About Ann Treacy

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

MN high school tech education is the worst

The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports

In the next 10 years, Minnesota businesses will have to fill 81,000 tech jobs, including 45,000 in the next five years, vacancies mostly from retirements and job changes to other states, according to the Minnesota Technology Association (MTA). In that same span, there will be an additional 6,500 IT jobs.

Minnesota projects to produce only 6,600 new tech workers by 2032, not nearly enough to address all the positions.

Technology is a profitable career choice…

As of 2022, there are roughly 110,000 tech employees in the state. That figure ranks 18th among the 50 states, according the Computing Technology Industry Association. A year ago, Minnesota ranked 12th in net tech employment.

Experts forecast the state’s unemployment rate for tech occupations to stay at 1.1% through 2027. Software developers and analysts are the most sought after workers in Minnesota with more than 7,000 positions advertised each month, though employers fill only 1 in 4 of those positions each month.

In Minnesota, the annual median tech wage is $94,715, 106% higher than the state’s median wage. Depriving students, especially those living in underrepresented communities, from high salaries can be a detriment to the state’s economy, experts said.

Schools are not helping…

Minnesota ranks last in the U.S. in the percentage of high schools offering computer science coursework with only 21% doing so. Of those schools, 12% are in urban areas, according to MTA. The national average of states whose schools offer computer science courses is 53%.

Meanwhile in Iowa, 71% of high schools offer a computer science course, and in Wisconsin, it’s 66%. North Dakota recently signed into law a bill that makes taking at least one computer science or cybersecurity course a requirement for graduation.

EVENT: June 17: Community broadband discussion in Wiscoy Township (Winona County)

The Winona Post reports

The Minnesota Department of Economic Expansion is helping host a Digital Inclusion Committee in Wiscoy Township in southern Winona County. The committee will receive community feedback from folks that are lacking good broadband access, then use this information to help write Minnesota’s Digital Equity Plan.

The committee is being hosted by resident Dan Wilson. “Minnesota is expected to invest more than $275 million in broadband internet expansion in the next couple years, and I wanted to make sure that rural voices are a part of the conversation on how to spend it,” Wilson said.

The community conversation is open to anyone in the area lacking access to high-speed broadband. The group will discuss the impact of not having good internet access and possible solutions. The meeting will take place on Saturday, June 17, from 2-3:30 p.m. at 30935 Zephyr Valley Lane, Rushford. Refreshments will be provided.

I assume this meeting is part of the outreach for the State’s Digital Equity Plan being written by the Office of Broadband Development.

Broadband Updates from DEED: 2023 funds, line extension and job opening

An email update from the Office of Broadband Development…

Broadband Updates from DEED:

  • Broadband Funded in 2023 Session
  • Line Extension Connection Program Update
  • Office of Broadband Development (OBD) is Hiring a GIS Analyst!

Legislature Appropriates $100 Million for Broadband for FY24-25

The Minnesota legislature passed, and on May 18 Governor Walz signed, the Agriculture omnibus bill which appropriates $100 million in state general revenue funds for broadband deployment. The bill includes $50 million in funding to the Border-to-Border and Lower Population Density Programs for both fiscal years 2024 and 2025. Of the $50 million allocated for each fiscal year, $30 million is to be used for the traditional Border-to-Border Broadband Infrastructure grant program and $20 million is for the Lower Population Density Program. Additionally, the cap on a Border-to-Border Infrastructure grant was increased to $10 million per project while the grant being able to fund up to 50% of eligible costs remains. The Lower Population Density Program was created as a pilot in the 2022 legislative session and codified in the 2023 legislative session. It also has a $10 million cap per project, but a grant can fund up to 75% of eligible costs – an incentive necessary to attract applications for those areas of the state with lower population densities or significantly higher costs to deploy. OBD anticipates opening the state funded FY24 grant round late summer/early fall and the FY25 grant round in late winter 2024.

Line Extension Connection Program – Addresses Out for Provider Bid

The Line Extension Connection Program closed out its first six-month registration period and 2300 addresses (residential and businesses) registered in the DEED portal were provided to Broadband Providers to challenge. The remaining addresses are now being made available to Broadband Providers to submit bids for a Line Extension Connection grant to build out service. Bids from Broadband Providers to deliver wired broadband service of at least 100Mbps download and upload will be due no later than July 24, 2023. Bids will then be reviewed, winning bidders selected, and grant contracts executed before construction will begin to those locations included in winning bids. More information is available on our website here: https://mn.gov/deed/programs-services/broadband/extension/

We’re Hiring a GIS Analyst! Applications due by June 5

The Office of Broadband Development at DEED is hiring a GIS Analyst to support the work of the office in broadband mapping coordination, data collection, data analysis and geospatial data collection. The person hired will contribute to the strategy, planning, design, implementation and maintenance of broadband mapping programs and related data and applications to ensure compliance with state and federal program requirements. The position is State of Minnesota telework eligible.

Here is the link to the posting and application. Please share with anyone you think would be a good candidate: Research Analysis Specialist – GIS Analyst – Job ID 65812 or Apply Here.

Cell coverage can be at least as bad as broadband in rural areas

Doug Dawson reports

Over the last few years, I have helped dozens of counties get ready for the upcoming giant broadband grants. We’ve been very successful in helping counties identify the places in their County that don’t have broadband today – which is often drastically different than what is shown by the FCC maps. We then help county governments reach out to the ISPs in the region and open up a dialog with the goal of making sure that all rural locations get better broadband. This takes a lot of work – but it’s satisfying to see counties that are on the way to finding a total broadband solution.

In working with these counties, one thing has become clear to me. Some of these counties have a bigger cellular coverage problem than they do a broadband problem. There are often a much larger number of homes in a county that don’t have adequate cellular coverage than those who can’t buy broadband.

I remember doing work in Western Minnesota, where often my dad would drive me to a meeting. He learned to park on the top of any hill (a tough find in parts of MN) or come right to the location of the meeting around the time he though I’d be done because he got no service in the area. So no way for me to contact him. Sometimes I got no service even from my meeting, which was likely in the courthouse.

Apparently there is a way to challenge the cell maps, but Doug doesn’t seem too optimistic about them…

Now the cellular carriers are required to produce maps every six months at the same time as ISPs report broadband coverage. If you haven’t noticed, you can see claimed cellular coverage on the same dashboard that shows the broadband map results. I haven’t spent much time digesting the new cellular maps since all of my clients are so focused on broadband. But I checked the maps in the region around where I live, and the maps still seem to exaggerate coverage. This is supposed to get better when wireless carriers are supposed to file heat maps for the coverage around each transmitter – we’ll have to see what that does to the coverage. It’s going to get harder for a wireless carrier to claim to cover large swaths of a county when it’s only on a tiny handful of towers.

There is a supposed way for folks to help fix the cellular maps. The FCC has a challenge process that requires taking a speed test using the FCC cellular speed test app. Unfortunately, this app requires a lot of speed tests in a given neighborhood before the FCC will even consider the results. I’m doubtful that most rural folks know of this app or are motivated enough to stop along the side of the road and repeatedly take the speed tests. And frankly, who knows if it will make any real difference even if they do?

The big cellular companies have clearly not invested in many new rural cell towers over the last decade because they’d rather have the FCC fork out the funding. I haven’t the slightest idea if $9 billion is enough money to solve the problem or even put a dent in it. No doubt, the FCC will saddle the program with rules that will add to the cost and result in fewer towers being built. But whatever is going to happen, it needs to start happening soon. We are not a mobile society, and it’s outrageous that a lot of people can’t make a call to 911, let alone use all of the features that are now controlled by our cell phones.

If your summer holiday plans include a road trip, you can check cell coverage yourself. Just track how many times your call drops of the kids in the back seat complain about service.

FCC National Broadband Map will impact allocation awards announced by June 30

The NTIA reports

NTIA is preparing to enter a crucial phase for the Internet for All initiative. Soon, we will notify states and territories of their BEAD program allocation amounts. Once we’ve made those notifications, states and territories will have 180 days to submit their initial proposals. We are confident we will have the data we need to take that step when we make our allocation announcement by June 30.

It sounds like they are not expecting big changes…

To understand the impact of the challenge process and additional work that the FCC and its vendor CostQuest have been doing to improve the map, we can analyze the change in broadband serviceable locations between version 1 and version 2 of the Fabric. As the FCC notes, the number of serviceable locations between version 1 and version 2 increased from 113 million locations to about 114 million locations, which accounts for a less than 1% net increase in the total number of broadband serviceable locations across the country.  Note that, as the FCC’s blog further clarifies, this net change reflected both additions and subtractions from the fabric—the FCC added nearly three million locations while removing nearly two million for reasons ranging from updated data to the use of more sophisticated tools to identify and remove structures like garages and sheds.

This tells us three things:

  1. The changes between version 1 and version 2 of the Fabric were relatively modest, and we can expect that changes between future versions of the FCC map will likely continue to be modest.
  1. These modest changes go both ways. States, territories, and the District of Columbia (“Eligible Entities”) could gain or lose locations from version to version.
  1. If the changes to the total number of BSLs is modest—and at less than 1% they were—then it is likely that the impact on the allocation is modest, because the key variable in the BEAD allocation formula is the number of unserved locations in a state or territory relative to the total number of unserved locations nationwide.


Turning wind into broadband in Lincoln County – got Lincoln County from ranked 65 to 2

KSTP is following renewable energy and snuck into the story was a highlight on how Lincoln County used the proceeds from wind taxes…

The wind farms also create a significant windfall. The counties and townships generate revenue through the Wind Energy Production Tax. The funding is tied to the power generated by the wind towers.

While the revenue is not guaranteed year to year, data shows Lincoln County’s share has steadily increased over the past 10 years, hitting an all-time high in 2021 at nearly $3.5 million.

VanDeVere said the money is most often used to offset property taxes, but in 2020, Lincoln County invested in a massive expansion of broadband service in the county.

“Every rural house, every hog confinement, every dairy setup. Anybody that wanted it, they would hook it up,” VanDeVere said. The investment meant 99% of the county had access to high-speed internet in the middle of the pandemic.

The frustrating news, and real point of the story, is that apparently there’s now too much energy going through the lines (imagine that with broadband!) and some of it is getting lost because there’s not one to send it and no way to save it.

Lincoln County (Oct 2022) did go from 80 percent of the county had access to broadband at speeds of 100/20 to 99.99 in the last year, which meant they went from rank of 65 to 2 in the last county profile check in.


RDOF areas that have not received RDOF funding authorization can apply for BEAD

Telecompetitor has an update on the situation with $9.2 billion of RDOF money doled out by the NTIA based on results of a reverse auction. The largest winning bidder was LTD Broadband, which means they won the exclusive opportunity to apply for funding in certain areas – many of them in Minnesota. It’s a situation we’ve been following in Minnesota, especially since it has led the Minnesota PUC (Public Utilities Commission) to delve into the working of LTD Broadband.

The good news they report is that RDOF areas that have not received RDOF funding authorization can apply for BEAD. One thorn in the side of Minnesota communities in LTD-RDOF areas is that being in the limbo of possibly receiving funds left they out of a state Border to Border funding round.

Here are more details from Telecompetitor

Winning bidders were required to submit long-form applications and obtain eligible telecommunications carrier (ETC) status if they didn’t already have it. A company is put on an RDOF ready-to-authorize list when the FCC has reviewed and approved its long-form application. The company then has about two weeks to obtain a letter of credit and a bankruptcy opinion letter, which the FCC reviews and approves prior to putting the company on a list of authorized bidders.

Three-quarters of the funding tentatively won in the auction is slated to go to just 10 companies. Among the top winning bidders, most of the companies planning to deploy fiber broadband have had all or most of their funding released. Several companies planning to use alternate technologies – including gigabit fixed wireless and low earth orbit satellites – have not yet appeared on a ready-to-authorize list. Gigabit fixed wireless has received criticism as a relatively unproven technology and LEO satellites have been criticized because they also are relatively unproven and have a limited lifespan.

LTD Broadband, which was the largest winning bidder and which plans to use fiber broadband for its deployments, also has not yet appeared on an RDOF ready-to-authorize list. The company has received considerable criticism from people who question whether it has the resources to complete the bids for which it won funding.

A lot has changed on the rural broadband front since the RDOF auction was completed in late 2020. Since then, legislators have made an unprecedented amount of funding available for rural broadband. The $9.2 billion tentatively awarded in the auction is only a fraction of the $42.5 billion that will be awarded through the Broadband Equity Access and Deployment (BEAD) program created in the infrastructure act and that will be administered by NTIA.

Rules for that program were recently released and they reveal lessons learned from the RDOF auction. Rather than using a reverse auction to award funding, the BEAD program will use a merit system that prioritizes fiber broadband.

Unserved locations that are supposed to receive broadband through the RDOF program are not eligible for BEAD or other funding programs, but just this week, we got some additional clarification about that. Alan Davidson, head of NTIA, told attendees at an industry conference this week that if an area has yet to receive RDOF funding authorization, that area should be eligible for BEAD grants, and it would then be up to the FCC to “deconflict” any potential overlap.


Walmart to offer telehealth for pets

KDAL in Duluth reports…

 Walmart Inc said on Monday it has signed a deal with pet telehealth provider Pawp to offer the retailer’s subscribed members access to veterinary professionals via video or text without an appointment.

Walmart+ customers can use Pawp’s services for a year from Tuesday, the top U.S. retailer said, as it looks to tap growing demand for pet telehealth from inflation-hit customers looking for cheaper alternatives.

OPPORTUNITY: Research Analysis Specialist – GIS Analyst

An opportunity to get a job helping Minnesota get better broadband with the Office of Broadband Development…

Working Title: GIS Analyst
Job Class: Research Analysis Specialist
Agency: Department of Employment and Economic Development

  • Who May Apply: This vacancy is open for bids and for all qualified job seekers simultaneously. Bidders will be considered through 05/26/2023.
  • Date Posted: 05/20/2023
  • Closing Date: 06/05/2023
  • Hiring Agency/Seniority Unit: Employ & Econ Development Dept / Employ & Economic Dev-MAPE
  • Division/Unit: Business & Community Dev / 0359 Broadband Development
  • Work Shift/Work Hours: Day Shift
  • Days of Work: Monday – Friday
  • Travel Required: Yes, 5% occasional travel
  • Salary Range: $25.25 – $37.02 / hourly; $52,722 – $77,297 / annually
  • Classified Status: Classified
  • Bargaining Unit/Union: 214 – MN Assoc of Professional Empl/MAPE
  • FLSA Status: Nonexempt
  • Telework Eligible: Yes, may be eligible to telework up to five (5) days per week
  • Designated in Connect 700 Program for Applicants with Disabilities: Yes

Make a difference in the lives of Minnesotans.

The work you’ll do is more than just a job. Join the talented, engaged and inclusive workforce dedicated to creating a better Minnesota.

Job Summary

The Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Analyst supports the work of the Office of Broadband Development (OBD) by providing broadband related mapping coordination, data collection, data analysis and geospatial data collection as it relates to the programs administered by the Office. Those programs include the Border-to-Border Broadband Infrastructure grant program, the Lower Population Density Pilot Program, the Line Extension Connection Program and the Digital Equity Act grant programs and other digital equity initiatives. The primary responsibility of this position is to contribute to the strategy, plan, design, implementation, and maintenance of broadband office mapping programs and related data and applications to ensure compliance with state and federal program requirements including the Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment program, a component of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

This position will work closely with the state’s broadband mapping contractor, partners, and colleagues to coordinate broadband and digital equity related data collection activities and develop new state broadband map layers. This position will work with OBD staff, including broadband grant administrators and digital equity staff, and stakeholders to handle design, maintenance, updates, grant compliance, and troubleshooting of broadband maps, dashboards, websites and data collection. This position will be responsible for identifying, analyzing and interpreting large data sets related to broadband access, affordability and adoption in the state.

The GIS Analyst reports to the Executive Director of the Office of Broadband Development and takes daily work direction from the Deputy Director. This is a position requiring attention to detail, GIS experience, and an ability to prioritize work and resources while meeting deadlines.

This posting may be used to fill multiple positions.


Minimum Qualifications

To receive credit for your education and experience, your resume should clearly describe how you meet each minimum and/or preferred qualification listed, including dates of employment.

Two (2) years* of professional training or experience in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Experience collecting and processing geospatial data and using the data for cartography or map making. Experience with various Esri GIS tools or products such as ArcGIS Online, ArcGIS Pro, ArcGIS for Developers, etc.

*Bachelor’s degree in Geography, Geographic Information Systems, Cartography or other closely related field as determined by the agency may substitute one (1) year of experience OR a bachelor’s degree in any field with a certificate in Geographic Information Systems may substitute one (1) year of experience

Applicants that meet the above minimum qualification will be further evaluated on the following:

GIS Experience in telecommunications, broadband, digital equity or for grant compliance

Written and oral communication skills to articulate complex procedures in plain English

Experience working as part of a team to complete large-scale, complex projects

Ability to pay attention to details

Incumbent must maintain valid driver’s license, & insurance, OR have other reliable transportation

Preferred Qualifications

Telecom/Cable/Internet Service Provider industry experience

Experience creating maps and data sets by compiling information from multiple data sources

Our employees are dedicated to ensuring cultural responsiveness. Preferred candidates will have a variety of experiences working effectively with others from different backgrounds and cultures

Additional Requirements

This position requires successful completion of the following:

Resumes of all applicants to this posting will be evaluated against the Minimum Qualifications stated above. If your skills match the required skills for this position, the department may contact you. Employee reference checks will be conducted on all finalists. This may include a review of documentation related to job performance and education. It includes contact with the applicant’s current and/or former employers.

A Criminal Background Check will be conducted on all finalists for this position. A criminal conviction will not automatically remove you from consideration for employment.

When the position requires travel and the applicant drives a state owned or leased vehicle, a driver’s license record check will be conducted.

Must be legally authorized to work in country of employment without sponsorship for employment visa status (e.g., H1B status).

Application Details

How to Apply

Select “Apply for Job” at the top of this page. If you have questions about applying for jobs, contact the job information line at 651-259-3637 or email careers@state.mn.us. For additional information about the application process, go to http://www.mn.gov/careers.

If you have questions about the position, contact Amber Yang at amber.yang@state.mn.us.

Gov Walz signs Ag Bill with $100 million for broadband

CBS News reports

More Minnesotans will soon have access to high-speed internet under a new bill signed into law Thursday by Gov. Tim Walz.

The bill provides $100 million to expand high-speed broadband access across the state as part of the state’s goal of ensuring access for all Minnesotans.

According to state data, more than 200,000 Minnesota households didn’t have access to wired broadband service with basic internet speeds last year. Most of the underserved areas are in rural communities.

The governor’s office said that the investment supplements federal funding allocated to Minnesota under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

Also reported in:

It’s great news but a far cry from the $276 million in the Governor’s budget earlier in the session.

Midco offers recommendations on ReConnect funding

It’s smart to try to find out what’s working on what’s not with federal funding for broadband – especially as we’re looking at tremendous amounts of funding soon. Hearing from providers is helpful; I hope they are getting feedback from communities too. NCTA reports…

Midco is a leader in the rural broadband industry serving over 490,000 homes and businesses across South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota, Kansas, and Wisconsin. The company has invested over $765 million in private capital in the last six years to extend and upgrade its fiber network – in places like Hartford, South Dakota – despite some of its communities housing less than 100 people.

At Wednesday’s hearing, Midco will share its experiences connecting the Midwest and discuss challenges and solutions facing rural broadband deployment.

Here’s a list of the problems they see…

  • The insufficient focus on directing funds to genuinely unserved areas wastes government resources and encourages overbuilding in areas already burdened by challenging economics.
  • Legacy application requirements for certain experienced businesses that discourage participation by companies.
  • The lack of sufficient coordination between the many agencies giving out broadband funding, which can lead to overbuilding and forum shopping.
  • The lack of flexibility in program speed thresholds to permit alternative platform solutions like fixed wireless to be used when the per-household costs of a terrestrial fiber solution may be cost-prohibitive.

Here are their recommendations…

  • Require that at least 90% of households in a proposed service area lack broadband access.
  • Prioritize applications in areas without 25/3 service.
  • Update buildout speed requirements that would consider different technological solutions to connect hard-to-reach areas.
  • Exclude funding in areas where providers have already been granted funding under another government program, unless used by the same provider for different expenses or to achieve expedited deployment milestones.
  • Simplify the application process.
  • Establish better communication between federal agencies to ensure transparency and avoid duplication of funding.


Paul Bunyan Communication to bring Gigazone to Grand Rapids, Warba, Marble, Calumet, and Waukenabo Township in Aitken County

Big news from Paul Bunyan Communications for Aitken County…

Paul Bunyan Communications will be expanding its all-fiber optic network the GigaZone®, in 2023 to over 2,500 more locations in areas of south Grand Rapids, Warba, Marble, Calumet, and Waukenabo Township in Aitken County.
“We are excited to continue our efforts to bring gigabit broadband Internet to those currently without reliable Internet access in our region. Internet access is no longer a luxury, it is a vital component of everyday life and our cooperative continues to expand our network to bring this essential access to more homes and businesses right here in northern Minnesota” said Gary Johnson, Paul Bunyan Communications CEO/General Manager.
Anyone interested in getting connected to the all-fiber optic broadband network should sign up for service now. That can be done online, over the phone, or in person at our Grand Rapids Customer Service & Technology Center. To check to see if a specific location is within an expansion area, visit https://paulbunyan.net/gigazone/availability-map/ Paul Bunyan Communications will be also mailing more information to those within the 2023 plans as construction is about to begin in their area. Construction will take place over the summer with services expected to be available by winter.
“This will be a huge service improvement for everyone in the project areas. It is very challenging for those who don’t have true high-speed internet available at their home or business. As more and more students and employees work from home, many people are learning how critical upload speed is for their job or school work. Unlike many other providers, our speeds are symmetric, the same speeds are available for upload and download. This will be a game changer for these areas.” added Steve Howard, Paul Bunyan Communications Information Technology and Development Manager.
The cooperative’s services will become available once the network is operational including GigaZone™ Internet with its unprecedented broadband speeds of up to 10 Gig and low cost unlimited local and long distance GigaZone™ voice telephone service. There is no membership fee to join Paul Bunyan Communications, membership is included by subscribing to either local phone service or GigaZone™ Internet service.

Last year Aitken County ranked 77 out of 87 for MN broadband county ranking with 5527 households unserved. This deployment will make a difference!

NTIA Commits Nearly $500,000 in Internet for All Grants to White Earth in MN

NTIA  reports

The Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced today it has awarded grants totaling $4,997,592.68 to 10 Tribes as part of the Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program (TBCP).

With funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, these new grants bring the total of the program to over $1.77 billion awarded to 157 Tribal entities. Record investments in high-speed internet deployment are a key part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda.

These grants from President Biden’s Internet for All initiative will help reduce monthly Internet service costs, plan for future Internet infrastructure investments, upgrade network equipment, and purchase devices.

White Earth Band of Chippewa in MN was one of 10 recipients:

They received $500,000.00: This Broadband Use and Adoption project will equip 6 community centers/business incubators with computer stations and online training courses for the approximately 3,343 White Earth Tribal Members.

GAO has 15 recommendations for NTIA’s Tribal broadband programs

Fierce Telecom reports

A government watchdog warned the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) isn’t doing enough to measure the success of its Tribal broadband programs as the agency continues to dole out funding for broadband upgrades across the 56 million acres of Indian Reservation lands. …

Yet while the NTIA continues to dole out funding through the TBCP and the Broadband Infrastructure Program (BIP), the agency isn’t doing enough to ensure the successful performance of these programs, according to a U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) report released earlier this year. The report described NTIA’s program management of TBCP and BIP as “generally consistent with recommended practices for awarding grants.” But the GAO took issue with the NTIA’s claims of providing “reliable” and “affordable” connectivity without defining those terms — thereby making them not effectively quantifiable.

These findings prompted a list of 15 recommendations for better performance monitoring and program implementation success. The recommendations would effectively create a dedicated NTIA administrator to establish program goals and measurements within the TBCP and BIP, define and measure “reliable” and “affordable” connectivity, and monitor fraud risk within the program. The status of these recommendations currently remains open, and the GAO intends to provide updates to the responses taken by the NTIA as it becomes available.

From the GAO report here are the 15 recommendations:

  1. For TBCP, the Administrator of NTIA should establish performance goals and measures for all of the program’s purposes—funding broadband use and adoption projects as well as funding broadband infrastructure deployment projects. (Recommendation 1)
  2. For TBCP, the Administrator of NTIA should ensure the performance goal is quantifiable and measurable by defining broadband reliability and affordability. (Recommendation 2)
  3. For TBCP, the Administrator of NTIA should designate a dedicated entity to lead fraud risk management activities for the program. (Recommendation 3)
  4. For TBCP, the Administrator of NTIA should ensure that the dedicated entity identifies inherent fraud risks in the program. (Recommendation 4)
  5. For TBCP, the Administrator of NTIA should ensure that the dedicated entity assesses the likelihood and impact of inherent fraud risks in the program. (Recommendation 5)
  6. For TBCP, the Administrator of NTIA should ensure that the dedicated entity determines fraud risk tolerance for the program. (Recommendation 6)
  7. For TBCP, the Administrator of NTIA should ensure that the dedicated entity examines the suitability of existing antifraud controls in the program and prioritizes residual fraud risks. (Recommendation 7)
  8. For TBCP, the Administrator of NTIA should ensure that the dedicated entity documents the fraud risk profile for the program. (Recommendation 8)
  9. For BIP, the Administrator of NTIA should ensure the performance goal is quantifiable and measurable by defining broadband affordability. (Recommendation 9)
  10. For BIP, the Administrator of NTIA should designate a dedicated entity to lead fraud risk management activities for the program. (Recommendation 10)
  11. For BIP, the Administrator of NTIA should ensure that the dedicated entity identifies inherent fraud risks in the program. (Recommendation 11)
  12. For BIP, the Administrator of NTIA should ensure that the dedicated entity assesses the likelihood and impact of inherent fraud risks in the program. (Recommendation 12)
  13. For BIP, the Administrator of NTIA should ensure that the dedicated entity determines fraud risk tolerance for the program. (Recommendation 13)
  14. For BIP, the Administrator of NTIA should ensure that the dedicated entity examines the suitability of existing antifraud controls in the program and prioritizes residual fraud risks. (Recommendation 14)
  15. For BIP, the Administrator of NTIA should ensure that the dedicated entity documents the fraud risk profile for the program. (Recommendation 15)

MN is number 2 for widest availability of Gig access

TVTech reports

A new study by Smarthomestarter.com finds North Dakota tops the list of states with the widest availability of fixed broadband providing download speeds of at least 1,000 megabits per second.

The conclusion is based on FCC data showing that gigabit speed internet is available to 60.58% of residential locations in the state – the highest percentage in the nation, the study found.

The study analyzed FCC data on broadband and mobile internet speeds and availability in each state.

Minnesota has the second highest availability of gigabit broadband speeds with coverage for 60.41% of residential locations, Smarthomestarter.com found.