Industry speaks to MN Senate Committee on Energy and Utilities Finance and Policy

This afternoon I attended the MN Senate Committee on Energy and Utilities Finance and Policy, Chaired by Sen. David J. Osmek.

I’m pleased to share videos, note and PPTs from the presenters.

Here are the presenters:

  • Brent Christensen, President/CEO, MN Telecom Alliance;
  • Paul Weirtz, State President, AT&T;
  • Bill Jensen, President, Minnesota Cable Communications Association;
  • Anna Boroff, Executive Director, Minnesota Cable Communications Association

Brent Christensen, President/CEO, MN Telecom Alliance;

  • Telecom is only competitive utility.
  • Each type of communication is regulated differently. We need to standardize regulation
  • Need to look at 237

Anna Boroff, Executive Director, Minnesota Cable Communications Association

  • Many people use VoIP but are unaware of it.
  • Cable is regulated in 238 in the state. We deal with franchise agreements.
  • Cable has low income service options.

Bill Jensen, President, Minnesota Cable Communications Association;

  • There are continually challenges to the industry
  • We have a common goal: deploy technology as quickly as we can.
  • Happy to report on grant projects funded in the area.
  • Everyone is interested in speed (like a car)
  • Mediacom is deploying gig.
  • Community wifi is a trend – we see it in various communities. We are just finishing our first network in Savage in downtown area and parks.

QUESTION: Where are cable members in terms of meeting speed goals?

Most members are delivering speed goals and ahead of federal goals. Our operators use coax and fiber. Fiber for great distance and interconnect with coax on neighborhood street.

We are looking to deploy fiber closer to the dwelling. FTTH is getting closer for us – the ideal goal. We use HFC – hybrid fiber coax network. We do see the need for fiber closer to the dwelling.

We provide service to residential and business. Some residents don’t need gig; some businesses do.

QUESTION: Was in Winona and Goodhue – lots of people have question. People in Winona are remote. How do you prioritize reaching rural areas?

The grant program wants operators to come forward with projects. They track areas that are unserved or underserved. The goal is even with grant funding (and that’s only 50 percent) there needs to be a partnership with the community. We met with communities. The telecom provider pick up a share of the cost. And they want the community to buy in – like Medina did to the tune of $120,000.

The financial model is challenging – because the take rate can’t be assumed.

BC – out members serve the very rural areas – but we need help to deploy to the rural areas.

QUESTION: In Goodhue – people are asking about wireless.

Paul Weirtz, State President, AT&T;

  • The world is going to wireless.
  • 5G is the next generation of super fast, flexible network. We’re not waiting for the final standards to be set, we’re moving to 5G now.
  • Traffic on AT&T network has increased 250,000 percent since 2007 – that’s video

Does weather impact wireless here?
No – it’s like cell access.

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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