Today the Task Force went through drafts of their annual report. As much as possible, I have screen shots of the draft (in PPT form), which is really last year’s version with some updates. Then I have the documents they used to discuss the challenges and recommendations made by both sub-groups Affordability and Adoption Sub-Group AND Funding, Mapping and Usage Sub-Group. The screenshots of a Google Docs are really where the beef is.
The was discussion on consumer perception of broadband reliability with a leaning toward making sure that the provider perspective was understood as well. That very the problem isn’t with the connection but with the user and/or user equipment. There was also discussion about trying to come up with a cost to bring broadband to everyone in Minnesota. The average cost per household was penciled in as $9300. That is not far off previous numbers; I suspect it’s hard to anticipate shortages, price increases and natural barriers in reaching the last households. Also folks were wondering if broadband meant wired solutions only.
There was also an update from the Office of Broadband Development. They are currently hiring two grants managers and are looking at hiring more positions soon.
10:00 a.m. – 10:05 a.m. Welcome, Task Force Introductions, and Approval of Minutes from October 24, 2022 meeting
10:05 a.m. – 10:10 a.m. Office of Broadband Development Update Bree Maki, Executive Director
- Thanks for the welcome messages
- Line extension program is online
- BEAD planning with NDIA – we’ve jumped in. Planning for a kickoff event in January.
- FCC mapping comes out tomorrow until Jan 13. Accurate maps will help with funding eligibility.
- Border to Border grants should be announced mid-December
- Next round of Border to Border grants will be announced immediately after – with a 30 day criteria period.
- Two positions for grant administrators are open until Nov 28. We’re on other positions.
Q: What was total 2022 grant program and what’s anticipated for 2023?
About $100 million. For 2022 – $95,000 ($25,000 for fiscal appropriation). For 2023 it will be about $67M – $25M in state appropriation $30M capital projects $12M for unserved
We will awards close to $100 million this round.
The only BEAD funding is for planning – nothing yet for deployment. BEAD funding depends on mapping.
Are grants to be announced restricted to 2-year program? We aim for that but allow for extensions.
W10:10 a.m. – 10:20 a.m. Walk Thru of Draft Report Scott Cole, Collectivity
Q: Can we add a RDOF-impacted map?
10:20 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Affordability and Adoption Sub-Group
- We need to be concerned about the perception of reliability versus actual reliability.
- We can bring schools online faster if everyone is online
- Promote reliability standards portal – would that become a compliant center for folks to complain about providers? Very often the problem is in the home or user error. Maybe we need to work on helping provider promote reliability.
11:00 a.m. – 11:10 a.m. Break
11:10 a.m. – 11:50 p.m. Funding, Mapping and Usage Sub-Group
- Cost per drop is likely to increase as more remote locations show up on maps
- What is OBD seeing as deployment costs?
Maybe $9300 per passing
- We are hoping to show that federal funds won’t cover everything. We still need state investment.
- We need to do the complications and come up with some solid numbers over the next four years
- We’re talking 100 percent wired broadband, right? Or just 100 percent service?
- We need to know if OBD has capacity for more grants. Maybe some planning money can be used to talk about wired vs wireless.
11:50 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Governor’s Task Force on Broadband Update from Teddy Bekele, Chair, Minnesota Governor’s Task Force on Broadband
12:00 p.m. – 12:05 p.m. Public Comment, Other Business, December 19, 2022 Meeting Plans, Wrap-up