MN House District 5A: John Persell (DFL), Matt Bliss (R) – both support broadband

Bemidji Pioneer reports…

In the House race, incumbent Rep. John Persell, DFL-Bemidji, debated GOP candidate Matt Bliss, and in the state senate race, incumbent District 5 Sen. Justin Eichorn debated DFL candidate and current Bemidji Mayor Rita Albrecht.

The paper reported on both debates. It looks like broadband came up with John Persell (DFL), Matt Bliss (R)…

Both candidates expressed the need for a bonding bill. They also discussed potential ways to support educators and invest in broadband for distance learning.

It wasn’t mentioned in connection with the other two.

Duluth News Tribune endorses Bergstrom for state Senate

Duluth News Tribune endorses Bergstrom for state Senate (District 7)…

Duluth voters have a rare opportunity in the Nov. 3 election: By casting ballots for Donna Bergstrom, a member of the Red Lake Nation, they can elect the first American Indian woman in the Minnesota state Senate.

Broadband is one reason…

The COVID-19 pandemic has shown the need for strong leadership and effective fighters, particularly for regions outside of the Twin Cities. Look no further than the push for better internet access as proof. The state has set a goal to bring broadband to all homes by 2026. The Twin Cities area is already at 98% of that mark while the rest of the state is at 76%, Bergstrom pointed out at the candidate forum.

Candidate Sarah Kruger (MN Senate District 28) supports better broadband

Sarah Kruger is running for state Senate to represent the people of Fillmore, Houston, and Winona counties (MN Senate District 28 ). She sent a letter to the Caledonia Argus outlining her issues, including broadband…

Together, we must work to assure Southeast Minnesota thrives. For this to happen, everyone needs access to affordable health care, adequately funded public education, and a diverse economy strengthened by broadband expansion.

Candidate Profile: Rep Collin Peterson supports broadband

Patch reports…

Rep. Collin C. Peterson, a Detroit Lakes resident, is running for U.S. House of Representatives District 7.

They ask a number of questions; broadband came up…

List other issues that define your campaign platform:
Reliable broadband is a utility, and the COVID-19 crisis has put a spotlight on just how integral it is for telehealth, distance learning and working from home. It’s unacceptable that rural communities have limited, unreliable or worse yet no broadband access. In response to these inequities I have introduced the Universal Broadband Act that secures adequate funding to support the construction of broadband infrastructure in rural and underserved areas without having to increase the national debt.

Duluth News Tribune endorses Rep Ecklund – broadband is a reason

Duluth News Tribune endorses Rob Ecklund for Minnesota House District 3A. His support/leadership with broadband is a factor…

He has been a consistent supporter of industry, including copper-nickel mining, and a champion for broadband, Minnesota veterans, education, ATV trail building, and more.

And…

Last year, with Ecklund leading the way, the Legislature put $40 million into border-to-border broadband, one of the largest investments in internet access in state history. And just in time, with COVID-19 forcing Minnesotans to work or go to school from home like never before. Reliable internet is a must, much like electricity and telephone service were a century ago. “We found out it wasn’t nearly enough,” Ecklund said of the allocation. “The first year (there were) $20 million (available), and there were $79 million worth of requests for projects. So we know there’s more work to do.”

WCCO on candidates: Angie Craig promotes broadband with Accessible, Affordable Internet for All Act to invest $100 billion

WCCO reports on Angie Craig, (Democratic candidate for the 2nd District) answers to a number of questions including one on broadband…

We reached out to all Minnesota candidates running for U.S Senate and U.S Congress this fall. Candidates were asked to provide a two-minute video discussing their platform as well as answer a set of our viewers’ questions.

Question on broadband…

Do you believe the government should subsidize broadband internet access for rural areas? Should public school districts reimburse families for the cost of distance learning?

As a member of the House Task Force on Rural Broadband, I am fully committed to the goal of bringing high-speed internet to every American by 2025. I understand that, in a 21st century economy, expanding rural broadband access will expand economic opportunity for thousands of hardworking Minnesotans. And in the wake of COVID-19, the need to expand access to high-speed broadband in rural America has never been more urgent.

In Congress, I helped introduce the Accessible, Affordable Internet for All Act, which would invest $100 billion to build high-speed broadband infrastructure in communities across the country that have been underserved for decades. I also cosponsored the Accelerating Broadband Development by Empowering Local Communities Act of 2019 to roll back regulations that limit local governments’ abilities to enact their own solutions for deploying 5G broadband technology in their communities. I am fighting to ensure that, with quick and reliable broadband access, even the smallest towns and communities can compete with the rest of the world.

WCCO on candidates: Jim Hagedorn promotes making broadband accessible in rural area

WCCO reports on Jim Hagedorn, (Republican candidate for the 1st District) answers to a number of questions including one on broadband…

We reached out to all Minnesota candidates running for U.S Senate and U.S Congress this fall. Candidates were asked to provide a two-minute video discussing their platform as well as answer a set of our viewers’ questions.

Question on broadband…

Do you believe the government should subsidize broadband internet access for rural areas? Should public school districts reimburse families for the cost of distance learning?

I understand how rural communications infrastructure is critically important to southern Minnesotans, our economy and way of life, and reliable rural broadband helps our small businesses and farmers. I support making broadband internet accessible for rural areas.

WCCO on candidates: Quinn Nystrom promotes building better broadband

WCCO reports on Quinn Nystrom, (Democratic candidate for the 8th District) answers  to a number of questions including one on broadband…

We reached out to all Minnesota candidates running for U.S Senate and U.S Congress this fall. Candidates were asked to provide a two-minute video discussing their platform as well as answer a set of our viewers’ questions.

Question on broadband…

Do you believe the government should subsidize broadband internet access for rural areas? Should public school districts reimburse families for the cost of distance learning?

Absolutely. The government should build out new broadband infrastructure. You can’t be part of the 21st century without access to the internet. Doing this will be a huge win for our economy. In certain cases, I do think school districts should be reimbursing families for the costs of distance learning. However, their funding is already dangerously low in many areas and the federal government needs to provide help.

Also mentioned…

What policy changes would you propose to jump-start the economy in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic? Should the federal government pass an additional stimulus bill? If so, what should it include?

The first step towards improving our economy is to make sure we can actually get through the COVID-19 pandemic. Right now there’s no clear end in sight. The federal government should be focused on getting assistance to the unemployed and furloughed workers and doing everything they can to combat the pandemic. Once through then yes, there is place for additional economic stimulus. I favor a national infrastructure package to fix our roads and bridges, expand rural broadband, and build new renewable energy resources.

WCCO on candidates: Michelle Fischbach promotes broadband in Western MN

WCCO reports on Michelle Fischbach (Republican candidate for the 7th District:)  to a number of questions including one on broadband…

We reached out to all Minnesota candidates running for U.S Senate and U.S Congress this fall. Candidates were asked to provide a two-minute video discussing their platform as well as answer a set of our viewers’ questions.

Question on broadband…

Do you believe the government should subsidize broadband internet access for rural areas? Should public school districts reimburse families for the cost of distance learning?

Yes. I think we need to invest in rural broadband so that western Minnesota has the same opportunity to survive and thrive as the metro area. In regards to distance learning, I think we need to get kids back in schools safely. Our parents and educators know that our children do better when they are learning in person and interacting with their peers.

WCCO on candidates: Dan Feehan promotes universal service funds for broadband

WCCO reports on Dan Feehan, Democratic candidate for the 1st District answers to a number of questions including one on broadband…

We reached out to all Minnesota candidates running for U.S Senate and U.S Congress this fall. Candidates were asked to provide a two-minute video discussing their platform as well as answer a set of our viewers’ questions.

His comments on broadband…

Do you believe the government should subsidize broadband internet access for rural areas? Should public school districts reimburse families for the cost of distance learning?

I support the universal service fund and the requirement that large cities do their part to ensure the entire country gets much needed broadband. Our communities in southern Minnesota are in desperate need of increased investment in rural broadband. By supporting broadband, we can assist our schools, small businesses, and economies in Minnesota’s First District. In Congress, I would hope to lead on investments in infrastructure that included rural broadband.

WCCO on candidates: Congressman Collin Peterson promotes his Universal Broadband Act

WCCO reports on Congressman Collin Peterson’s (Democratic candidate for the 7th District)  answer to a number of questions including one on broadband…

We reached out to all Minnesota candidates running for U.S Senate and U.S Congress this fall. Candidates were asked to provide a two-minute video discussing their platform as well as answer a set of our viewers’ questions.

Question on broadband…

Do you believe the government should subsidize broadband internet access for rural areas? Should public school districts reimburse families for the cost of distance learning?

Reliable broadband is a utility, every bit as necessary as electricity. From distance learning to telehealth and the transitions of working from home during a public health crisis, broadband is more important than ever. It’s unacceptable that rural communities have limited, unreliable or worse yet no broadband access. I have introduced the Universal Broadband Act that secures adequate funding to support the construction of broadband infrastructure in rural and underserved areas without having to increase the national debt.

Minnesota Senate District 11 Candidate Michelle Lee supports better broadband

The Duluth News Tribune posts a letter from Michelle Lee of Moose Lake, the DFL candidate for Minnesota Senate District 11. She is challenging Republican Sen. Jason Rarick in the Nov. 3 election. She wrote this at the invitation of the News Tribune Opinion page. She promotes better broadband…

I’ll work with lawmakers to ensure access to affordable health care for our families, living wages, and the right to organize and to bargain collectively. We must also work to fully fund our public schools and critical projects aimed at addressing our crumbling roads, bridges, and community infrastructure — including funds to expand broadband to get our children connected with the world and attract new businesses to our district.

Duluth News Tribune endorses Senator Sandstede (Minnesota House District 6A) who promotes better broadband

Duluth News Tribune supports Senator Sandstede for Minnesota House District 6A

Four years ago when she first ran for the Minnesota Legislature, Rep. Julie Sandstede, a schoolteacher for 25 years, said her focus was, unsurprisingly, on education funding. Now seeking re-election for a second time, Sandstede has grown into a strong and dependable voice for Iron Range interests in St. Paul; remains an unwavering supporter of mining, including copper-nickel mining; and her priorities have expanded with her experience and knowledge to also include broader broadband, jobs, and economic development for the Range.

And more about broadband…

To encourage economic development and broadband infrastructure in her district, Sandstede sponsored the Telecommuter Forward bill to allow communities to designate themselves “telecommuter-friendly,” which opens the doors to partnerships with internet-access companies.

MN State Senate District 28B: Both candidates support broadband

The Caledonia Argus asks MN State Senate District 28B candidates (Greg Davids (R) and Jordan Fontenello (D)) a range of questions, including one on broadband…

How will you help small businesses in this district respond to the pandemic?

Davids: So long as the House majority allows Governor Walz to keep his emergency powers – now more than 6 months after he initially used them – our hands are basically tied. I have voted several times to allow the Legislature to get back in the legislating business and end the one-person rule that is currently taking place in the governor’s office, but the DFL-led House continues to support this nonsense.

We need to do all we can to get every small business open at full capacity. We need to shop locally and do everything to support our community business owners. Many stores across the state have already closed for good. We can’t afford to let that happen in southeastern Minnesota.

Fontenello: I will help small businesses adapt and respond to the difficulties imposed by COVID19 through cooperation and communication.  I will be a conduit for information moving between citizens and government, and a facilitator of policies, programs, and answers for owners and employees by working with other members of the Legislature and the Governor’s office to provide people with the information and resources they need in order to safety navigate the swirling rapids that this virus has placed in our way.

Creation of an easy-to-use website that provides information and links to all services offered by and through the many government agencies — local, state, and federal; ensure it is accessible through smartphones. Offer no-interest loans and offer loan forgiveness for others.  Rent/lease payment deferral. Connect small business owners together with each other in order to confer and share ideas and innovate new ways of safely supplying their customers with the products they need.  Ensure broadband access is available to everyone.  Speak to as many business-owners as possible to hear first-hand what their primary difficulties are.  Use all of that information in conjunction with the work others are doing so that rapid, effective, definitive solutions can be implemented.

With schools experimenting with distance learning and the need for rural broadband internet rising, how can you help bring internet to underserved areas?

Davids: Over the years I have voted for numerous laws that have brought tens of millions of dollars to rural Minnesota for the specific purpose of expanding broadband. We had another broadband investment planned for this year, but Democrats stopped this project, which was extremely disappointing to all of us who understand how critical broadband is to our residents and business owners. I will continue to support rural broadband for as long as I have the honor of serving this area’s interests.

Fontenello: Ensuring that locations where the internet is not readily available are dealt with first when it comes to installation of services.  Internet & broadband wireless networks should be offered as a public utility the same as gas, water, electricity, etc.  This particular issue, along with much of the rest of the nation’s need for serious infrastructure renewal, could be tackled by creating ambitious projects similar to  those that worked so well in moving us out of the Great Depression.  Pairing government with private businesses in the construction of the lines, networks, and towers necessary to put this utility in everyone’s home, farm, and business regardless of location would help to employ many individuals, both new hires and those who lost jobs due to the pandemic.

MN State Senate District 28: Both candidates support broadband

The Caledonia Argus asks MN State Senate District 28 candidates, Jeremy Miller (R) and Sarah Kruger (D), a range of questions, including one on broadband…

With schools experimenting with distance learning and the need for rural broadband internet rising, how can you help bring internet to underserved areas?

Miller: There are too many rural areas that still do not have access to high speed internet service, which is why I’m a big supporter of Minnesota’s border to border broadband program. Since 2014, the legislature has appropriated over $125 million to expand broadband access to rural communities across the state. I especially like this program because of the public-private partnership between our local, state, and federal governments and local internet service providers.

Kruger: As more people are working and learning from home than ever before, the necessity for greater access to broadband in our rural communities could not be more crucial. Our children need and deserve an education that will allow them to succeed. During these challenging times, reliable internet access is a necessity for distance learning. Additionally, as businesses owners, Minnesota farmers require high-speed internet access to remain competitive in an increasingly technology-reliant industry. Expanding rural broadband produces strong economic benefits for our area. Broadband access helps farmers maintain competitive business operations, thereby expanding opportunities for young farmers and maintaining family farms for generations to come. Greater funding for broadband expansion needs to be provided in order for our children and our regional economy to flourish. This is an issue that should have been addressed with proper funding years ago. We cannot wait for moments of crisis to solve problems; we need to be prepared ahead of time.