MN House Ways and Means – discusses broadband grants – decides on $70 million for biennium

The meeting begins the process of mining bills and getting them to align with Senate versions. They are working on bills that will incorporate with Jobs Bill to align with Senate. They will be re-referred to tax committee – not directly to the floor.

Rep Ecklund moves HF7 (Broadband grants). There was an amendment to remove $15 million that Rep Layman added in the last meeting. Removing the added funds puts the budget in line with target budget. (Amendment was accepted.)

There was no policy added to the bill. They talked about policy earlier but decided to work on policy next year and focus on funding this year.

Rep Kresha adds that the grants have worked very well and leaving off policy might help them work even better.

Rep Garofalo promotes fixed wireless, cellular and satellite as a viable options. Rep Drazowski agrees with Garofalo.

They also discuss Net Neutrality. There was some concern that providers that got broadband grants from the state would not be required to adhere to  the Net Neutrality clauses that had been put in place – especially when it comes to retransmission fees. (Those are fees charged from fee-based content providers. Also some questions about what had happened to $488,000 cost for Net Neutrality, which had apparently been absorbed into the budget.


This entry was posted in Conferences, Funding, 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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