Le Sueur looks at State broadband cuts and what they really mean to Le Sueur; other communities might take note too

Like many other rural news sources, Le Sueur News Herald has recently posted an article on the proposed cuts to broadband budget in the House. BUT they really went through what the cuts could mean to the community of Le Sueur.

They recognize that Le Sueur is not fully served…

According to State Broadband Data Development(SBDD), 13.6 percent of Le Sueur County residents do not have access to what is considered by the Federal Communications Commission to be high speed Internet. Many of those without access to broadband live in rural areas, where fiber cables do not currently reach and wireless options are often far away or not accessible.

And that it making a difference to students…

“As more and more school districts move to personalization of learning and digital learning environments, broadband access for all does become increasingly important,” said Tri-City United Superintendent Teri Preisler.

Five percent of parents in the TCU district said their students did not have broadband at home, according to a recent survey sent out by the schools.

They realize that they’re going to need help to get full coverage…

Talk of increased access to high-speed Internet is gaining statewide, but to ensure broadband access may mean laying out fiber cable to every home that isn’t within range of high-speed wireless providers. And that’s costly.

When a more rural area like Le Sueur County wants to take on such a project, it’s likely going to need help in the form of grants or low-interest loans.

And that the notation of help lessens with the latest cuts in the House…

Minnesota House Republicans presented a proposal Thursday to cut funding for the Minnesota Broadband Infrastructure Grant Fund, which has provided help to local governments in expanding broadband access. Republican leaders said the costs are too high, and that wireless and satellite options are less expensive.

In a press release, Democratic Lt. Gov. Tina Smith said: “If we want economic prosperity to be broadly shared in every corner of our state, we need to give our communities and businesses the tools they need to succeed. I urge House Republican lawmakers to reconsider these cuts, and I am committed to working with them to make progress on this critical economic issue.”

They take a look at RS Fiber and the strides they have made getting better broadband to (at least portions) of four counties. Ironically, RS Fiber was a recipient of funding from the State just weeks ago.

This entry was posted in MN, Policy 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.

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