Decision on Rochester broadband network is postponed

Earlier this month, Rochester (MN) city council was set to vote on moving forward with a detailed broadband feasibility study. Rochester 6 News reports that they have decided not to decide, yet…

For years, the city of Rochester has been debating possible city-wide broadband for the area.

Monday night, the Rochester City Council was supposed to vote on whether or not to conduct a study for the project. The study itself would cost more than $45,000.

However, the item was tabled for another meeting.

“The study that we would do would be about $45,000 to $50,000. If we went ahead with the project, it would be $65 million, plus,” Rochester City Councilmember Mark Bilderback said.

It sounds like community voices stepped up…

Small business owners, educators and other community members came forward at the beginning of the meeting to show their support for city-wide broadband.

“The entire point of sale system is internet based,” one community member said.

“I have many reasons to also support municipal broadband,” another small business owner said.

But council members were unsure…

But when the item came up in Monday’s meeting, Bilderback motioned to table it. He said there’s so much information surrounding city-wide broadband, and while he likes the idea, Bilderback wants to spend more time learning about it before casting his vote.

“I need to go out and I need to fund my own investigations, because I’m not getting any answers from the presentations that we’ve had,” Bilderback said.

Other council members, like President Randy Staver, followed by saying there are other city projects to consider when looking at the expensive costs it would take to initiate it.

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