SF1507: Creating a pilot project for areas unserved with broadband (introduced on Feb 21)

Senators Draheim, Sparks and Nelson introduced SF1507 on Feb 21, 2019. Here’s the short description:

  • Broadband development pilot program for underserved areas establishment and appropriation

It was referred to Agriculture, Rural Development, and Housing Policy
There is no House companion listed.

Here’s the long version:

A bill for an act relating to telecommunications; establishing an unserved areas broadband development pilot program; appropriating money.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:

Section UNSERVED AREAS BROADBAND DEVELOPMENT PILOT
PROGRAM.

(a) For the purposes of this section, the following terms have
the meanings given them.
(b) “Broadband” or “broadband service” has the meaning given in Minnesota Statutes,
section 116J.39, subdivision 1, paragraph (b).
 (c) “Broadband infrastructure” has the meaning given in Minnesota Statutes, section 

116J.394, paragraph (c).

(d) “Satellite broadband equipment” means a satellite dish or modem installed at a
broadband user’s location to receive broadband service from a satellite broadband provider.
(e) “Commissioner” means the commissioner of employment and economic development.
(f) “Unserved area” has the meaning given in Minnesota Statutes, section 116J.394,
paragraph (i).

Subd. 2.

Establishment.
A pilot program is established under the Department of
Employment and Economic Development to award grants to eligible applicants to promote access to broadband service in unserved areas of Minnesota.

Subd. 3.

Eligible expenditures.
Grants under this section may be awarded to cover costs
related to supporting broadband service, including premise equipment. Grant awards under this section are limited to $300 per household.

Subd. 4.

Eligibility.
To be eligible for grant awards, applicants must provide broadband service that supports speeds of at least 25 megabits per second download and three megabits
per second upload.

Subd. 5.

Application process.
(a) An eligible applicant must submit a grant application
to the commissioner, on a form prescribed by the commissioner.
(b) The commissioner is responsible for (1) receiving and reviewing grant applications,
and (2) awarding grants under this section.

Subd. 6.

Application contents.
An applicant for a grant under this section must 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 nature of the community where the project is located;
(4) the number of households receiving access to broadband service as a result of the
project;
(5) the total cost of the project; and
(6) any additional information requested by the commissioner.

Subd. 7.

Report.
By February 15, 2020, the Office of Broadband Development must
report on the pilot program to the chairs and ranking minority members of the senate and house of representatives committees with jurisdiction over broadband development. The report must include:

(1) a list of all grant applications received;
(2) the total grant amounts requested; and
(3) the total number of households served by the awarded grants.

Sec. 2. UNSERVED AREAS BROADBAND DEVELOPMENT PILOT PROGRAM;
APPROPRIATION.

$……. in fiscal year 2020 is appropriated from the general fund to the commissioner of
employment and economic development for deposit in the border-to-border broadband fund account under Minnesota Statutes, section 116J.396, to award grants for broadband development in unserved areas as provided under section 1.

This entry was posted in MN, 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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