I’ve written around the proposed $100 million bill for broadband development. I realized that I hadn’t hit the basics yet. Luckily the Minneapolis Star Tribune and Kare 11 have helped compile the main details.. Kare 11 reports…
Reisch is among those supporting a bill that would set up a $100 million grant program to help providers, rural coops or smaller communities install more fiber optic cable to extend high speed Internet connections into greater Minnesota.
The bill, authored by Rep. Erik Simonson of Duluth and Sen. Matt Schmit or Red Wing, is part of an effort labeled “Broadband border-to-border” by the Greater Minnesota Partnership coalition.
According to the partnership, only 32 percent of households in Greater Minnesota have access to good quality broadband, as compared to 92 percent of the households in the Twin Cities metro area.
“Fiber optic infrastructure today is just as important to Minnesota’s farmers as seed that they plant, it’s just as important to small businesses as electricity,” Gary Evans, a member of Governor Dayton’s broadband task force, remarked.
Evan said that efforts by communities to upgrade rural service has been thwarted in some case by legal action by existing Internet service providers who enjoy monopolies in some areas.