Unsession a time to revisit telecommunications laws in Minnesota

Senator Matt Schmit recently posted an editorial on the importance of broadband in Minnesota, based on his two-part listening tour, which started before the holidays and finished earlier this month…

Since November I’ve met with nearly 20 communities around the state interested in improving broadband connectivity for their residents, businesses, schools, libraries, and hospitals. The findings have been clear:

Despite the best efforts of our local providers and cooperatives, poor broadband connectivity remains a real problem in many parts of the state.

For too many of our communities and rural areas, scarce resources and limited private return-on-investment, as well as outdated and unclear state laws, serve as barriers to improved broadband connectivity.

Folks are ready to do something about it.

The 2014 legislative session presents us with a timely opportunity: let’s use this “unsession” to rewrite key provisions of our telecom law that serve as needless barriers and don’t translate to 21st Century life; and let’s extend our state investment in infrastructure to the vital infrastructure of our day: broadband.

It’s nice to see a call to action and will be interesting to see what does come up during the unsession.

This entry was posted in MN, Policy by Ann Treacy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ann Treacy

Librarian who follows rural broadband in MN and good uses of new technology (blandinonbroadband.org), hosts a radio show on MN music (mostlyminnesota.com), supports people experiencing homelessness in Minnesota (elimstrongtowershelters.org) and helps with social justice issues through Women’s March MN.

3 thoughts on “Unsession a time to revisit telecommunications laws in Minnesota

  1. To make a business plan work and customers happy cable television is still an important component to the business plan equation. Statewide video franchising should be on the table in the “unsession”.

  2. Yes – we need statewide video franchising very badly. Because unlike other states, we still have local access television and the cable companies have to pay for access to our rights of way. Let’s lower costs the costs for the big cable companies and see how much of that trickles down to us. If we see statewide video franchising, it will be a sign of how powerful the big lobbyists are and will do nothing to advance investment in the networks we need.

    Local franchising is the reason you can get the same level of service in Frogtown as in Highland. Getting rid of it likely means a little investment in Highland and nothing in Frogtown or greater Minnesota.

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