This morning, Senator Tina Smith, MN DEED Commissioner Steve Grove, Hennepin County Board Commissioner Marion Greene and Tonica Abdur Salaam, Co-Founder and Head of JJ Legacy Schools, discussed the impact of state and federal funding in Minnesota, Hennepin County and specifically North Minneapolis. They specifically spoke about American Rescue Plan & Senate-Passed Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill and state funding including the Border to Border Broadband grants and CARES grants through MN DEED.
Sen. Smith said that broadband is the infrastructure of the 21st Century and believes that Minnesota will receive a minimum of $100 million from the Senate-passed bipartisan infrastructure bill for its effort to connect 157,000 households currently without service. All speakers recognized that digital equity is necessary for rural and urban areas to thrive in Minnesota – and it’s not only about access. People need access to high speed broadband at home but they also need devices and skills to use it.