Broadband isn’t a one and done proposition for Minnesota

There’s a letter to the editor in the InForum today about broadband and/or politics. Mostly I think the intent was political…

Jay McNamar recently stated he was in favor of bringing broadband internet to Minnesota District 12A. While I am certainly glad to hear that, the phrase “a day late and a dollar short” comes to mind. I say this because our elected representatives, Jeff Backer and Torrey Westrom, were not only in favor of bringing home broadband, they have already done it. Through their efforts, state and federal funding has been allocated for rural broadband.

The writer is under the impression that broadband is done. The estimates I’ve heard to get the entire state covered is between $1-3 billion. The state funding is a $35 million appropriation, which requires a 1 to 1 match – but that still only means $70 million investment. That’s a far cry from what’s required.

The Border to Border Grant is in its third year of “one time” funding. But realistically we’re going to need a few more years of funding if we plan to leave no county behind.

This entry was posted in Funding, MN, Policy and tagged 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.

2 thoughts on “Broadband isn’t a one and done proposition for Minnesota

  1. This is interesting commentary. Almost all of District 12A is eligible for the DEED Broadband grant. To bring Traverse County up to the 2026 state broadband goal of 100/20 Mb, it would take a significant allocation of the entire DEED grant program budget, plus the actual interest of one or more telecommunications providers. With a total population of just 3500 residents spread out over many miles, this is a challenging project. You can see the map here…
    https://mn.gov/deed/assets/infrastructure-grant-traverse_tcm1045-134183.pdf

  2. Investor owned providers can’t afford to build universal FTTP service, nor can state and local government. In my 2015 ebook “Service Unavailable: America’s Telecommunications Infrastructure Crisis,” I propose a $200 billion national telecommunications infrastructure initiative funded by the federal government. I also assert that much of that investment will come back to taxpayers with the economic multiplier effect from jobs to build the infrastructure and increased economic activity it will enable.

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