The shortage of broadband creates a kind of decision with multiple bad choices: Expand millions to create networks and expect to lose money or require broadband providers to build those networks, or, of course, do nothing and leave the market to push business out of rural areas and to big cities.
In these times where rural America is being left behind, according to certain politicians, it seems there would be some kind of push to subsidize rural broadband or require some telecom and broadband providers to contribute to a development fund.
Broadband is to the 2020s what rural electricity was to the 1930s. We know rural America got its electricity. Now it needs its broadband.
They seem to suggest greater funding for the State Broadband grants…
Minnesota Democrats have typically favored more funding with past proposals by the DFL in the area of $100 million to $200 million, while Republicans have favored less funding. Gov. Mark Dayton’s Broadband Task Force, a nonpartisan group, said in a report two years ago, that $1.4 billion would be needed to hook up everyone in the state to broadband. More recently, Gov. Tim Walz and Republicans have been agreeing on funding of about $35 million a year, still far short of needs.