MN Broadband Task Force meeting Sep 2022: digital equity

The MN Broadband Task Force heard from Hannah Buckland, the new Ditigal Equity Lead at the Office of Broadband Development and from folks at Connected Nation about broadband mapping.

Welcome, Task Force Introductions, Attendee Introductions and Approval of Minutes from July 13, 2022 and August 29, 2022 Meetings

Minnesota Humanities Center from Nicole McMahon, Implementation and Event Center Director

  • they have been working on making hybrid meetings more possible

FCC Mapping Update from Ashley Littell Hitt, GISP, Vice President, GeoAnalytics at Connected Nation

  • first MN connected national broadband maps happened in 2008
  • for 5 years there were two map check-ins a year
  • There’s an interactive map where people can check their address; they still map down to 25/3
  • Maps will be coming out in November
  • These maps will replace the 477 form-based maps
  • Connected Nation focused on service areas – not census tracts
  • BEAD will require good maps; they will focus on areas without 25/3 first – address level mapping with be important
  • Fixed wireless converted to address level will be interesting but folks are worried about it being overstated.

Digital Equity from Hannah Buckland, Digital Equity Program Lead, Office of Broadband Development

  • Digital Equity includes: access to broadband, a device and the skills to use them
  • MN can get $880,000 for a state digital equity grant – then we’ll have a year to work on it
  • NTIA manages other grant – should be available in 2024

Office of Broadband Development Update with Diane Wells, Deputy Director

  • The new executive director will be names very soon
  • Met with stakeholders on legislative issues
  • Affordability is becoming more of an issue
  • Looking at low density programs – where DEED can pay for 75 percent and up to $10M
  • Looking at the line extension programs for folks with long driveways
  • Live extension program has to be up by Nov 1
  • Next round of border to border should start soon after current applications are announced
  • Applications are coming in for grants but the $5 million cap is preventing some folks from applying

Affordability and Adoption Sub-Group
Creating a list of challenges – like affordability and language
Scott presented the template for the report

Funding, Mapping and Usage Sub-Group
didn’t meet

Governor’s Task Force on Broadband Update from Teddy Bekele, Chair, Minnesota Governor’s Task Force on Broadband

Public Comment, Other Business, October 24 Meeting Plans, Wrap-up

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