Mainstream media following broadband bills in MN Legislature

I’ve been following the latest with broadband in the MN Senate and House. It’s nice to see that mainstream media is keeping tabs too:

New Ulm’s KNUJ reports…

With more people working from home, the demand for reliable internet access has skyrocketed in Minnesota and Minnesota lawmakers are working on a bill to help. The proposal would dedicate $8 million for a distance learning broadband access grant program, which would help schools get reimbursed for distance learning technology, and $2 million for a telemedicine equipment reimbursement grant program, used to reimburse health care providers that have purchased equipment to for telehealth visits. The proposal has passed one hurdle in the House. It now heads to the House Ways and Means Committee.

KTOE reports…

A bill is moving forward at the State Capitol that would establish a Distance Learning Broadband Access Grant Program. The program is aimed at getting people in Greater Minnesota the access they need to high-speed internet during COVID-19 and beyond.

“COVID-19 has shown the need for broadband now more than ever, working, learning, or receiving healthcare remotely is impossible without it.”

Democratic Representative Rob Ecklund of International Falls. The bill would allocate $10 million for border-to-border broadband, $8 million to reimburse schools and $2 million to reimburse healthcare workers utilizing broadband.

KAAL reports…

A Minnesota House committee is revisiting the topic of border-to-border broadband.

The proposal in front of legislators would take $10-million and establish a distance learning access grant and a telemedicine equipment grant for rural Minnesota.

An additional $10-million would be used as an incentive for existing internet providers to build-up areas in unserved and under-served parts of the state.

The bill now heads to the House Ways and Means Committee.

Fox 9 reports…

Minnesota lawmakers push for increased broadband for distance learning amid the COVID-19 pandemic. [and video]

Additions on April 30…

Faribault Daily News

Approved in committee by a bipartisan vote, the new legislation is designed to boost access to high-speed internet in the long term while helping to ensure that schools and local health care facilities have the technological resources they need.

KTOE

Earlier this week, a key House committee approved a bill to increase funding for high-speed broadband internet across the state. The bill invests $10 million in the state’s Border-to-Border broadband program, provides $8 million in a new distance learning broadband program and $2 million to reimburse health care providers and counties that purchase and install telemedicine equipment to provide COVID-19-related health care services.

This entry was posted in MN, MN Broadband Fund Awards, Policy 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.

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