Mankato Free Press Looks at various Broadband bills and issues

Mankato Free Press reports

GOP and DFL senators presented largely similar proposals before a Senate agricultural policy committee Wednesday that would call for $120 to $150 million spent over the next two years on broadband projects, with at least $30 million to $50 million going toward projects in unserved or underserved communities. That amount is largely in line with a House DFL broadband proposal made earlier this year.

They do a deeper dive into on of the bills (SF 1186)…

Draheim is calling for $50 million in grants to be spent in unserved or underserved areas throughout the state over the next two years. He’d also like the state to update its broadband service maps to differentiate between wired and wireless technology connections, as well as mandate state officials to conduct on-the-ground tests of broadband speeds throughout Minnesota.

They mention how similar the various bills are but also mention some of the barriers and controversies happening in broadband funding.

They allude to some CAF funding rounds…

Critics point out some federal grant programs come with matching fund requirements for communities and internet service providers, which state money can help address. In addition, some federal programs don’t meet Minnesota’s broadband speed goals of 25 megabits per second downloads and 3 mbps uploads by 2022, as well as 100 mbps downloads by 20 mpbs uploads by 2026.

They address RDOF projects in Minnesota…

One company, Nevada-based LTD Broadband, received about $312 million for broadband projects across the state. Yet experts say LTD Broadband is ill-equipped to tackle so many projects at once and may not pass federal requirements to get their projects going, leading some local officials and businesses to ask the state to fund broadband proposals in areas where LTD projects are set to start.

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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