I spoke with Senator Matt Schmit earlier this week. He told me about a recent trip to Kandiyohi County where he spoke with their local broadband committee about the Minnesota Border to Border Broadband Fund. Last year the fund had $10 million to grant to broadband projects around the state. This year the Legislature is expected to dedicate more funds to the project. The House Republicans have suggested $35 million; the Governor has suggested $100 million. Either way, there should be funding available.
Communities will again be invited to apply for the grant and while the exact applications aren’t available yet and won’t be for a while a project that is well thought out and planned will be more attractive to the funders. Senator Schmit mentioned that he would be available Fridays during session to attend similar meetings in other areas of the state, if local leaders were interested.
It might be a great way to get people in the community to the table to start or continue a conversation on broadband. Contact Senator Schmit to check his availability:
95 University Avenue W.
Minnesota Senate Bldg., Room 3411
St. Paul, MN 55155