Minnesota Rural Equity Project looks rural issues – including broadband

The Bemidji Pioneer reports on Minnesota Rural Equity Project…

Growth and Justice, in a combined effort with the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities, the Greater Minnesota Partnership and the Minnesota Asset Building Coalition, are pushing the Minnesota Rural Equity Project. The work identifies legislative priorities for revitalizing local economies and reducing disparities in Greater Minnesota.

And their work in broadband (and other interests)…

As to infrastructure, the Minnesota Rural Equity Project is focusing on transportation as well as utilities such as broadband internet. According to the project’s research, 47.12 percent of households in rural Minnesota lack access to broadband. The MREP is pushing the state to extend its grant program for broadband and make it more accessible.

“We need to put our heads together and collaborate the best we can to not only meet immediate needs, but to plan across the board for the inevitable infrastructure maintenance and upgrades,” Leonard said. “From broadband to water, we’ve decided over time that these are necessities and we need to find ways to keep them updated and safe. We have to muster the political will to do that for today and our kids and grandkids.”

Leonard again referenced Bemidji as having a model that the state can use in expanding broadband, citing the work of Paul Bunyan Communications.

This entry was posted in MN, Policy, Rural 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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