The FCC asks for rural broabdand ideas. Minnesota responds loudly!

Last week MPR’s Dave Peters wrote about Minnesota’s strong response to the FCC request for broadband project ideas, with a concise take on the FCC’s proposed actions…

So the FCC is aiming a lot of the money at those companies to get them to improve service in their underserved areas.

In Minnesota, that’s CenturyLink, Frontier and Windstream. In a few months, the FCC will make those companies an offer: Here’s X million dollars to build out better service to Y thousand residents.

The FCC is still pinning things down but the total for those three is expected to be around $86 million a year to serve some 167,000 locations in the state, according to Tom Koutsky, chief policy counsel for Connected Nation, which hosted a Minnesota-targeted webinar Thursday on the topic.

If the companies take the deal, they will commit to a substantial improvement in Minnesota’s rural broadband service.

If they don’t, it’s not the end of the story.

The FCC realizes some companies will refuse the deal, figuring the money isn’t enough for the effort required. So in January, it announced it wanted to figure out how other organizations might be enticed to extend broadband service with the money the big companies don’t claim.

It got more than 1,000 “expressions of interest,” 62 of them from Minnesota, more than any other state.

It is nice to see Minnesota rise to the occasion. I think we’re speaking up not because we are in worse shape with our infrastructure than other states – I think we’re just more aware of the need for infrastructure and the opportunity for funding from the FCC. (Also we do have a lot more independent and coop telecommunications companies than many other states. Those companies are primed to take advantage of the opportunities if CenturyLink, Frontier and Windstream aren’t interested.

I know it’s a long list – but I thought I’d paste the Minnesota letters of interested below (culled from the full FCC list)…

Sara Folsted RC Fiber Expression of Interest (3 pages) 3 RS Fiber Cooperative MN
Otter Tail Telcom Rural Broadband Expression of Interest Project 2 (4 pages) 4 MN
Otter Tail Telcom Rural Broadband Expression of Interest Project 1 (4 pages) 4 MN
Lake Region Electric Cooperative (1 page) 1 MN
Sally Fineday Expression of Interest Comment (7 pages) 8 Leech Lake Telecommunications Company MN
Lake County Minnesota (3 pages) 3 MN
Cloquet Valley Internet Initiative (4 pages) 4 MN
Andy Hennis Rural Broadband Experiments Letter of Interest (3 pages) 3 Christensen Communications Company ( MN
Alliance Communications Cooperative Alliance Rural CAF EOI (5 pages) 5 MN
Paul Bunyan Rural Telephone Cooperative Expression of Interest Letter Rural Trials (14 pages) 14 MN
Mid-Communications, Inc. Letter of Interest (1 page) 1 MN
McLeod Cooperative Power Assoc. Expression of intrest Rural Trials (2 pages) 2 MN
Kanabec Broadband Initiative (5 pages) 5 MN
Emily Cooperative Telephone Company Rural Experiment Expression of Interest (4 pages) 4 MN
Austin Utilities/Austin Vision 2020 Expression of Interest (3 pages) 3 MN
Todd County Fiberband Task Force (4 pages) 4 MN
Northern Telephone Company Expression of Interest Letter for Broadband Experiments (2 pages) 2 MN
West Central Telephone Association Broadband Experiments EOI (3 pages) 3 MN
Halstad Telephone Company Broadband Experiment EOI (3 pages) 3 MN
Federated Telephone Cooperative Expression of Interest (4 pages) 4 MN
Federated Telephone Cooperative Expression of Interest (4 pages) 4 MN
Federated Telephone Cooperative Expression of Interest (4 pages) 4 MN
Farmers Mutual Telephone Company Expression of Interest (4 pages) 4 MN
Tim Boie Expression of Interest (5 pages) 5 Palmer Wireless MN
Savage Communications, Inc. Expression of Interest (3 pages) 3 MN
Mark Wegscheid (8 pages) 8 Broadband Corp MN
Halstad Telephone Company (1 page) 1 MN
Consolidated Telephone Company (3 pages) 3 MN
BEVCOMM, Inc. Rural Experiment Expression of Interest (4 pages) 4 MN
Mille Lacs Energy Cooperative Expression of Interest (3 pages) 3 MN
Sjoberg’s Inc. Letter of interest in the FCC Rural Broadband Experiments (2 pages) 2 MN
Northeast Service Cooperative Letter of Interest Bois Forte (5 pages) 6 MN
Northeast Service Cooperative Letter of Interest Fond du Lac (5 pages) 6 Minnesota Telecommunications MN
Northeast Service Cooperative Letter of Interest Rural Tract (5 pages) 5 Minnesota Telecommunications MN
Michael Baso Docket 10 90 Expression of Interest for Broadband Experiment (2 pages) 2 Arvig MN
Michael Baso Docket 10 90 Expression of Interest for Broadband Experiment (2 pages) 2 Arvig MN
Michael Baso Docket 10 90 Expression of Interest for Broadband Experiment (2 pages) 2 Arvig MN
Michael Baso Docket 10 90 Expression of Interest for Broadband Experiment (2 pages) 2 Arvig MN
Michael Baso Docket 10 90 Expression of Interest for Broadband Experiment (2 pages) 2 Arvig MN
Michael Baso Docket 10 90 Expression of Interest for Broadband Experiment (2 pages) 2 Arvig MN
Michael Baso Docket 10 90 Expression of Interest for Broadband Experiment (2 pages) 2 Arvig MN
Michael Baso Docket 10 90 Expression of Interest for Broadband Experiment (2 pages) 2 Arvig Enterprises MN
MVTV Wireless (3 pages) 3 MN
KMTelecom Expression of Interest (3 pages) 3 MN
Johnson Telephone Company JTC EOI Rural CAF Experiment (4 pages) 4 MN
Jaguar Communications, Inc. (7 pages) 7 MN
Info Link Wireless (6 pages) 6 MN
Genesis Wireless Letter of Interest (4 pages) 28 MN
Gardonville Cooperative Telephone Association (3 pages) 3 MN
Dan Olsen Expression of Interest (5 pages) 5 City of Windom and Southwest MN Broadband Services MN
Connexus Energy (5 pages) 10 MN
City of Moose Lake Expression of Interest WC Docket 10 90 (7 pages) 7 MN
Michael Baso Docket 10 90 Expression of Interest for Broadband Experiment (2 pages) 2 Arvig Enterprises, Inc. MN
Michael Baso Docket 10 90 Expression of Interest for Broadband Experiment (2 pages) 2 Arvig Enterprises, Inc. MN
Winthrop Telephone Company Expression of Interest Letter (2 pages) 2 MN
Runestone Telecom Association Expression of Interest (2 pages) 2 MN
Minnesota Valley Telephone Company Expression of Interest Letter (2 pages) 2 MN
Ace Communications Group (4 pages) 4 MN
LTD Broadband LLC Expression of Interest (6 pages) 59 MN, IA
Newcore Wireless Expression of Interest (2 pages) 2 MN, WI, ND, IA, MT, KS, NE
This entry was posted in FCC, Funding, MN, Policy, Vendors 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.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s