Well, we did it. And today, almost two years after its inception, the Ultra High-Speed Broadband Task Force ceases to exist. In what seems like the perfect farewell gift, the Minnesota Legislature will very likely approve a bill capturing our recommendations, and the Governor will sign it into law in the next two weeks.
The Task Force studied broadband in Minnesota and came up with recommendations for the State. As Rick’s note indicates, the bill is currently at the Legislature. It has passed in the House about a week ago and the Senate is expected to look at it after the break.
I had the unusual pleasure of attending almost all of the Task Force’s monthly meetings as a blogging fly on the wall. I think Rick and the whole Task Force did an amazing job. There were some strange bedfellows in the room but the goal was a consensus report and that is what they were able to present. I remember the first meeting I attended and there was a lot of discussion on use of technology, transparency, data practices and open meetings. They’ve come a long way! There were a couple of meetings where the discussion got passionate, but almost disappointingly for those of us who attended every daylong meeting, the sparks were few and far between.
There were a few wrong roads or false starts in the process. The opportunity brought about by ARRA funding led to a diversion in the discussion but I think the group wisely decided that they couldn’t take on the stimulus funds as well as complete recommendations in the time allowed. The team focused and accomplished the goal by being realistic and pragmatic – and I think that has carried through to the recommendations, which are also realistic and pragmatic.