Follow up from Internet for All: Connecting One Minnesota from Bree Maki

Last week, the Office of Broadband Development hosted Internet for All: Connecting One Minnesota. Today, with permission, I’m sharing the follow up note attendees received from Bree Maki, Executive Director of the Office of Broadband Development…

Greetings,Thank you so much for joining us on January 25, 2023 for the Internet for All: Connecting One Minnesota event.  We hope that you found the day worth your time and enjoyed meeting new partners and connecting with old friends.  Minnesota has a long history of working together to achieve broadband access and we look forward to continuing this work with our Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment (BEAD) and Digital Equity plans.  We are so thankful for all of our co-hosts – National Telecommunications & Information Administration, Association of Minnesota Counties, League of Minnesota Cities, and the Minnesota Association of Townships.  This event could not have been as robust without the talented, knowledgeable, and willing panelists, speakers, moderators, and staff that worked so hard to make it a success.

Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment (BEAD) Plan

While we don’t anticipate knowing how much BEAD funding the state will receive until June 30th, we are working to develop the required Five Year Action Plan which is due July 12, 2023. The Five Year Plan will address Minnesota’s goals and objectives and inform the subsequent Initial and Final Proposals for BEAD funding. While many of the requirements for the BEAD Plan will be based on Minnesota’s existing statutory goals, established Border to Border Broadband Infrastructure Grant program, and priority uses outlined in the NTIA Notice of Funding Opportunity, we will be engaging with our partners to help inform and guide our work and fill in any areas where we have the discretion to enhance efforts regarding infrastructure deployment. With that in mind, if you would like to meet and discuss ideas for how we can improve the Border to Border grant program or the work of our office, or if there are barriers that need to be addressed to ensure programmatic success, please reach out to us at to schedule a meeting.

Digital Equity Plan

This winter and spring, we are excited to begin crafting Minnesota’s Digital Equity Plan. The DE Plan—which is different from the BEAD 5-Year plan, even as they will overlap—will address barriers people experience when trying to afford internet service, acquire an internet-enabled device, and develop digital skills. To ensure the plan is truly Minnesota’s plan, we encourage local participation in Digital Connection Committees (briefly and previously dubbed “digital inclusion planning teams”).  A wide variety of entities—including political subdivisions, non-profits, anchor institutions, faith-based organizations, MN-based businesses, and more—can form Digital Connection Committees. Committees receive planning updates from OBD while gathering information about local digital inclusion strengths and needs for inclusion in the DE Plan. Committees’ participation is voluntary; the workload is flexible based on Committee capacity. To support Digital Connection Committees, OBD will provide resources, templates, and general guidance. OBD is also offering non-competitive mini-grants to eligible Committees. A brief application is required, due March 3 at 3:00 p.m. Central. For more information or to register a Committee, please see the attached handout, visit OBD’s digital inclusion webpage, or contact Hannah Buckland, Digital Equity Program Lead, at

Again, thank you for your support and interest in assisting the Office of Broadband Development in this important work.

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