Senate Press Conference and Twitter Town Hall on Broadband: Notes and Videos

Today the Senate, led by Senator Schmit, held a press conference on broadband – followed by a Twitter Town Hall (#broadbandmn). I have the press release, video and Twitter highlights below…

Rural Senate Democrats Host Press Conference, Twitter Town Hill on Broadband

St. Paul, MN—Senators Lyle Koenen (DFL-Clara City) and Matt Schmit (DFL-Red Wing) were joined by Senate colleagues and statewide stakeholders at a press conference on Wednesday morning, as they commented on the strengths of the Senate broadband proposal and the importance of broadband expansion in rural Minnesota.

To date, the Border-to-Border Broadband Development Grant Program has received $30.6 million over the last two years, leveraging over $41 million in private investment. Combined with the economic benefit of serving 9,300 homes and 930 businesses, money put into broadband has some of the highest returns on investment state governments will ever see. (Read more)

Just a few highlights from the Twitter Town Hall – especially on two hot topics education and why rural needs broadband…


Why rural needs broadband

@alyssa_joy – @tinaflintsmith @SenateDFL would allow my Mom to do biz from home while being my Dad’s caregiver as he recovers from surgery #broadbandmn

@DanielLFrazier – Rural Minnesota is also engaged in international trade and commerce. Rural areas need #BroadbandMN

@SenateDFL – Last year’s Farmfest dedicated an entire day to #BroadbandMN incl. precision ag – great econ & enviro benefits. -K

@AnnT – .@tinaflintsmith @SenateDFL Broadband saves household money too – $10,500 annually #broadbandmn

@SenateDFL – #BroadbandMN really is the great equalizer for Greater MN – allows entrepreneurship from all across the state. -S h

@MNTownships – StoryFromTheRoad – Tractors can talk! Connected tractors tell owners when they need service, but only if they can connect. #broadbandmn

@MNBudgetProject – Smbiz owners want investments in broad prosperity like #broadbandmn, not large, poorly targeted tax cuts; read more

@alyssa_joy – @amelia_maude My M designs quilting/sewing patterns now, w/o highspeed internet-can’t work @ home, limits her ability to do biz #broadbandMN

@SenateDFL- For my area, #BroadbandMN means e-commerce, distance learning, telehealth, precision ag, innvoation -it’s crucial -K
tweeted 2016-04-27 11:42

@MNTownships – @tinaflintsmith @SenateDFL Allows people to stay in rural areas. Broadband access is critical to the next generation. #broadbandmn
tweeted 2016-04-27 11:40

@MarlaVagts – Entrepreneurs, education, getting $ worth on TV svcs all #BroadbandMN issues. @SenateDFL @DFL58

@MNTownships – Story from the road – town resident needs broadband access for accreditation for home day care business – but no home access! #broadbandmn

@DanielLFrazier – With high unemployment in U.S., there are $800,000 unfolded jobs. Many require tech skills. Schools need #BroadbandMN #mnleg

On Education

@tinaflintsmith – Students need broadband at home, not just on the bus, to get all their work done. #BroadbandMN #mnleg

@brjoselyn – #BroadbandMN Communities know best. Legislators should not be overly prescriptive. Hot spots? Something else? Let communities decide.

@marccjohnson – @SenateDFL One last post! Seriously, if you want to help fund broadband in ALL MN schools, TEA funding is the way to do it! #broadbandmn

@SenateDFL – It doesn’t directly fund TEA, but provides additional resources for tech & gives districts flexibility. -S

Great discussion – Gotta Go! Rural Broadband = great for kids and communities! $7M in TEA program = great for schools! #broadbandmn

@SenateDFL – Appreciate new ideas, but ed-specific #BroadbandMN funding to leverage fed $ (e-rate) might be smarter approach -S

@marccjohnson – @annT – If the $7M was put into the TEA program in a continuing fashion, it would help ALL schools in MN. #broadbandmn
tweeted 2016-04-27 11:29

@marccjohnson – @AnnT – The $7M in the house is onetime $ that would give short term help to a few districts but leave them hanging after a yr #broadbandmn
tweeted 2016-04-27 11:28

@MNTownships – Hotspots – great idea in the short term but limited by data caps and fails to allow students to study in the home #broadbandmn

@AnnT – Would the $7M for edu-wifi in House budget meet the needs of the schools? @marccjohnson @mnproyer #broadbandmn

@marccjohnson – Does Generation Connect actually fund the existing Telecom/Internet Equity Aid (TEA) program? #broadbandmn

@SenateDFL – Tech investment inside AND outside the classroom is key: $10m for Generation Connect (TEA) is in our E-12 budget. -S
tweeted 2016-04-27 11:25

@marccjohnson – 2 issues regarding schools. 1- kids need access at home. YES! 2- Schools in rural MN need $7mil to fund their needs. #broadbandmn

@mnproyer – If MN K12 schools did not have Erate, most schools would not have any broadband as people think Internet just appears. #broadbandmn

@mnproyer – K12 schools only need $7 million to totally fund the remaining balance of Broadband at current levels. #broadbandmn

@mnproyer – How about we pay for K12 schools to maintain and acquire the Broadband they need thru a program that already exits? TEA #broadbandmn

@DanielLFrazier – If schools are to improve, the students need access to relevant and timely resources. Need high-speed broadband. #BroadbandMN #mnleg

This entry was posted in Conferences, 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.

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