The Caledonia Argus asks MN State Senate District 28 candidates, Jeremy Miller (R) and Sarah Kruger (D), a range of questions, including one on broadband…
With schools experimenting with distance learning and the need for rural broadband internet rising, how can you help bring internet to underserved areas?
Miller: There are too many rural areas that still do not have access to high speed internet service, which is why I’m a big supporter of Minnesota’s border to border broadband program. Since 2014, the legislature has appropriated over $125 million to expand broadband access to rural communities across the state. I especially like this program because of the public-private partnership between our local, state, and federal governments and local internet service providers.
Kruger: As more people are working and learning from home than ever before, the necessity for greater access to broadband in our rural communities could not be more crucial. Our children need and deserve an education that will allow them to succeed. During these challenging times, reliable internet access is a necessity for distance learning. Additionally, as businesses owners, Minnesota farmers require high-speed internet access to remain competitive in an increasingly technology-reliant industry. Expanding rural broadband produces strong economic benefits for our area. Broadband access helps farmers maintain competitive business operations, thereby expanding opportunities for young farmers and maintaining family farms for generations to come. Greater funding for broadband expansion needs to be provided in order for our children and our regional economy to flourish. This is an issue that should have been addressed with proper funding years ago. We cannot wait for moments of crisis to solve problems; we need to be prepared ahead of time.