Many of us have been waiting for the good word – and I think we have it. Here’s the news from the Governor’s press release…
Today, Governor Mark Dayton issued Executive Order 11-27, establishing the Governor’s Task Force on Broadband and continuing his commitment to strengthening our state’s infrastructure and fostering a strong business climate. The Task Force will be charged to expand broadband access in Minnesota. Dayton’s stated goal is “border-to-border” high-speed internet and cell phone access throughout Minnesota.
Governor Dayton also directed the Minnesota Department of Commerce to create a Broadband Development Office and convene a subcabinet of agencies to work on statewide broadband policies.
What’s good is the addition of the Broadband Development Office! In fact, I’d say that has the potential to be great.
The Task Force is good too – but I think the general consensus was that its announcement has been on its way. Here’s a quick recap on the Task Force from the press release…
The task force will be made up of 15 members, to be appointed by Governor Dayton through the open appointments process. Members of the task force will represent a balance of broadband interests, including consumers, business and residential users, educational and health care institutions, telephone and cable companies, wireless providers as well as metro and rural local units of government. The Governor will designate a member to serve as chair of the task force.
The announcement on the open appointments will happen right after Labor Day (Sep 6) and will be posted on the Secretary of State site. I encourage smart, interested folks to apply.
In the Executive Order are some new items too. The Governor is asking the Task Force to report in on the state of broadband in the State by the end of the year (including “opportunities to coordinate with federal, state and local agencies!”) by the end of the year but also to “develop a Minnesota Broadband Plan outline” by the end of January 2012.
Connect Minnesota will be able to help considerably with the report on how things are – but it’s still a *very* tall order for the time allotted. Luckily the original Minnesota Task Force report provides a strong base upon which to build.