Details on the MN House version of the broadband grant bills and eligibility of satellite as recipient of grant

The “Journal of the House” for Monday, April 23, 2018 details specifics on a few broadband items – discussed at last week’s (April 20) House Job Growth and Energy Affordability Policy and Finance Committee.

There the specifics of the grants…

Broadband Development – 15,000,000

(a) $15,000,000 in fiscal year 2019 is for transfer to the border‑to‑border broadband fund account in the special revenue fund established under Minnesota Statutes, section 116J.396 and may be used for purposes provided in Minnesota Statutes, section 116J.395.  This appropriation is onetime and is available until spent.  Of this appropriation, up to three percent is for costs incurred by the commissioner to administer Minnesota Statutes, section 116J.395.  Administrative costs may include the following activities related to measuring progress toward the state’s broadband goals established in Minnesota Statutes, section 237.012:

(1) collecting broadband deployment data from Minnesota providers, verifying its accuracy through on-the-ground testing, and creating state and county maps available to the public showing the availability of broadband service at various upload and download speeds throughout Minnesota;

(2) analyzing the deployment data collected to help inform future investments in broadband infrastructure; and

(3) conducting business and residential surveys that measure broadband adoption and use in the state.

Data provided by a broadband provider under this subdivision is nonpublic data under Minnesota Statutes, section 13.02, subdivision 9.  Maps produced under this subdivision are public data under Minnesota Statutes, section 13.03.

(b) Of the amount appropriated in paragraph (a), $750,000 is for grants to satellite broadband providers under Minnesota Statutes, section 116J.395.

Changes to some definitions…



Section 1.  Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 116J.394, is amended to read:


(a) For the purposes of sections 116J.394 to 116J.398, the following terms have the meanings given them.

(b) “Broadband” or “broadband service” has the meaning given in section 116J.39, subdivision 1, paragraph (b).

(c) “Broadband infrastructure” means networks of deployed telecommunications equipment and technologies necessary to provide high-speed Internet access and other advanced telecommunications services for end users.

(d) “Commissioner” means the commissioner of employment and economic development.

(e) “Last-mile infrastructure” means broadband infrastructure that serves as the final leg connecting the broadband service provider’s network to the end-use customer’s on-premises telecommunications equipment.

(f) “Middle-mile infrastructure” means broadband infrastructure that links a broadband service provider’s core network infrastructure to last-mile infrastructure.

(g) “Political subdivision” means any county, city, town, school district, special district or other political subdivision, or public corporation.

(h) “Satellite broadband equipment” means a satellite dish or modem installed at a broadband user’s location in order to receive broadband service from a satellite broadband provider.

(i) “Satellite broadband provider” means an entity that provides broadband service by means of wireless signals transmitted between communication stations orbiting the earth and satellite broadband equipment installed at a broadband user’s location.

(j) “Satellite dish” means a parabolic aerial installed on a building exterior that receives signals from and transmits signals to a satellite broadband provider’s satellite communication station orbiting the earth.

(k) “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.

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

EFFECTIVE DATE.  This section is effective the day following final enactment.

Eligibility of satellite…

Sec. 2.  Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 116J.395, subdivision 2, is amended to read:

Subd. 2.  Eligible expenditures.  (a) Grants may be awarded under this section to fund the acquisition and installation of:

(1) middle-mile and last-mile infrastructure that support broadband service scalable to speeds of at least 100 megabits per second download and 100 megabits per second upload.; and

(2) satellite broadband equipment installed on the premises of a broadband user located in an unserved area that can support broadband speeds of at least 25 megabits per second download and three megabits per second upload.

(b) Grants may be awarded under this section to fund monthly satellite broadband service charges for a period of 12 months for a subscriber whose satellite broadband equipment has been partially funded by a grant under paragraph (a), clause (2).

EFFECTIVE DATE.  This section is effective the day following final enactment.

Sec. 3.  Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 116J.395, subdivision 5, is amended to read:

Subd. 5.  Application contents.  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 or satellite broadband equipment 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;

(4) the number of households passed that will have access to broadband service as a result of the project, or whose broadband service will be upgraded as a result of the project;

(5) significant community institutions that will benefit from the proposed project;

(6) evidence of community support for the project;

(7) the total cost of the project;

(8) sources of funding or in-kind contributions for the project that will supplement any grant award;

(9) evidence that no later than six weeks before submission of the application the applicant contacted, in writing, all entities providing broadband service in the proposed project area to ask for each broadband service provider’s plan to upgrade broadband service in the project area to speeds that meet or exceed the state’s broadband speed goals in section 237.012, subdivision 1, within the time frame specified in the proposed grant activities;

(10) the broadband service providers’ written responses to the inquiry made under clause (9); and

(11) any additional information requested by the commissioner.

EFFECTIVE DATE.  This section is effective the day following final enactment.

Sec. 4.  Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 116J.395, subdivision 7, is amended to read:

Subd. 7.  Limitation.  (a) No grant awarded under this section may fund more than:

(1) 50 percent of the total cost of a project.under subdivision 2, paragraph (a), clause (1);

(2) 50 percent of the total cost of satellite broadband equipment installed at user locations, up to $300; or

(3) $600 in monthly satellite broadband subscription charges.

(b) Grants awarded to a single project under this section must not exceed $5,000,000.

EFFECTIVE DATE.  This section is effective the day following final enactment.

Delete the title and insert:

“A bill for an act relating to state government; appropriating money for jobs and energy; appropriating money for the Department of Employment and Economic Development, Housing Finance Agency, Department of Commerce, Public Facilities Authority, and Department of Labor and Industry; making changes to energy provisions; authorizing carbon reduction facilities; modifying the renewable development account; establishing grant programs; regulating modular and manufactured homes; requiring legislative review of certain rules; modifying housing bond allocation; modifying the minimum wage for employees receiving gratuities; making OSHA federal conformity changes; authorizing management of Lake Winona; authorizing a satellite broadband pilot project; modifying the taconite economic development fund; amending Minnesota Statutes 2016, sections 116J.394; 116J.395, subdivisions 2, 5, 7; 177.24, subdivision 1; 182.666, subdivisions 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, by adding a subdivision; 216A.03, by adding a subdivision; 216B.16, by adding a subdivision; 216B.243, subdivision 8; 216E.03, subdivision 9; 216E.04, subdivisions 2, 7; 216F.01, subdivision 2; 298.28, subdivision 9a; 299D.085, by adding a subdivision; 326B.805, subdivision 3; 326B.815, subdivision 1; 327.31, by adding a subdivision; 327B.041; 327C.095, subdivisions 4, 6, 12, 13, by adding a subdivision; 462A.222, subdivision 3; 474A.02, by adding subdivisions; 474A.03, subdivision 1; 474A.04, subdivision 1a; 474A.047, subdivisions 1, 2; 474A.061; 474A.062; 474A.091; 474A.131; 474A.14; Minnesota Statutes 2017 Supplement, sections 116C.779, subdivision 1; 116C.7792; 216B.164, subdivision 5; 216B.1691, subdivision 2f; 298.227; Laws 2014, chapter 312, article 2, section 14, as amended; Laws 2017, chapter 94, article 1, sections 2, subdivision 2, as amended; 4, subdivisions 3, 5; article 10, sections 28; 29; proposing coding for new law in Minnesota Statutes, chapters 14; 116C; 216B; 216C; 327; repealing Minnesota Statutes 2016, sections 177.24, subdivision 2; 216B.2423; 471.9996, subdivision 2.”

With the recommendation that when so amended the bill be re-referred to the Committee on Ways and Means.

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