Last Friday Senator Schmit visited Willmar to follow-up on his earlier broadband listening tour. This was more of a result tour as Senator Schmit told folks about the broadband fund and encouraged them to get ready to apply. Willmar was the last stop during a week of visits. There were more than two dozen people in attendance – providers, policymakers and local stakeholders.
People shared good questions and enthusiasm with other communities the Senator had visited earlier in the week. It was Dan Richter’s speech that caught my interest. Dan owns MVTV Wireless and is on the Minnesota Broadband Task Force. He is a community-focused provider. He speaks about broadband in the state; his goal is to bring broadband where no one else is – the rural areas.
He admits that he didn’t originally approve of the broadband funding but has been won over due to the importance of broadband and the potential role that government can have in supporting a necessary utility.