MN Broadband Task Force: Debate on hot topics: Full Notes

Yesterday the Minnesota Broadband Task Force met. The meeting included more debate than I’ve seen in more than a year of previous meetings. Task Force members got to the real topics at hand. Substantive discussion happened. Also the decision was made to hold off on any recommendations to the Legislature until early 2014 so that the conversation can continue.

Some of the hot topics included:

  • Talking about broadband as defined by anything less than 10-20 Mbps down and 5-10 Mbps up. That is the goal set in Minnesota statutes.
  • The telecom sales tax exemption. Some people wondered if reinstating the sales tax exemption would spur broadband deployment in un/underserved areas. Some felt it would.
  • The list of recommendations to the legislators was pared down to focus on the ones that could result in more direct legislative intervention.
  • Affordability was discussed. Can we call a connection available if it is not reasonably affordable? And who defines reasonably affordable?

I took some video and am happy to post if requested – but it was a big room and mostly you can hear how fast I can type. Again – a fun meeting and it felt like the broadband ball was moved down the field.

Some topics will be addressed between meetings (next meeting in early January) – although it was noted that those discussions will need to be announced and hopefully publicized to meet open meeting requirements.

Here is a draft of the report they were discussing.

Introductions:

Congrats to Danna who starts her new job on Jan 6. We are sad to lose her on the Task Force – but glad to have her as the director of Office of Broadband Development.

Otherwise 14 people at the working table and 9 in audience.

Work on Report

MAK (Margaret Anderson Kelliher): Main task is working on Task Force report – there’s been a lot of conversation. There is no statutory deadline for the report. Only members of the Task Force can vote on the report – subs cannot vote. Due to weather and discussion of the report. It may make sense to delay the vote on the report until January. Also then OBD will be in place and can play a role. Legislature starts late February. S we have time. It will give us time to create a consensus.

MG (Matt Grose): So there won’t be an outcome for today?

MAK: We can adopt the language to which we all agree. I think we will be able to approve 95%. We might have to rework some of the language on the speeds and percentage of coverage.

PW (Paul Weirtz) – As we go forward, this may be the most profound policy document we get. By the time we work on the report next year it may be too late. It makes sense to work another month and get a document that’s workable.

MAK: We will go through the document today. Flag areas of concern. Gary Evans sent an email. Connect MN and OBD have some analysis they would like to go through too. I propose we start with the document. We use our working lunch. Then hear the analysis pieces and move forward. And flag the areas on concern. Between now and the next meeting we will work on those areas of concern.

DM (Danna MacKenzie): How will we work on it?

MAK: Some of it is language about how we present data we have. Some concern recommendations. We might have a phone meeting on language. What works effectively is create another draft before we talk. Otherwise we can have a meeting in January to vote. Or we can vote on the phone. To vote on the phone you have to make your space available to the public – even by Google+. That may cover us in weather situation.

MAK: I have a letter – but I can share that later.

Discussion on the draft report

Page 3 –

MAK: Clearly there is some concern of tax exemption mentioned – we can discuss those later?

DS (Dick Sjoberg): We talk about 2015 – but when in 2015?

DW (Diane Wells): It says by 2015 – and tracking is 6 months behind so we won’t’ know where we are until 2016.

MAK: Most people think of it as end of calendar year. I think we can assume that’s what is meant. Given the lag in tracking it will be difficult to work on but the end of year seems logical.

DS: Maybe we can be more specific. If we say end of 2015 that gives Danna more time to work on it.

Decision – let’s spell out a specific date

SW (Shirley Walz): Is it valuable to add a graph that shows trending? Can we add something visual?

MAK: It appears on Page 12 – but a picture could be helpful.

DM: How about using bullet points? The paragraphs get dense.

MG (Matt Grose): In fifth point – we talk about general appropriation, but is a reimbursement. We talk about per student reimbursement – but that doesn’t really make sense. MLA has a recommendation – we could go with theirs. Otherwise we get into whether the school is part of a consortium or not.

Piece being discussed:

  • Increase funding for the Telecommunications/Internet Access Equity Aid per student funding amount and expand to include libraries, encourage fiber construction and providing access to underserved populations

MAK: Are we will talking about fiber?

FU (Fred Underwood): It doesn’t really matter since it will require fiber at some point again.

Decision: We might need more editing to get less specific with info on but focus on increase.

AS (Andy Shreiner): We talk about “Continue the Connect Minnesota mapping effort” where else do we discussion this?

BH: Page 40.

MAK: Maybe we need to add these sorts of references to make it easier.

BC (Bill Coleman): The state goals are really 10-20 Mbps / 5-10 Mbps – maybe we need the language to reflect that. Earlier the TF agreed that satellite wouldn’t be considered. Has the TF had that discussion? A family of 4 using wireless isn’t affordable. That’s a real consideration. Does a bandwidth limited and costly

MAK: We have talked about affordability. But there is limited authority to define affordability.

DW: Satellite doesn’t meet the upload speed.

MAK: We have talked about affordability but we don’t use affordability as a issue. I don’t think we have the capacity to address it.

FU: Look at the incomes in the state and availability doesn’t overlay well with affordability. Access isn’t available if it’s if it’s not affordable. We don’t clearly address affordability – but we need to flesh that out.

MAK: Let’s mention it but not in the executive report. It makes no sense.

FU: I think it belongs both places.

MG: We talk about training and education – but is this really task force work? Maybe it is better places with MNSCU or the Uof M?

MAK: We did talk about it. We talked about inviting UofM, MNSCU and maybe other private colleges into a meeting (maybe Feb) and address it then. I agree with you Matt.

MG: A lack of trained techs – is that a barrier to getting fiber in place? We said yes last time so I get that. BUT cyber security isn’t a barrier.

DS: But lack of cyber security can be a barrier to adoption. We need to have more people to do cyber security. We’re trying to be proactive. If we have a big cyber incident. It will take 5-6 years to get everything in place to prevent it to happen again. Trained techs are needed to get the fiber in place.

BJ (Bernadine Joselyn): We discuss on page 43 the training programs. MNSCuUhas received $1.8M – we might want to add it now. They are scrambling to absorb that funding. They are seeking community partners. Any recommendations we make should take that funding in consideration. They are 3 MNSCU partners. They got funding in September.

MAK: I’m assuaged by that. I’d like to see us study this more. We need to do more homework. We could leave the bullet point in – or not. We need to expand out language on cyber security. Maybe ew nee dto go more broad. Matt – can you live with it?

MG: Our focus needs to be narrow in terms of goals for the state as they are stated.

SW: Do we know what programs exist? And as a legislator what can I do with this info? It might encourage partnership – but there isn’t direct action.

MAK: So why don’t we let this sit.

PAGE 5 – names

PAGE 6 –

Discusses the past meetings.

PAGE 8-10

2013 Legislative Activities

MAK: page 11 outlines statutory goals – what’s in scope.

BJ: I want to suggest a sentence that gives an example such as… “As an indicator of the challenge still before us, nearly two-thirds of Minnesota’s geography, home to nearly half-a-million households, remains underserved compared to state goals.”

MAK: we are going to have a presentation over lunch

BH (Bill Hoffman): No we won’t get to this issue.

MAK: I think saying .5 million is fair – but mentioning geography doesn’t address stuff like lakes. But talking about households is fair. We could mention that they are largely rural. Geography isn’t description enough.

DS: About 32% is water, forest or state-owned land. No people live there. To say 66% may be true but doesn’t get to uninhabited areas.

MAK: We could live with that. We should include the fact that it’s mostly rural. It’s a fair characterization. And it gets to the point that we’re not there.

AS: Can we work on more positive language?

PAGE 12 –

MAK: We can repeat this graph in the executive summary.

PAGES 13-14 –

SW: we are working on foldouts.

PAGE 16 – Additional Availability Data

BJ: Should we include the 10/3 metric – it counter our message and it’s not our state goal.

MAK: There may be a difference between highlighting it and using it. We do measure it. But should be bullet point ot highlight it.

DW: We included it because it was in late year. Also it points out the difficulty of upload with broadband.

MAK: Maybe we need a better introductory paragraph. This was a debate in the legislative debate. This proves the point. The issue is in how we measure. The larger issue is the upload speed. We might need more there. No one is looking to say that this is fantastic. We are trying to get the policymakers to understand the difficulty in measuring and upload speeds.

DS: We could include the FCC definition of 4/1Mbps. And we could explain why this is done. We want to show that there is broadband access, it’s just not meeting the standards. There is some; we’re just not where we want to be. IN 1998 we were offering 500 K.

MAK: Part of our job is to educate people. If we leave this out – someone else can bring this data to the policymakers and it will make them wonder why we didn’t add it. We don’t want people to think that this is what we want. This won’t make us leaders.

BJ: Another concern is icluding the 98.91 percent coverage – especially since mobile service is includede here.

DS: But we are technology neutral. It’s a matter or cost. But we are addressing availability not affordablity.

BJ: Spelling that out may be helpful.

MAK: Yes we could do that.

BJ: We also need to recognize data caps. Given

MAK: Data caps might belong in availability section. But not affordability. We could note that data caps can be a barrier.

TJ (Tim Johnson): But it doesn’t matter what the technology is. This is more of a measurability. DSL isn’t designed for upload – neither is wireless. We are reporting what’s there – not making a quality statement.

BJ: But legislators need to know that wireless doesn’t provide the same degree of service with data caps.

PW: But also this goes against the emergence of devices. There are preferred methods relies on wireless.

DM: Border to border needs to be tracked – but it doesn’t supplant the need for wired residents’ access.

FU: The concern I have – this paints a much rosier picture of the situation. We need to find a way to say that this is not really as rosy as it looks. These numbers do not meet my experience. IN Carlton County I need get more that 256 K. We don’t have the ability to fix or measure this. We need to express that while progress is being made,

MAK: Let’s rewrite page 16. We need to help policymakers understand the situation.

SW: The intent wasn’t to paint a rosy picture in years past. So it’s getting this right.

BJ: But the press is already using the 98% metric.

SW: But isn’t that valid.

MAK: Let’s stop and we can rewrite.

BH: There’s a glaring error in Gary’s email – the speed tier in 10-15 Mbps, not “up to” speeds that Gary to which he referred.

MG: I agree with Fred. My experience has not gelled with the maps.

MAK: We are going to move on. My goal is to get to page 30 before lunch.

PAGE 17-18

MAK: Reporting – the news isn’t great in terms of how we measure up.

DS: These are ranking by Akami – they measure what people buy – not what’s accessible. So this is more a measure of what people can afford. We have more people on our economy service than our higher end options.

DW: Akamai has access to big data – such as from Amazon. So it measures transactions – we do have a sentence on the difference between availability or what people choose.

FU: It measures the connection they buy.

MAK: so maybe this info shouldn’t be in the availability section. Let’s move this graph.

SW: We have been using this for years. There isn’t anything better.

DM: The ranking from National BB Map – where those numbers from? They are different from form 477 numbers.

DW: We have used these numbers in the past. We haven’t seen the numbers from 477 forms.

DM: I got it from the FCC website.

DS: But that still gets at what people are buying.

MAK: So maybe we should look at adding these.

TJ: The forms do talk about over subscription and they look at “up to speeds” but the info they can gather is what are you purchasing.

AS: Not all ISPs file 477 – we might want to note this.

MAK: We will work on these.

DM: The NTIA report separates rural from urban.

MAK: What does that look like?

DM: If we are going to use stats to guide policymaking I think we need to recognize the difference.

PAGE 19:

AS: Can we spell out the Blandin report now?

BJ: We’ll work on that. It’s on NTIA’s website.

MAK: If we want to have a more robust discussion on cost – this is a good place. Before we get to broadband as key economic driver – we may want to help people understand average prices for different technologies. Might include average incomes, costs in difference areas.

BJ: Maybe we can refer to the 1996 Telecom act and their definition of universal service “just reasonable and affordable rates.”

AS: But the teelcom doesn’t act doesn’t talk about broadband.

PW: it only mentions the Internet once.

DW: The FCC has specifically backed away from collecting pricing info. It depends on speed, geography. We could use specific info.

SW: Remember the Benton County handout? It was helpful but even it required

MAK: We should have a discussion of cost. You are welcome to send me suggestions in both wired and wireless worlds. Rather than trying to get the wording today.

DS: We should devote a meeting. But what we’ll find is that the options are so varied based on everyone’s needs. There’s smartphone, fixed wifi… Are you a ham radio operator?

MAK: We need to have some info no cost here and we will before we approve.

FU: We do have a lot of it here – we can glean out a lot of what we need from the data we have.

DM: Can we make sure the emails go to everyone?

PAGE 20

MAK: 10 pages before we can eat.

AS: There’s nothing here that’s Minnesota specific. I’m not opposed to it. But it would be nice to have MN stuff.

BH: We may have more info. As a result of emails passed among TF members – we had Connected Nation to get Minnesota-centric economic data. They have a report for us. There is some useful info.

MAK: We will try to get that data out to folks on the phone. We should include this info in this section. Does anyone else have data on innovation or economic impact?

AS: This is in addition to info that’s there?

BJ: Are we looking at Jan or Feb as final data?

MAK: Jan

BJ: SNG may have more data for us by then too – info by sector.

AS: Last paragraph – do we need to attribute that to SNG?

BJ: We could add that citation.

AS: What’s the relevance of the NC data? DO we need that in there? I’m not sure that’s appropriate in the report.

MAK: We will be adding more MN data.

DM: We just want to make sure it’s a clear path.

PAGE 21;

MAK: Let’s as a graphic that shows where we’re at with ARRA projects.

SW: We could color code what is done and not done.

PAGES 33-34

MAK: The value here is letting people know what’s already happening.

BJ: (Page 35) Hen we talk about Senate Testimony  – I think it’s important to add that the Senate talked to us because Minnesota is a best practice with broadband adoption. SO I suggest the following…

Among the key message delivered from Minnesota:

  •  Broadband access      alone is not enough: without concerted, community-based efforts to ensure      that all citizens are      technologically literate, the digital divide will continue to grow and to      undermine America’s promise as democracy where equal opportunity is      available to all.
  • Community-based broadband literacy and market development efforts can and do make a difference… and we have the evidence to prove it.

MAK: How about it we simply quote you?

BJ: Sounds good.

PW: We can add Klobuchar’s remarks as well.

AS: DO we want to comment on Wheeler’s reign at FCC? Maybe we could use his recent speech?

BJ: Pg 36 – MIRC project – Perhaps we can update the Blandin info “Blandin Community Broadband Program – Blandin Foundation Trustees have dedicated $1.5 million in 2013-2014 to support community-based broadband adoption activities in rural Minnesota. www.blandinfoundation.org

MAK: we can add both.

PAGES 37 – 38

MAK: I think this sections needs a rewrite

PW Pg 39 – sales tax exemption seems redundant.

MAK: Yes that’s not really hitting the mark. We need more meat on these topics.

BJ: But I have concern with the section that says – Using wireless devices is almost as good as is about the same as what you can do on a computer. For example – doing a resume or job application.

MAK: But I can do everything I need to do on a device.

PW: I need to know more about what can be done on a 4G connection.

MAK: Maybe we need more info on can be done on a device.

SW: It’s tough to find Minnesota-only stats but we can try.

MAK: We could use other research capabilities.

PW: We could look at Pew or Center for Disease Control.

BREAK FOR LUNCH

Talk about Recommendations

MAK: We can talk about the most contentious topics later – maybe by phone.

DW: We will have to announce the phone calls.

Recommendation – continue Connect MN mapping

MAK: Funding for Connect MN ends Dec 14, 2014. That’s an issue since the Connect MN maps play such a role in our reports. There are ways to scale this. $1.8M is full cost for 2016-17

AS: We need to strengthen the language – go from important to critical.

BH: The number is a little high. We get $820,000 a year. We could do something more a la carte.

MAK: I am not a fan of bargaining against ourselves. I encourage us to put full cost of program. The policymakers can decide what they want to do with it.

MAK: Are there any concerns?

TJ: What kind of participation do you get from providers?

BH: We get 95-98%. There are 2-3 fixed wireless providers who don’t participate.

MAK: Maybe we can provide something about this in this section. A lot of people probably think this work just happens. And it doesn’t. We need to make that point and stress the participation rate.

Recommendation – Create an OBD Fund of $250,000 in 2015 and $500,00 in 2016-17

MAK: We were successful at getting the OBD. We now get staff – this extra funding would be a small fund that would allow the office to do addition things. Any money item will probably be a hard hurdle. But again it’s nice to have a cost for what it takes to do what we want.

BJ: Can you remind us about how you came up with $250,000?

MAK: On page 41 there might have been a pricing out of activities.

SW: We didn’t cost out so much as made a back of envelope number.

MAK: Maybe we need to flesh that out.

BJ: Last year it was suggested that we include outcomes and metrics. We don’t have that here. Perhaps that desire/preference has change.

MAK: I think that was tow years ago. Maybe it was because it was a budget year.

BJ: Just a bigger issue to look at for the recommendations.

MAK: We can work on that.

Recommendations –

MAK: next on the table are issues that may be secondary to us

BJ: last year we looked at grants/incentives to build in unserved areas. We could look at that again.

Recommendation – Increase funding for the Telecommunications/Internet Access Equity Aid per student funding amount and expand to include libraries, encourage fiber construction and providing access to underserved populations

The MLA is going to send some recommendations. They are trying to $6M. That would provide funding we had before.

Recommendation – Remove Minn. Stat. 237.19 which requires communities that wish to provide municipal phone service to meet a 65% referendum prior to providing that service.

DS: There are pluses and minuses. Right now it requires the municipality to have transparency. Some folks think super majority is too high.

AS: You have summed it up. Right now this only applies to municipality – not county or joint power. If we change this maybe we could add county and joint power to the list.

FU: I am supportive.

MAK: From adoption work – we’ve seen that the lack of clarity in terms of to whom this applies – has been an issue. We need to address that in our report.

AS: I would like a chance to work on that. There are levies to approve; those are much smaller. As providers we’re concerned with government competing with us. This needs modernizing. We could work on it over the next few weeks. I would rather update the issue than remove it.

DS: Because it was written in the early 1900s, it only applies to POTS. It doesn’t apply to VoIP. It doesn’t prohibit a city from going into the broadband business. It does require them to have a referendum if they are going to provide telephone service via switch.

FU: Removing it alleviates the confusion. It’s not relevant.

MAK: This is a great topic for the un-session.

FU: I’m not in support of a new rule.

BJ: I like the idea of modernizing it. The legal confusion has been a barrier. I want to see greater clarity.

MAK: Let’s look at additional language on clarification even if it doesn’t appeal to everyone.

Recommendation – Create a fund to help pay for connectivity services for low-income populations, set up so that public and corporations can make donations.

MAK: SO this doesn’t exist now?

AS: How detailed do we need to be? This could be work for the OBD.

DS: We were thinking about this – it’s a way for the OBD to accept donations and then support folks like PCs for People. Stuff like Essentials and Blandin will time out – we need to use what’s there. Subsidized programs work.

FU: We could add a line on the tax forms.

BJ: But we are relying on charity for public good. A more appropriate mechanism would be to find a way to allow providers to offer reduced rate subscriptions. We moves from charity case situation. We have data that supports the investment in reduced subscriptions in acquisition of new customers.

MAK: I don’t think we’ll get very far with a tax form contribution option. I think this was more of an institutionalized option. We need to focus less on individual donations. We need scale and that means more.

BJ: Maybe we can resurrect the idea of the fund from last year’s report. The idea was to make it more affordable for low income folks to subscribe.

MAK: This happens in other areas – like support the troops. Maybe we can find a similar situation and borrow.

Recommendation – Establish statewide, uniform cell siting requirements that streamline and encourage the deployment of wireless facilities, thereby enhancing the ability of Minnesotans to obtain timely access to new technologies.

DS: Helps providers by offering standardization.

PW: Wisconsin just passed this. We should look at why they did it.

MAK: This might not be ready for prime time.

PW: We can wait until next year.

Recommendation – Create, expand and fund new telecommunications and Internet Protocol technology training programs similar to the programs that exist at Minnesota State Community and Technical College-Wadena and Dakota County Technical College.  These programs will train people to be workers in the telecom and Internet industries. 

DS: We need more people to help us get the work done. We need good quality people.

MAK: Maybe Danna can do this. It might not

DM: But does that mean having nothing under workforce?

MAK: Maybe a statement is better than a recommendation at this point. And plan to have someone come in next year.

MG: Sometimes we get requests from folks in the field but the jobs don’t pan out after we’ve done the training. We need to research this a little better.

MAK: MNSCU has worked with Project Itasca on this. They pull job openings over time. Maybe we need to be less specific.

RECOMMENDATIONS FOR OBD

Recommendation – Explore the development of a mapping program that would show the availability of fiber and fiber-based services across the state, and that is available for socio-economic development purposes, with particular emphasis on business including library, education and healthcare services.

DS: We need for folks to know where the fiber is. Otherwise people only recognize fiber where they literally see it.

MAK: My concern is use of mapping – maybe use inventory instead. Connect MN will not do this.

BJ: But let’s get back to the audience. IS this a recommendation for the OBD? Maybe we want to present this info in a different way – not use our real estate here to address the OBD.

MAK: Yes maybe several of these points make a good letter to Deputy Commissioner Sternberg – rather than additions here.

DS: We didn’t want to give a breadth of options – this whole section might be better on page 41. Sub-bullets to the funding for OBD programming.

MAK: Also we need to consider how many recommendations we make. I like the Governor’s award. But almost everything else belongs somewhere else.

DS: It is important to get the info in front of policymakers – but it doesn’t need to be here.

MAK: John and I will work on this – creating a letter based on the recommendations and sets up some duties for the OBD.

PAGES 39-40

MAK: In the past we have taken the position that the repeal of the telecom tax exemption was an issue. We have been very public in that position. That’s why bullet point one is there. Bullet point 2 has been there for a few years. One tool to speed deployment is to expand definition of sales tax exemption. There’s been discussion about whether we should stick with this position.

DS: Over the course of the last 14 years the private sector has been building the internet. The only thing the state did while private sector spent billions of dollars was offer this exemption. We still have work to do and they take it away. It’s about $500M investment in central office equipment.

TJ: Was there a requirement that this have voice?

DS: No it’s for broadband. As a provider, it feels like a betrayal. We spend billions of dollars – and they take this away despite the fact that the investment is minor compared to our investment. The providers will continue to spend money because they want to do the business. But there’s no reason that the central office equipment couldn’t be building ND or SD instead of here. The money spent now was budgeted a couple years ago. We will see the impact eventually. The investment in facilities here will decrease. Right now the $35M collected a year is being spent on something else – maybe fixing pot holes.

MAK: So is this a question of placement?

DM: Bernadine – what about the idea of targeting the areas of greatest need? What if we go back to the OBD program funding and focus on need.

BJ: From the Legislators’ perspective – there’s always a cost. If we can give them a public fund and a way to find it that might be more productive than asking for money for programming and asking for tax exemptions. Also this can help target our work. Asis there is no guarantee that this tax exemption will bring deployment to unserved areas. For a business there’s a different imperative. There’s no connection between the exemption and the goals.

PW – $75 million – the tax wasn’t made because there hasn’t been investment in the state. The need still remains. I trust the people who have been meeting the needs of the state rather trust the government with this money. This falls out of synch with what other states are doing. How do we go from last year’s report advocating the tax exemption and now picking winner and losers this year by stepping away from it.

MG: When I consider the maps, there’s a business case that leaves people unserved. Whether we keep the exemption or use tax revenue differently – the question is – how does the exemption lead to investment in areas where there has been limited investment to date? How do we know we’ll get there? We have 3 real goals – there’s no connection between those goals and this recommendation.

MAK: We have heard each other. Part of the problem is placement of this recommendation. Maybe we need to make the connection between recommendation and n stat goals stronger. That’s our challenge. We are quickly running out of time for today’s meeting. Addressing this concern is our path forward. Is bullet one supported? Bullet two is very clear that it’s supporting fiber and that connection is clear. I think the connection is there for both bullet points but we need to decide that.

SW: If we put that restriction (serving rural areas)into the recommendations?

PW: Why would divert funds to only one part of the state?

MG: Another way to frame this – is what would it take for a provider to serve unserved areas? That information would be very valuable. If it’s the tax exemption well then this might make sense.

DS: It is. Simplifying it – you get to a point of costs (capital operation) where it gets too expensive. Removing tax exemption means we serve fewer people.

MG: Well then when the exemption was around, why didn’t we get these areas covered?

MAK: We need to know that this was not some policy consideration that was well thought out. But I think cuts were made to meet a dollar point.

FU: It’s really a math problem. It obscures reality. The problem is cost minus revenue has to equal something. Tax exemption shifts the math problem.

DS: The incentive is needed.

FU: Emotionally I don’t like this. Financially this may help because it changes the math problem.

AS: But we can go back into the concentric circle too.

MAK: We need to find a way to make this clearer for people. And then we see if we have agreement.

FU: What we’re trying to say to the legislature is – we’re already falling behind and now you’re making it harder for providers to reach the far corners.

DS: The legislature doesn’t have time to dive down into the details. They saw $75M in a small pocket and decided it could help reach their financial goals. Bernadine’s idea is noble but the legislature might not trust us.

MAK: Its’ 1:50. We have identified the work we need to do. We need time to write up the next iteration. This is a challenging time – the holidays are near. So don’t send good ideas on Christmas Eve. Bill, Diane, and John need a week to get this out to people. The deadline for OBD report is Jan 15.

BH: And work is required for that report too.

MAK: BY Dec 10 we will get out the list of items that need to be re-addressed. First draft could be done by Dec 17-18; it will be reassembled and sent back Dec 30. Danna’s first day is the 6th. We need to try for a meeting Dec 6-9. We need to get the report in before the Governor works on his report.

This entry was posted in Minnesota Advisory Task Force, MN, Policy by Ann Treacy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ann Treacy

I have a Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science. I have been interested or involved in providing access to information through the Internet since 1994, when I worked for Minnesota’s first Internet service provider. I am pleased to be a part of the Blandin on Broadband Team. I also work with MN Coalition on Government Information, Minnesota Rural Partners, and the American Society for Information Science and Technology.

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