MN Office of Broadband News Update: hiring, legislation and funding

Sharing an email update from Office of Broadband…

Office of Broadband Development News

The following updates are available from the Office of Broadband Development:

  • Applications Now Being Accepted to Serve on Governor’s Task Force on Broadband
  • OBD is hiring!
  • Reminder: Challenges to the Border-to-Border Grant Applications are Due April 5th
  • NEW: Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Utility License Application Workshop
  • Line Extension Connection Program
  • Digital Equity Act Update

Applications Now Being Accepted to Serve on Governor’s Task Force on Broadband

Are you interested in serving with a group to influence broadband policy in Minnesota? Do you have time to volunteer to serve on a Task Force that will make recommendations to the Governor and the Legislature on digital inclusion and broadband availability across the state? Do you know someone who may be a strong advocate and representative on this topic? The Walz/Flanagan Administration will be making appointments to the Governor’s Task Force on Broadband soon!

The Governor’s Task Force on Broadband was created under Executive Order 19-10 and is a multi-stakeholder body created to advise the executive and legislative branches on broadband policy, including strategies for successfully achieving the state broadband goals, comprehensive assessment of digital inclusion issues and gaps, and strategies for unlocking the benefits of universal access to broadband for all communities in Minnesota. The Task Force consists of fifteen members who are appointed by the Governor and have experience or interest in broadband matters. The members must represent a balance of broadband interests, including: residential and business consumers, local governments, libraries, K-12 and higher education institutions, tribal interests, healthcare, broadband providers, economic development, agriculture, rural development, workforce development, and labor interests. The Task Force meets monthly and submits an annual report no later than December 31 each year. This appointment is through the rest of the current Governor’s Term. To apply, see the instructions below.

To learn more or read the current Task Force’s report, please visit Broadband Task Force / Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (

For questions, contact the Office of Broadband Development at the MN Dept. of Employment and Economic Development at or by calling 651-259-7610.

Applications should be submitted no later than Monday, April 3, 2023 to receive full consideration.


Visit the Open Positions page.

Scroll down to find the correct Agency/Board/Council.

Choose the correct seat type, and click button that says APPLY

The system will walk you through creating an application profile.

Page 2 of the application will now allow you to attach the following documents:

  • Letter of Interest
  • Resume or Biography

OBD is Hiring! Applications due by April 7, 2023

The Office of Broadband Development at DEED is hiring a Community Development and Special Project Coordinator. Along with access to reliable high speed broadband infrastructure, OBD seeks to ensure every Minnesotan can afford broadband service and has a device and the digital skills needed to use the internet and engage in online digital work, education, and health monitoring. The Community Engagement and Special Project Coordinator will report directly to the Executive Director and support Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) Program and the Digital Equity Program planning statewide. The purpose of this position is to manage the database management, data entry, file preparation and drafting of documents for the two plans. This position will also provide coordination to the Office of Broadband in community engagement, participate in community events and educational presentations, promotion, and coordination of events with members of the OBD team.

Here is the link to the posting. Please share with anyone you think would be a good candidate: Planner Senior State – Community Engagement and Special Project Coordinator – Job ID 64231, or Apply Here.

Reminder: Challenges to the Border-to-Border Grant Applications are Due April 5th

Challenges to the Border-to-Border Grant applications submitted by March 2, 2023 are due no later than 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, April 5, 2023. There is a Form to use to submit a challenge: 2023 Challenge Form When completed, email the Challenge Form to

NEW: Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Utility License Application Workshop

For those who apply for DNR utility licenses to cross state lands or public waters: you’re invited to attend the Utility License Application Workshop presented by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Lands and Minerals Division.

The DNR is holding two online Utility License Application Workshops. Please register and attend whichever session is most convenient for you.

Event description:

Webex will provide an online platform for the presentation. This course is optional and free, but registration is required. The workshop offers an opportunity to expand your knowledge on the state’s utility license application process and learn how to submit a complete application to obtain a license from the DNR for the passage of any utility crossing over, under, or across any state land or public water.

Event details: Option #1: Wednesday, April 5, 1– 3:00 p.m. Register

Option #2: Wednesday, April 12, 9:00 – 11:00 a.m. Register

Once you complete the short registration form, you’ll receive a confirmation email with the link to join the webinar. Please mark those in your inbox for quick event access.

The DNR Lands and Minerals Division is responsible for granting permission to companies that propose to cross state land or public waters with utility infrastructure projects. Please visit the Utility Crossing License webpage for more information.

Line Extension Connection Program

Just a reminder that the portal for the Line Extension Connection program is available for those in homes and businesses without a wired broadband service of at least 25Mbps download and 3Mbps upload at their location. Eligible addresses will be provided to broadband providers to see if any want to bid through a reverse auction process to serve any of those addresses. Bids selected will qualify for a state grant to help offset construction costs. More information, and the portal to register your address, are available here:

Digital Equity Act Update

Throughout February and March, OBD received over 90 Digital Connection Committee (DCC) registrations and 70 Assessing Digital Inclusion mini-grant applications. We are thrilled!

DCCs are Minnesota’s strategy for ensuring our state’s digital equity plan truly belongs to Minnesota. Between now and June 30, DCCs can submit data, stories, and other information about local digital inclusion strengths, needs, and goals for inclusion in the plan.

To register a DCC or to see a map (updates coming soon) of committees statewide, visit OBD’s digital inclusion webpage. DCC registrations are accepted on a rolling basis; registrations received by April 7 will be able to participate fully in contributing information for the plan. Please contact Hannah Buckland at with any questions.

This entry was posted in MN, MN Office of Broadband Development by Ann Treacy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ann Treacy

Librarian who follows rural broadband in MN and good uses of new technology (, hosts a radio show on MN music (, supports people experiencing homelessness in Minnesota ( and helps with social justice issues through Women’s March MN.

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