MN Broadband Task Force June 2020 notes: Microsofts Airband and Jonathan Chambers broadband investment maps

Today the Task Force heard from Microsoft Airband about their offerings. They noted that they were looking for broadband provider partners that are innovative. They also mentioned they weren’t as interested in fiber, but clearly not against it either. Then the Task Force heard from former FCC member, Jonathan who mentioned maps that showed public investment by county and talked about the need to focus on future proof network (or prepare to pay for upgrades).

They also heard from the subgroups:

Barriers to Technology Task Force Sub Group

Looking at

  • Funding
  • Affordability
  • Pandemic highlights affordability
  • Mapping
  • Permitting & easements

Recommendations

  • Speed goals – equity between rural/urban; Aim for 2026 speed goals 100/20
  • Dig Once
  • Understand advances in technology
  • Cyber security

Minnesota Model Subgroup

Recommendations

  • Mapping – want to stay with current, not supporting anything new but maybe offer an RFP for mapping in 2021
  • Distribution of funds: look at geographic areas? Prioritize unserved areas
  • $30 million annually in base funding – need to include funding for OBD. Needs to be put into GOvernor’s budget
  • Get Brent Christensen to talk about process for getting funding as a company to prevent double dipping (getting state and fed money)
  • What should the report look like? Do we need a full report – or maybe just a letter

Economic Development and Digital Inclusion Subgroup

Recommendations

  • OBD be funding to create an operating fund that includes digital equity work
  • Telecommunication Equity Aid – fully fund by raising funding cap to $9 million
  • Stand up a computer recycling programs for the State

Here’s the agenda for the day:

  • 10:00 a.m. – 10:10 a.m.  Welcome, Task Force Introductions, Attendee Introductions and Approval of Minutes from May 20, 2020 Meeting
  • 10:10 a.m. – 10:40 a.m.  Microsoft Airband – Aimee Sprung, Airband US, Director of Strategic Partnerships
  • 10:40 a.m. – 11:25 a.m.   Rural Electric Provision of Broadband and FCC Rural Digital Opportunities Fund Auction Jonathan Chambers, Conexon
  • 11:25 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.  Break
  • 11:30a.m. – 11:45 a.m.  Report out by Minnesota Model Subgroup (Chair: Brian Krambeer; Members: Steve Fenske, Theresa Sunde, Paul Weirtz)
  • 11:45 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.  Report out by Barriers and Technology Subgroup (Co-Chairs: Marc Johnson, Dave Wolf; Members: Nolan Cauthen, Steve Giorgi, Jim Weikum)

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