The Crookston Times is pretty emphatic about the need for broadband funding…
Consider, too, that it’s going to take billions of dollars for the state’s transportation system to even flirt with being caught up with needed investments. Meanwhile, the Governor’s Broadband Task Force last week said a mere $200 million investment in the state’s 2-year-old “Border to Border Broadband Grant” program – which mixes state money with local dollars – would go a long way toward meeting the needs of homes and businesses across the state’s wide expanses.
These days, if you’re somehow able to avoid the Internet at home and at work and on your phone and you’re still able to carve out a relevant, successful existence, you’re probably worthy of starring in your own reality TV show. The Internet is needed everywhere.
This $200 million recommendation should be a slam dunk. The state currently has a surplus that takes 10 digits to write down. On top of that, the feds have kicked in around $500 million for Minnesota through the federal government’s “Connect America Fund,” money that goes to large providers with the idea that they make the necessary technological investments to expand broadband service for their customers.
This is critical infrastructure. This is the transportation of information, business and commerce that doesn’t need actual roads to get from Point A to Point B. Considering the benefits that would result, investing a mere $200 million now to boost broadband across the state seems like a no-brainer.
It’s a great line about non-adopters being likely candidates for a reality TV show. It makes the point – and it’s one thing to choose that lifestyle, another to have no choice or have such limited or unaffordable choices that the choice is made for you. In some parts of Minnesota I think communities feel like they are in that position.