There about a dozen people present and several more on the phone to get a summer update on activity of the MN Broadband Coalition.
They started with an update with Office of Broadband. No one form the OBD was there, but Nathan had met with Angie Dickison at the Office of Broadband Development talked about the need for data from OBD in terms of funds requested, number of applications…
Nathan also have a Legislative Update; he had met with Charles Sutton, who reported that the search the Task Force members is still on. They are looking for a new chair.
- The Coalition will be seeking more funding in 2020. The Agencies will be asked by Governor to submit their priorities in the next few weeks. Met with DEED to discuss priorities of the Coalition.
- On July 24, the Coalition submitted a letter asking for $30 million base funding for 2020.
- They will be working with same chief authors as last round: Sen Koran and Rep Ecklund. The revenue reports for the state are good so supplemental budget is likely.
- Broadband funding might be a focus on the Task Force.
Some other organizations got contingency funding – meaning if there was a surplus, they would get additional funding. Would that make sense for the Coalition next time around?
While contingencies and ongoing funding would be desirable to the Coalition, they may be an issue for some legislators who think about this as a job that will be completed at some point. Folks want to know – when will broadband be done?
What about the mini-session?
If they do it they are trying to focus on only one topic – and that will likely be insulin.
Ongoing funding is important for continuity and planning.
The Task Force will be essential is getting data to demonstrate progress toward ubiquitous coverage.
The Feds have already signed on for ongoing funding with tools, such as A-CAM. There are federal dollars coming into MN.
Blandin Broadband Conference is coming up Oct 8-10
There’s a focus on innovation and broadband and will include folks from the ICF (Intelligent Community Forum).
ICF application meetings
Blandin is hosting a series for meetings next week to encourage and support communities to apply to become an Intelligent Community.