MN Broadband Coalition meeting notes – plans moving forward

The MN Rural Broadband Coalition met today to talk about plans moving forward. They did a nice job of getting feedback from all attendees. The notes I’m sharing are more of a glimpse than record of the meeting but I thought there might be potential members who wanted to know more about the organization. I’ve peppers screenshots of PPT slides with notes from the discussion:

What would be lost without the coalition?

  • Unified message – particularly important for funding asks, helps smaller more niche organizations have a voice at the capitol
  • Without the coalition we would have different positions/advocacy by the some of the broadband organizations. B2B program would be in jeopardy.
  • Unified voice at the legislature on broadband
  • Lobbyist to represent collective
  • Harder to create a cohesive statewide plan. Carriers would be there at the table during the final discussions when their interests may not align with the coalition.
  • We would lose a unified, bipartisan, rural voice at the legislature to ensure continued funding for broadband grants and the OBD.
  • Prior to the Coalition, there were advocacy efforts, the Coalition provided true lobbying efforts.
  • Border to border “real” broadband. Real = Future proof / expandable broadband deployment
  • It’s not only about investment…. It is also about training
  • Affordability – private? Public?

New Mission/Vision?

  • All Minnesotans have access to quality, affordable broadband that meets their needs today and into the future.
  • Fund long-term as a priority, necessity,  & essential infrastructure — treat it like rural electrification was NEEDS TO TO PART OF BASE BUDGET
  • Minnesota will have adequate funding and support for  broadband to allow participation in all online activities now and in the future.

What are the ESSENTIAL elements that will help us reach our desired future?

  • Funding the coalition is essential
    • Current funding model doesn’t allow us to do that adequately
      • Allows us to pay for a lobbyist
  • Necessary infrastructure for broadband
    • We need funding but what is it we are paying for?
    • Roadmap of what would work
    • Incentives to private providers and/or government-run utilities

What, if any, elements may fall outside the scope of what we do?

  • The coalition doesn’t want an ownership stake in the physical infrastructure nor do we intend to profit from our work
  • Affordability of services
    • At the household level vs. at the provider level
  • Defining infrastructure

Who benefits most from our efforts? (Our PRIMARY beneficiary)

  • Those who have and will become connected through the broadband grant program
This entry was posted in Conferences, MN, Policy by Ann Treacy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ann Treacy

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

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