Sorry for the late notice – busy day! I’m going to try to attend remotely…
From Bill Tracker:
March 24, 2021 at 3:00pm (CDT)
The main idea is to change the definition of unserved/underserved as it relates to wired and wireless broadband. They want the legislation to definitely include wireless. This will determine who qualifies for state funding. State grants are available to wired and wireless solutions. I’ve bolded the areas with changes:
A bill for an act
relating to broadband grants; allowing broadband grants to be used for fixed
wireless broadband and clarifying broadband mapping requirements; amending
Minnesota Statutes 2020, sections 116J.394; 116J.397.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:
Minnesota Statutes 2020, section 116J.394, is amended to read:
(b) “Broadband” or “broadband service” has the meaning given in section 116J.39, subdivision 1, paragraph (b).
(c) “Broadband infrastructure” means networks of deployed telecommunications equipment and technologies necessary to provide high-speed Internet access and other
advanced telecommunications services for end users.
(d) “Commissioner” means the commissioner of employment and economic development.
(e) “Last-mile infrastructure” means broadband infrastructure that serves as the final leg connecting the broadband service provider’s network to the end-use customer’s on-premises telecommunications equipment.
(f) “Middle-mile infrastructure” means broadband infrastructure that links a broadband service provider’s core network infrastructure to last-mile infrastructure.
(g) “Political subdivision” means any county, city, town, school district, special district
or other political subdivision, or public corporation.
(h) “Underserved areas” means areas of Minnesota in which households or businesses lack access to wire-line broadband service at speeds of at least 100 megabits per second download and at least 20 megabits per second upload.
(i) “Unserved areas” means areas of Minnesota in which households or businesses lack
access to wire-line broadband service, as defined in section 116J.39.
Minnesota Statutes 2020, section 116J.397, is amended to read:
116J.397 UPDATED BROADBAND DEPLOYMENT DATA AND MAPS.
(a) Beginning in 2016 and continuing each year thereafter, The Office of Broadband Development shall contract with one or more independent organizations that have extensive experience working with Minnesota broadband providers to:
(1) collect broadband deployment data from Minnesota providers, verify its accuracy through on-the-ground testing, and create state and county maps available to the public by April 15, 2017, and each April 15 thereafter, showing the availability of broadband service at various upload and download speeds throughout Minnesota;
(2) analyze the deployment data collected to help inform future investments in broadband
(3) conduct business and residential surveys that measure broadband adoption and use
in the state.