Rep Garofalo introduces changes to MN broadband grant program – removes “unserved” from grant program language

On Thursday (Feb 22), Representative Garofalo introduced

  1. F. No. 3002, A bill for an act relating to broadband; modifying eligibility for the border-to-border broadband grant program; amending Minnesota Statutes 2016, sections 116J.39, subdivision 4; 116J.394; 116J.395, subdivisions 1, 5, 6. The bill was read for the first time and referred to the Committee on Job Growth and Energy Affordability Policy and Finance.

You can see the proposed changes online; it impacts the eligibility for the border-to-border broadband grant program.

Here are the proposed changes:

Remove “unserved areas” from the definition by removing the following:

(start line 3.15) (i) “Unserved areas” means areas of Minnesota in which households or businesses lack 
access to wire-line broadband service, as defined in section 116J.39.

And remove the term/idea from the following (I’ll make the deleted terms bold below):

(start line 3.19) A grant program is established under the Department of
Employment and Economic Development to award grants to eligible applicants in order to
promote the expansion of access to broadband service in unserved or underserved areas of
the state.

 

(start line 3.25) An applicant for a grant under this section shall provide
the following information on the application:

(1) the location of the project;

(2) the kind and amount of broadband infrastructure to be purchased for the project;

(3) evidence regarding the unserved or underserved nature of the community in which
the project is to be located;

 

(start line 4.18) Subd. 6.

Awarding grants.

(a) In evaluating applications and awarding grants, the
commissioner shall give priority to applications that are constructed in areas identified by
the director of the Office of Broadband Development as unserved.

Added at 2 pm:

Gulp – I just realized I missed one change:
(starting line 3.12) In the definition second of Underserved – “wireline” is removed:
“Underserved areas” means areas of Minnesota in which households or businesses
lack access to wire-line broadband service at speeds of at least 100 megabits per second
download and at least 20 megabits per second upload.

That is important too. The MN Broadband Task Force has been hearing from wireless providers lately.

This entry was posted in Funding, MN, MN Broadband Fund Awards, MN Office of Broadband Development, 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.

One thought on “Rep Garofalo introduces changes to MN broadband grant program – removes “unserved” from grant program language

  1. Gulp – I just realized I missed one change:
    (starting line 3.12) In the definition second of Underserved – “wireline” is removed:
    “Underserved areas” means areas of Minnesota in which households or businesses
    lack access to **wire-line** broadband service at speeds of at least 100 megabits per second
    download and at least 20 megabits per second upload.

    That is important too. The MN Broadband Task Force has been hearing from wireless providers lately.

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