Conference Committee first look at Supplemental Budget Broadband Notes

I am digging into the archive from yesterday’s supplemental budget meeting and will post notes when I can. In the meantime, here are the Daily Session notes from the budget instruction related to broadband from May 9…

One major difference between the House and Senate supplemental budget bill comes via how to pay for the Border-to-Border Broadband Plan.

The often-debated House version seeks a $15 million appropriation in Fiscal Year 2017 and $25 million in Fiscal Year 2018 to fund the program.

As one-time appropriations, funds would work to provide high-speed Internet access to Greater Minnesota by furthering availability, testing accuracy and deploying development.

The program would be required to reach underserved areas whose households or businesses lack access to wire-line broadband service at speeds greater than 10-20 megabits per second download and three megabits per second upload, as well as unserved areas at speeds greater than or equal to 10 megabits per second download, and three megabits per second upload.

Dayton has requested $100 million in his supplemental budget to expand broadband funding.

WATCH Video of the conference committee’s afternoon meeting on YouTube

The Senate version comes much closer to meeting that request, while also adding more speed and additional goals.

That body’s proposal would appropriate $85 million in Fiscal Year 2017 for the employment and economic development of the program, while also upping the ante in terms of speed, requiring the program to service underserved areas at speeds of at least 100 megabits per second download, and at least 20 megabits per second upload. Unserved areas would be serviced with speeds of at least 25 megabits per second download, and at least three megabits per second upload.

The Senate version also adds measureable goals for the program to reach, including all Minnesota businesses and homes having access to broadband at a minimum of 25 megabits per second download, and three megabits per second upload by 2022. The goal jumps to 100 megabits download, and 20 megabits upload by 2026.

This entry was posted in 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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