The Worthington Globe reports…
Gubernatorial hopeful Erin Murphy is focused on building toward the future, which means investing in priorities like health care, child care, education, infrastructure and broadband.
And gets into a little of the details…
Continuing with the theme of investment, Murphy said she would dedicate new revenue from online sales taxes — in lieu of the Wayfair v. South Dakota Supreme Court case that allows states to tax all online sales — to expand the state’s broadband infrastructure.
Roberto Gallardo just released info on broadband adoption in rural, urban and suburban areas. There are lots of caveats to the research – it’s from 2015-2016, based on geographic definitions from 2010 and adoption means accessing broadband at speeds of 10 Mbps down and a1 Mbps up. BUT those are the best numbers out there right now.
So first the good news – adoption rates are improving…
In 2016, 15.4 percent or 48.9 million people lived in low adoption neighborhoods, down from almost one-fifth in 2015. So, yes an improvement.
Then the bad news – that improvement has not been evenly distributed. I think his chart makes this info most accessible. He shows levels of low adoption in rural, urban and suburban areas. As you can see below, low adoption decreased in urban and suburban areas but increased in rural areas.
Here’s where having that lower speed definition of broadband helps focus the attention on adoption. According to the Office of Broadband Development 94+ percent of Minnesota households have access to 10/1 speeds. That hasn’t decreased. Access isn’t an issue. The issue is helping people realize the value of broadband. Helping them learn how to use it.
The St Cloud Times reports on the Primary Race in 15B…
Republicans made up their minds already on the most contested Central Minnesota House seat, but Democratic voters have a chance to pick between two candidates in Tuesday’s primary.
Karla Scapanski has the DFL endorsement. She’s being challenged by former Bernie Sanders delegate Jessica Filiaggi.
Looks like both candidates have broadband at the top of their list…
Scapanski has worked as a dairy farmer, child care provider and community advocate. Her top issues include broadband access and job training, education and ending unfunded government mandates.
Filiaggi lives in Foley and works at a credit union. She wants to work on health care and rural issues, including broadband access, infrastructure development, transportation and sustainable jobs, Filiaggi told the St. Cloud Times in June.
Governor Dayton had a Letter to the Editor in the Minneapolis Star Tribune…
Erin believes that Minnesota must work well for everyone throughout our state. Her plan to connect all of Minnesota to high-speed broadband would open new opportunities for students, small-business owners and everyone else in Greater Minnesota. She wants to bring the State Capitol to the people, by opening up regional offices across the state.
Outside of the candidate debates I was able to catch a few views of broadband in rural areas with Ag Leader Technology (precision ag), MN Pork Farmers and candidate Heather Klassen:
Three rural communities will take a great leap forward in their knowledge of how to improve their broadband at the fall Border to Border Broadband Conference by taking part in a broadband planning exercise or charrette over the course of the conference. Two of the three spots are already spoken for and we are seeking a third to fill our capacity. Each team will go through a mini-feasibility study process assisted by their own nationally recognized planning consultant. By the end of the conference, the community teams will have more knowledge of technology options, costs, finance, operating scenarios and partnerships.
We require a minimum of five community members to come to the conference and participate on the team. Other conference attendees from other communities may join your team as interested participants. Conference registration fees will be waived though communities are responsible for their own travel and lodging. Communities will also be required to conduct a community survey in advance of the conference as a key input into the planning process. This will be a great opportunity for a community – from a single community to a county!
For more information, contact Bill Coleman, firstname.lastname@example.org or 651-491-2551.
I had a great time attending Farmfest today. I attended to watch the Gubernatorial debate. There was one question on infrastructure:
All five candidates were there: Tim Walz, Tim Pawlenty, Lori Swanson, Jeff Johnson and Erin Murphy. Two candidates took the opportunity to specifically talk about rural broadband. Lori Swanson likened broadband to electricity and said that we need to invest in it. Erin Murphy mentioned her plan to use the newly approved online sales tax to invest in broadband; that will be $100 million or more a year.
I thought folks might also be interested in the question plans to make MN stronger.
I watched the U.S. Senate and Congressional Candidate forums from the comfort of my own home.
You can see the entire Senate Forum on the Farmfest site. There was one question on broadband and everyone said it was important to rural areas. People talked about it as a utility, expressed a need at more and faster broadband and talked about the need to continue public and private investment. Here’s that portion of the forum:
You can also see the Congressional Forum online. That forum included: Collin Peterson, Dave Hughes, Tom Emmer, Ian Todd, Angie Craig, Carla Nelson, Jim Hagedorn and Dan Feehan. (Jason Lewis had a conflict).
They also had one question broadband – and those asked felt that broadband was important for rural areas.