Senator Schmit to tour Minnesota towns to talk about broadband next week (June 9-13)

Sorry for the last minute notice I just found out about Senator Schmit’s latest broadband listening tour and I’ve been pulling together the info I can to make it easier for folks in the areas to get more info about attending.

Here are the logistics I have:

  • Monday, June 9 – Aitkin, County Court House, 1pm
  • Tuesday, June 10 – Ortonville, Berkner Pizza, 11:30am
  • Tuesday, June 10 – Slayton, Center for Regional Development, 3:30pm
  • Wednesday, June 11 – Bemidji, Northwest Area Foundation, 11am
  • Wednesday, June 11 – Staples, National Joint Powers Alliance, 2pm
  • Thursday, June 12 – Annandale, City Hall, 9am
  • Thursday, June 12 – Mora, Life Enrichment Center, 12:30pm
  • Thursday, June 12 – Balkan Township, 4pm
  • Friday, June 13 – Willmar, MinnWest Technology Campus, 2pm

And more information on the meeting in Bemidji, which I think it reflective of all of the meetings (at least for content and purpose)…

The Northwest Minnesota Foundation will host a broadband awareness meeting with Sen. Matt Schmit of Red Wing to follow up on discussions from a 2013 meeting. The goal is to help move Minnesota forward in reaching its broadband goal – providing 10 Mbps to every home in Minnesota by 2015.

“One of the key takeaways from our last meeting included the urgent need for additional capital to spur on new infrastructure investments and expand access,” Schmit said. “Carrying forth the good ideas and momentum from the listening tour, the 2014 legislature spent a fair amount of time discussing broadband.

“As you may have heard,” he added, “a new ‘Border-to-Border Broadband’ matching grant fund was created with an initial appropriation of $20 million. The Department of Employment and Economic Development will administer this fund, and I expect more detailed information will follow over the summer regarding the application timeline and eligibility criteria.”

The next step, according to Schmit, is meeting the state speed goals and being a leader in broadband access by adopting the $20 million down payment on the fund to be a sustained and engaged effort. The public is invited to help further discussion about preparation for the grant program by joining one of several scheduled meetings with Schmit. The public is also urged to contact their own legislators to attend the local meetings and become more informed on this important rural Minnesota issue.

Join us June 11 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Northwest Minnesota Foundation, 201 3rd St. NW, downtown Bemidji. Please RSVP to Barb Lien, or call 218/759-6520.

I am hoping to attend some of these sessions and will take notes when I can attend.


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

About Ann Treacy

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

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