“Reliable internet is as basic as indoor plumbing and electricity were a century ago.” Duluth News Tribune

The Duluth News Tribune posts an editorial on the importance of rural broadband, now…

And never has true border-to-border broadband been as urgent or as in dire need as right now, in the midst of our unprecedented public health emergency, with hundreds of thousands of Minnesota employees and students suddenly home, learning and working remotely.

Those who can, that is. Politics too often put ahead of appropriate funding and public policy has left an estimated 14% to 17% of Minnesota households still without access to internet service or connection speeds fast enough for videoconferencing or other aspects of office and class work. The limitations have been frustratingly clear to far too many Minnesotans during this pandemic.

“Broadband is a necessary tool for residents in our region,” Sen. David Tomassoni of Chisholm said in a News Tribune editorial — way back in 2017. Then, the Legislature had a $900 million total funding goal, and about 22% of homes in rural areas still lacked internet connections at even basic speeds.

They outline broadband’s various ups and downs in the MN legislature and end with an quick comparison…

This pandemic has forced all of us to focus on basics. And if it wasn’t clear before, it is now: Reliable internet is as basic as indoor plumbing and electricity were a century ago.

This entry was posted in MN, Policy and tagged , by Ann Treacy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ann Treacy

Librarian who follows rural broadband in MN and good uses of new technology (blandinonbroadband.org), hosts a radio show on MN music (mostlyminnesota.com), supports people experiencing homelessness in Minnesota (elimstrongtowershelters.org) and helps with social justice issues through Women’s March MN.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s