MN Broadband Task Force November Meeting Notes: Drafting the 2016 Report

Most of the time at yesterday’s meeting was spent combing through the Task Force draft report in groups. I was disappointed that they didn’t get to a discussion of speed goals or recommendations but they did discuss all other aspects of the report.

Here’s the draft handed out at the meeting. It will be helpful as you read through the notes below

11:00 a.m. — 11:10 a.m. Welcome, introductions, approval of minutes – done
11:10 a.m. — 11:20 a.m. Public comment – done
11:20 a.m. — 11:30 a.m. Update from the Office of Broadband Development

$11 million in grants
$18 million in matching
Awards from $100,000 up to $5 million. Good geographic distribution.
Next step is to convene the group of awardees to walk them through the grant process.

We are often asked about the role of the Task Force in grant awards. We try to make it clear that the Task Force is not involved at all.

We have heard from Internet 2 folks. They did a high level state-level report on education and broadband. MN is not one of the 38 states listed with a forward looking designation. Mostly because the Governor was not able to give a quote in time for the publication.


11:30 a.m. — 1:40 p.m. Discussion of broadband speed goal recommendations – The Task Force broke up into three groups to discuss the report.

I listened in to a session but it didn’t make sense to take notes. There was a strong focus on choosing wisely to streamline content in deference to the legislative readers. Broadband is inherently technical and sometimes it makes sense to pare down info to make it easier to understand at a level that is high enough to understand and detailed enough to legislate wisely.



  • How about an introduction – and move definition to appendix?
  • Add the following: FirstNet, 5G, GPON…
  • Maybe focus on plain language

LETTER FROM CHAIR _ will be left to the end


  • need  intro
  • List technologies that meet State speed goals
  • Give each technology equal treatment (and plan language)
  • Let’s save space to meet page goal
  • Dick S will try to rewrite cable to be less technical
  • Need to write fiber piece – OBD will take that on
  • Address wireless network issue, noting that wireless is only as good as underlying fiber
  • CAF 2 supports a fixed wireless solution


  • There is a section (pg 21) that looks at future of applications
  • Blandin will share detailed look at access, penetration and speed based on Akamai data
  • Pg 9 – maybe need something indicating community efforts from 5 years to the present
  • Need to spell out acronyms
  • Use a timeline instead of text. Use organization chart to show OBD and Task Force
  • Need appendix that includes historical documents
  • Use community examples with bullet points
  • We can link to more info on electronic version
  • We need to figure out what we want.
  • Need to note private investment
  • Maybe a bar graphic that tracks different programs in the state & Task Force accomplishments


  • What percentage of people are served that aren’t using it? (Use 477 data) Something that speaks to availability vs adoption
  • Pg 15 – maybe good place for new info from Blandin
  • Pg 16-17 – don’t use Chattanooga – use local examples
  • Use ROI data from SNG study.
  • Do we want to lose references from outside of MN?
  • What are best examples outside of MN?
  • Get statistics of use of knowledge to apply for jobs? (Referenced in recent Blandin conference.)
  • Get more Connect MN data – except there isn’t any more current info.
  • Can we call out public policy considerations? (Help flag pertinent sections.)
  • Note that adoption data is limited – ask for more money.
  • Move discussion of past broadband speeds to appendix.
  • Pg 16 – chart is a duplicate.
  • Add in tribal info
  • Leave out Chattanooga – it’s a political hot potato – use MN example
  • CenturyLInk has a Gig network in Mpls and suburbs
  • We didn’t spend a lot of time on adoption – we need to know more before we say too much or make a specific recommendation
  • Pg 13 – use line graph
  • Plug in data on success with state goals
  • Mention the Connect MN mapping paid for by ARRA
  • Take out old data
  • Every chart should have a text box with a takeaway
  • Maybe task force members could submit quotes from the report too.


  • So many examples of IoT – maybe select one or just a few
  • Talk about impact of applications too – it will allow for making connections to results (economic development)
  • Maybe add an appendix of resources of educational tools available to schools
  • Pg 28 – Be sure to mention RITA and their big grant
  • Need to trim down content
  • Pg 27 – need to discuss the suggestion that the TF would focus on Telecom Equity Aid, since it really wasn’t discussed.
  • Magazine covers under Ag are great – maybe tighten text
  • Maybe look at MN Farm Bureau for policy recommendations
  • Maybe add application from MN History Center


  • Need to get budget of private investment and will have it before Dec 8 meeting
  • Pg 35 – introduce partnership model and refer to pg 38 where more partnerships are listed. Good time to look at partnerships that have received State Funding.
  • Do we need to have some treatment of the grant? Will that step on the OBD report?
    • We will want to include basics if we want to ask for more funding.
  • Some desire to how much was requested by all applicants.
  • Pg 26 – need definitions for Price Cap and Rate of Return Carriers.
  • Need to add 2015 awardees and map that shows 2014 & 2015 awardees
  • Under Price Cap Carriers – add map of CAF 2 funding – there’s a map that color codes by carrier. Add info that CAF is part of the solution but not enough to reach state goals.
  • On broadband rural experiments – was CTC a recipients too?
  • On Gaps – need to be carrier neutral.
  • On e-rate – maybe pull in some info from education section.
  • We don’t have data on what will be coming from FCC.
  • Need something on CAF and the fact that it won’t necessarily meet State goals after upgrade
  • Pg 38 – pull Monticello example, it’s too loaded.
  • DO we like the table? Are we leading them to conclusions? Are we leading them to the conclusions we want? What is the goal of the section? We don’t want legislators
  • Maybe we need examples detailed somewhere else.


  • Need to add language on specific bills – at last at high level
  • Mention disparity on tribal lands
  • Pg 39 – we’re not recommending passing – State Council will support or not support it’s not up to the Task Force
  • Pg 40 – rural/urban divide – maybe mention cooperative model


  • Remember speed goals – hopefully the legislature will adopt with little change.
  • MAK is looking at an option that doesn’t include numbers
  • Let’s look at aspirational goals
  • Let’s look at e-rate
  • Let’s look at biennial budget recommendations
  • How about including the vision statement created at the recent Broadband conference?


  •  Are we going to stick with same number as last year for budget?
  • MAK will circulate her ideas on speed goals between meetings.
  • Task Force will think about the Blandin broadband vision 2:50 p.m. — 3:00 p.m. Wrap up, plans for December 8 meeting

Leave a Reply

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

You are commenting using your 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