Representative Nolan’s Take on #MNBroadband Conference last week

We were lucky enough to have several policy makers join us last week at the 2015 Broadband Conference. It’s always interesting and often inspiring to hear them address the crowd at the event. In the case of Representative Nolan’s it’s equally fun to see what he had to say about the event after the fact in a recent e-newsletter…

Special thanks to Dr. Kathleen Annette, President and CEO of the Blandin Foundation, for her hard work on this important issue.

We took our campaign to wire rural America for high-speed broadband to a friendly audience on Friday – helping the Blandin Foundation cap a week-long conference that brought some of the state’s best minds together in Minneapolis to help free thousands of Minnesotans from dial-up Internet – and connect them to 21st Century communications.

Explaining my Rural Broadband Initiative Act to consolidate hundreds of millions of dollars in rural broadband programs under a single federal office and develop a national strategy to connect the countryside, I pointed out that 22 million people across rural America are still living in the dark ages of high technology. That means trouble for small communities struggling to compete, attract new people, create good jobs, expand educational opportunities and advance local health care.

We need the same kind of big thinking on rural broadband that Franklin Roosevelt used to establish the Rural Electrification Administration (REA) and the Rural Telephone Administration (RTA) in the 1930’s. When Roosevelt established the REA in 1935, about 1 in 10 rural homes had electricity. By 1953, it was 9 out of 10. In 1949, when the RTA started making loans for rural telephone service, only about 1 in 3 homes had telephones. By 1975, it was 9 out of 10. President Roosevelt and his generation passed rural electricity and telephone service on to us. We need to pay that legacy forward by passing 21st Century high speed broadband on to future generations of people who will live, work and do business across rural America.

This entry was posted in Blandin Broadband Summit, Blandin Broadband Summit 2015, 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.

Leave a Reply

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

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com 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 )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s