Conference Committee on Omnibus Supplemental Budget Bill (SF3656) meets today (Wed) bill includes broadband funding

Here’s the latest from the Ways and Means Committee on the bill that discusses funding for the broadband grants.

Conference Committee on SF3656 – Omnibus Supplemental Budget Bill Meeting Notice
Committee:  Conference Committee on SF3656 – Omnibus Supplemental Budget Bill
Date/Time/Location:
Wednesday, May 09, 2018
3:00 PM or the Call of the Chair
1200 Senate Building
Committee Chair:
Representative Jim Knoblach
Senator Julie Rosen
The House has the Gavel
Time Note:
The Conference Committee will meet at 3:00PM (or the Call of the Chair).
Agenda:
The Conference Committee will review bill language.

You can find documents online:

Additionally, as a reminder, documents pertaining to the various fiscal areas in the Senate File 3656 Conference Committee have been posted to the respective finance committee pages on the House website.  These documents include Revisor Side-by-Sides; Nonpartisan Side-by-Side Bill Summary, and Fiscal Tracking Spreadsheets.
There is also a link at the Revisor’s Page here: https://www.revisor.mn.gov/side_by_sides/

I started to pull out parts related to broadband last night – assuming there have been no changes since 9 pm or so here’s latest version from SF3656

Broadband Development (lines 118.8 to 119.13)

Subd. 3.

Broadband Development

0

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.

Definitions (lines 226.1 to 228.20)

ARTICLE 12

TELECOMMUNICATIONS

Section 1.

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

116J.394 DEFINITIONS.

(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.

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.

There’s also the stipulation (in SF3656-2) that grants give priority to providers that adhere to Net Neutrality standards…

Lines 54.1 – 54.10

Subd. 3.

Broadband Development

-0- 15,000,000

$15,000,000 in fiscal year 2019 is for deposit
in the border-to-border broadband fund
account in the special revenue fund established
under Minnesota Statutes, section 116J.396.
This is a onetime appropriation. In awarding
grants, the commissioner must give priority
to projects that include broadband providers
who commit to adhere to net neutrality
principles.

This entry was posted in Conferences, MN, MN Broadband Fund Awards, 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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