This week Pew asks Blandin Foundation’s Bernadine Joselyn – What Policymakers Can Learn From the ‘Minnesota Model’ of Broadband Expansion? In the answers Bernadine does a nice job outlining the components of the Minnesota Model, why they work and how others can learn from them. I’m just going to pull out two of the questions and answers from the more complete interview…
Q: Minnesota is often held up as a leader in state efforts to expand broadband deployment. What do you see as the state’s main accomplishments?
A: There are several key elements of what we call the “Minnesota Model.” First are the legislatively mandated state broadband speed goals. The state also has an Office of Broadband Development (OBD), charged with managing the state’s Border to Border grant-matching program, which provides funding to connect homes in unserved or underserved communities, as well as the state’s broadband mapping program. The OBD is also responsible for coordinating with tribal, state, and federal agencies to help align resources and efforts toward achieving our state’s broadband goals.
The Minnesota Rural Broadband Coalition is another key element.
Q: What’s next for the task force? What are its priorities?
A: The goals in the year ahead include reviewing the state’s internet speed targets—with an eye toward emphasizing improvements of upload speeds—and continuing to help advocates, community leaders, and elected officials build the case for ongoing public investment in broadband infrastructure and adoption.