Mankato Free Press posts an editorial imploring legislators to spend CARES money on rural broadband…
We would argue broadband funding to expand coverage in the short-term and long-term should be a priority. Thousands of Minnesota workers and students now work from home and broadband has become as necessary as electricity.
While broadband coverage has slowly been coming up to state standards in rural areas, there remain large parts of area counties that aren’t up to snuff.
Blue Earth, Brown, Nicollet, Le Sueur, Martin and Waseca counties have between 13 percent and 17 percent of households without broadband that meets the state standards of 25 Mbps download and 3 Mbps upload. Watonwan County (which has a large Hispanic population) has 20 percent without. Faribault County is the best with only 8 percent without high speed broadband.
These percentages of internet darkness are unconscionable for a modern society. And Democrats and Republicans need to step up and fill the gaps, which are not a problem in metro areas.