Almost 80 percent surveyed near Mankato support MN Legislative investment in broadband

Mankato Free Press reports…

A majority of area respondents support the Minnesota Legislature’s efforts to spend large amounts of money on broadband projects over the next two years.

Out of 255 total respondents, 202 voters — more than 79% — agree with lawmakers’ efforts to approve at least $120 million on broadband during this legislative session. Only 53 voters opposed the idea.

GOP and DFL senators presented largely similar proposals before a Senate agricultural policy committee last week 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.

The article goes on to mention RDOF and other factors, which have been discussed in the blog before, so I thought hearing from comments might be most interesting for readers here…

“Millions were spent a few years back and now they are asking again,” Jerry Groebner wrote. “I had signed up with one of the new systems a few years ago and after it was up and running, and the owner got his government money, he disappeared and so did the service. I went to a satellite service which costs more but it was great. It was offered by one of the same companies that offer TV satellite service so I believe the service is already available now. Why try to reinvent the wheel? Why do we have satellite service if we don’t use it?”

Sam Hovland said, “I feel like broadband companies were given a ton of money to do this years ago. That being said I am all for getting high speed internet to everyone who wants it.”

Paul Brandon wrote, “When it comes to broadband, we’re a third world country. Putting money into broadband is an investment into what should be a public service that will pay for itself in the long run with greater productivity.”

Barbara Keating wrote, “Adequate internet broadband service is a common good for all. Government assistance for broadband is similar to the ‘New Deal’ Rural Electrification Administration in1935 when 90% of farms lacked electric power. Private power companies declined to serve rural areas so the government helped the developing rural cooperatives.”

We’ve moved on from when most folks didn’t know what broadband was. People know. They see where investment is working and where it is not. They know what they don’t have.

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