MN Legislature proposes $10.588 million for broadband grants and base funding for the Office of Broadband

Stories from the frontlines indicate that things were crazy at the Legislature last night but bills were passed, session was closed and now things are left for Governor Dayton. The Governor has supported broadband in the past. I guess it’s a matter of giving folks time to see what happened now that the dust is settling.

Here’s what’s happening with broadband… (Spoiler alert: $10.588 million for broadband grants and base funding for the Office of Broadband.)

14.29 Subd. 8.Broadband Development 10,838,000 250,000

14.30(a) $250,000 each year is for the Broadband
14.31Development Office.
14.32(b)(1) $10,588,000 in fiscal year 2016 is for
14.33deposit in the border-to-border broadband
14.34fund account created under Minnesota
15.1Statutes, section 116J.396, and may be used
15.2for the purposes provided in Minnesota
15.3Statutes, section 116J.395. This is a onetime
15.4appropriation and is available until June 30,
15.6(2) Of the appropriation in clause (1), up
15.7to three percent of this amount is for costs
15.8incurred by the commissioner to administer
15.9Minnesota Statutes, section 116J.395.
15.10Administrative costs may include the
15.11following activities related to measuring
15.12progress toward the state’s broadband goals
15.13established in Minnesota Statutes, section
15.15(i) collecting broadband deployment data
15.16from Minnesota providers, verifying its
15.17accuracy through on-the-ground testing, and
15.18creating state and county maps available
15.19to the public showing the availability of
15.20broadband service at various upload and
15.21download speeds throughout Minnesota;
15.22(ii) analyzing the deployment data collected
15.23to help inform future investments in
15.24broadband infrastructure; and
15.25(iii) conducting business and residential
15.26surveys that measure broadband adoption
15.27and use in the state.
15.28(3) Data provided by a broadband provider
15.29under this paragraph is nonpublic data
15.30under Minnesota Statutes, section 13.02,
15.31subdivision 9. Maps produced under this
15.32paragraph are public data under Minnesota
15.33Statutes, section 13.03.
16.1(1) $2,000,000 in fiscal year 2016 is for
16.2grants to cities for broadband infrastructure
16.3and other eligible expenses, as identified
16.4in Minnesota Statutes, section 116J.395,
16.5subdivision 2, for a wire-line broadband
16.6infrastructure demonstration project that is
16.7part of a public-private partnership.
16.8(2) In order to be awarded the broadband
16.9infrastructure grant under clause (1), a city
16.10must demonstrate:
16.11(i) funding from nonstate sources that
16.12matches the amount appropriated in clause
16.14(ii) broadband service outages of 12 hours or
16.15more in the area within its jurisdiction;
16.16(iii) a decline in the number of businesses in
16.17the area within its jurisdiction, as a result of
16.18adequate broadband service; and
16.19(iv) an agreement that the city will own
16.20the broadband infrastructure as part of the
16.21public-private partnership.
16.22(3) The commissioner of employment and
16.23economic development must award the
16.24broadband infrastructure grant under clause
16.25(1) before September 1, 2015.

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