month; I think because the underlying basis for the criteria relates so directly to the value statements. (This document is also a work in progress.)