Broadband in the Legislature
Broadband speeds, funding and grant requirements have been discussed and debated in the House and Senate. At time of writing the House proposes $40 million for broadband, the Senate proposes $85 million and Governor Dayton proposes $100 million.
- Rep Simonson suggests MN House increase broadband budget to $85M. House votes out of order. http://wp.me/p3if7-3wa
- Senate Press Conference and Twitter Town Hall on Broadband: Notes and Videos http://wp.me/p3if7-3w4
- MN House Finance Committee passes budget including broadband with Amendment A 25 http://wp.me/p3if7-3vr
- MN House discusses budget including broadband: Part 2 http://wp.me/p3if7-3vd
- MN House discusses budget including broadband: Part 1 http://wp.me/p3if7-3vb
- Broadband amendments move forward in MN Senate Committee on Finance http://wp.me/p3if7-3vf
- House and Senate to discuss on Monday: House says $40M and Senate says $85M http://wp.me/p3if7-3uM
- MN House Republicans – $28M for broadband grants $7M for school broadband over two years http://wp.me/p3if7-3ux
- MN House releases budget: broadband budget is $35 million, which includes funding for education connectivity http://wp.me/p3if7-3u3
Response to Broadband in the Legislature
There has been a lot of response to the various levels of funding proposed for broadband by policymakers
- Albert Lea Tribune applauds State funding for broadband http://wp.me/p3if7-3wl
- A video on the evolution of broadband in Minnesota from Minnesota Telecom Alliance http://wp.me/p3if7-3wc
- Omnibus education bill includes $7 million for mobile hotspots on buses: Is that best use? http://wp.me/p3if7-3w0
- Local Media’s take on broadband budget and speeds in House and Senate (April 25) http://wp.me/p3if7-3vY
- Investment in rural broadband pays off in urban areas too http://wp.me/p3if7-3vP
- West Central Tribune details how bad broadband is in Minnesota http://wp.me/p3if7-3vL
- Unified Support for MN Senate Broadband Position http://wp.me/p3if7-3vF
- Broadband funding discrepancy one issue, management of money is another http://wp.me/p3if7-3vp
- Duluth New Tribune notes $40M broadband budget in the MN House http://wp.me/p3if7-3vi
- Austin Daily Herald not impressed with MN House investment in rural broadband for education http://wp.me/p3if7-3v0
- Minneapolis Star Tribune outlines broadband issues at Legislative: How much to spend? Where to invest? http://wp.me/p3if7-3uY
- Congressman Tom Emmer supports the MN Broadband Vision http://wp.me/p3if7-3uU
- Local media reacts to broadband budget of $35M from House and $85M from Senate (April 14) http://wp.me/p3if7-3uz
- 702 Communications’ Industry view of proposed changes in telecom regulation http://wp.me/p3if7-3ur
- Introduction to the Minnesota Brain Gain Bill – a push to push rural http://wp.me/p3if7-3uj
- Al Franken on KAXE – we need to talk about broadband not elections http://wp.me/p3if7-3u5
- Broadband on Almanac – it’s all about supporting unserved vs underserved communities http://wp.me/p3if7-3u7
- Center for Rural Policy and Development fact sheet on rural broadband: great to for policy makers http://wp.me/p3if7-3tO
Mobile-only broadband household rate is growing
Americans are abandoning their wired Internet for a mobile-data-only; if the trend continues, it could reflect a huge shift in the way we experience the Web. http://wp.me/p3if7-3vm
How are Minnesota schools connected to the Internet?
Minnesota Education Technology Networks reports that the networks are mostly fiber with some supporting carrier-class microwave. Good connectivity is credited to early intervention of cooperatives. http://wp.me/p3if7-3ut
$12 Million in Broadband Grants
The USDA Seeks Applications for Nearly $12 Million in Broadband Grants for Rural Communities. http://wp.me/p3if7-3v6
Minnesota Broadband Task Force
The Task Force went to Target today to hear from local cyber security practitioners. The also got an update from the Legislature and made plans for future meetings. http://wp.me/p3if7-3uB
How doe MN rank as a broadband state?
A recent report from SNG indicates that while Minnesota’s broadband activity and investment ranking is above average, it’s not world class. http://wp.me/p3if7-3ul
Local Broadband News
Bemidji business idea to transition folks away from landlines by forwarding their number by family member http://wp.me/p3if7-3tV
Ely realizes that their hopes for fiber are diminishing as the timing for federal funds ran out. http://wp.me/p3if7-3wi
Kandiyohi is asking residents to complete a broadband market research survey to assess need and interest in the area. http://wp.me/p3if7-3wg
Century Link to spend a million dollars on broadband in Kandiyohi County http://wp.me/p3if7-3w6
Lt Governor Tina Smith hears about broadband need in Kandiyohi County http://wp.me/p3if7-3vk
Bridging the Digital Divide in Minnesota: a session from the 2016 Technology and Communications Conference (video) http://wp.me/p3if7-3uS
Renville and Sibley Counties
RS Fiber Report – informative and inspirational look at the power of cooperatives http://wp.me/p3if7-3vV
NewCore Wireless finishes Sherburne County project funded by Border to Border grants http://wp.me/p3if7-3vz
Sherburne County posts RFQ for Broadband Partner http://wp.me/p3if7-3vw
- May 3: Webcast on Wireless Policy Issues in DC: http://wp.me/p3if7-3we
- May 12: Blandin webinar on Technology Centers http://wp.me/p3if7-3wn
- May 24: Minnesota Broadband Task Force meeting http://mn.gov/deed/programs-services/broadband/task-force/
- June 4-5: Code Switch (Minneapolis) http://wp.me/p3if7-3vT
- June 15 – deadline to nominate someone for Next Generation Engagement Award http://wp.me/p3if7-3tT
Looking for more events? Check out TechDotMN’s calendar http://tech.mn/events/. Many events are based in the Twin Cities but it is a comprehensive list. (If you have an upcoming event, consider submitting it.)
Community leaders are just fantastic people. I continue to be amazed at the talents and passion that emerge from any and all parts of rural communities in pursuit of community survival and vibrancy.
I want to congratulate the Chisago Lakes Community – five small towns with a population of about 12,000 people – for their continued success in the America’s Best Communities program sponsored by Frontier Communications, DISH Network, CoBank and the Weather Channel.
From more than 300 applicants, Chisago Lakes has made the top eight finalist communities. To date, they have been awarded $165,000 to work on planning and projects. A year from now, the top three communities will receive million dollar awards. The community leadership on display from all of the top 15 communities at an economic summit held in Durham NC last week was inspiring.
Similar in process to the Blandin Broadband Communities program, the ABC program has engaged cross-sector leadership teams that collaborate and squeeze value of each dollar of grants and local contributions. These programs also spur community connectedness and unleash such incredible community spirit.
I would love to hear comments from community leaders – is it the planning process or the committed outside resources that make such wonderful things happen in your communities? Or are both planning assistance and financial resources required to make things happen? Or is it that an outside organization – in this case, Blandin Foundation or the ABC sponsors are putting their faith in you that provides motivation?
I know that if we could bottle and distribute what happens in the BBC or ABC processes, our rural areas would thrive!