Barbara Dröher Kline is newest addition to MN Governor’s Task Force On Broadband

Big news for broadband advocates, there’s a new member of the MN Broadband Task Force…

Barbara Dröher Kline – New Prague, MN

Governor’s Task Force On Broadband

Member

Effective: November 28, 2022

Term Expires: April 2, 2023

Replacing: Bernadine Joselyn

Barbara is an excellent addition to the Task Force. She has lived on the wrong end of the digital divide quite recently and still has the fire to want to make it better for everyone in her community. She has the drive, the experience and the expertise to make a difference.

MN Broadband Task Force Nov 2022: Workshopping the report draft: reliability and costs

Today the Task Force went through drafts of their annual report. As much as possible, I have screen shots of the draft (in PPT form), which is really last year’s version with some updates. Then I have the documents they used to discuss the challenges and recommendations made by both sub-groups Affordability and Adoption Sub-Group AND Funding, Mapping and Usage Sub-Group. The screenshots of a Google Docs are really where the beef is.

The was discussion on consumer perception of broadband reliability with a leaning toward making sure that the provider perspective was understood as well. That very the problem isn’t with the connection but with the user and/or user equipment. There was also discussion about trying to come up with a cost to bring broadband to everyone in Minnesota. The average cost per household was penciled in as $9300. That is not far off previous numbers; I suspect it’s hard to anticipate shortages, price increases and natural barriers in reaching the last households. Also folks were wondering if broadband meant wired solutions only.

There was also an update from the Office of Broadband Development. They are currently hiring two grants managers and are looking at hiring more positions soon.

Full notes Continue reading

EVENT Nov 17: MN Broadband Task Force monthly meeting

I will be livestreaming on Facebook, but all are welcome to attend the meeting directly…

Governor’s Task Force on Broadband

Thursday, November 17, 2022

10:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Microsoft Teams meeting

Join on your computer, mobile app or room device

Click here to join the meeting

Meeting ID: 211 376 886 577
Passcode: GaoY7A

Download Teams | Join on the web

Join with a video conferencing device

mn@m.webex.com

Video Conference ID: 118 214 531 6

Alternate VTC instructions

Or call in (audio only)

+1 651-395-7448,,631853343#   United States, St. Paul

Phone Conference ID: 631 853 343#

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10:00 a.m. – 10:05 a.m.                Welcome, Task Force Introductions, and Approval of Minutes from October 24, 2022 meeting

10:05 a.m. – 10:10 a.m.  Office of Broadband Development Update Bree Maki, Executive Director

10:10 a.m. – 10:20 a.m.  Walk Thru of Draft Report Scott Cole, Collectivity

10:20 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.  Affordability and Adoption Sub-Group

11:00 a.m. – 11:10 a.m. Break

11:10 a.m. – 11:50 p.m. Funding, Mapping and Usage Sub-Group

11:50 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.  Governor’s Task Force on Broadband Update

Teddy Bekele, Chair, Minnesota Governor’s Task Force on Broadband

12:00 p.m. – 12:05 p.m. Public Comment, Other Business, December 19, 2022 Meeting Plans, Wrap-up

MN Broadband Task Force Oct 2022 Notes: BEAD

The Broadband Task Force gathered today on site and online. They heard from the NTIA Minnesota contact about how to prepare for BEAD funding. They also got updates from the subcommittees on recommendations for the annual report. The mapping committee shared an interesting chart details costs to get broadband to everyone and impact the various potential funding sources could have to contributing to that investment. Although it wasn’t clear whether they were looking at speeds of 25/3 or 100/20. They changed the label of the table but not clear whether the numbers given looked at the slower of faster speeds.

Get more complete notes Continue reading

EVENT Oct 24: Minnesota Broadband Task Force

Happening tomorrow … I will be livestreaming it on Facebook

Governor’s Task Force on Broadband
Monday, October 24, 2022
10:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Land O’Lakes
1150 County Road F West
Arden Hills, MN 55112
Park in North Parking Lot near Visitor Entrance – Building C Main Entrance
Room C2-217

OR Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting URL: https://landolakes.zoom.us/j/91861197956?pwd=aWxuZDdxVzhMWXBoMFJXTENCS3dRUT09&from=addon
Meeting ID: 918 6119 7956
Passcode: 0J9DrpCr

  • 10:00 a.m. – 10:05 a.m. Welcome, Task Force Introductions, Attendee Introductions and Approval of Minutes from September 29, 2022 meeting
  • 10:05 a.m. – 10:35 a.m. NTIA Grants (BEAD and Digital Equity) and role of Task Force in Plan Preparation
    Tom Karst, Federal Program Officer, Office of Internet Connectivity and Growth
  • 10:35 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Effects of Broadband Grants on Businesses and Townships
    Pete Johnson, Supervisor of Sunrise Township
  • 11:00 a.m. – 11:15 a.m. Break
  • 11:15 a.m. – 11:40 a.m. Affordability and Adoption Sub-Group
  • 11:40 a.m. – 12:05 p.m. Funding, Mapping and Usage Sub-Group
  • 12:05 p.m. – 12:15 p.m. Governor’s Task Force on Broadband Update
    Teddy Bekele, Chair, Minnesota Governor’s Task Force on Broadband
  • 12:15 p.m. – 12:20 p.m. Public Comment, Other Business, November 17 Meeting Plans, Wrap-u

MN Broadband Task Force meeting Sep 2022: digital equity

The MN Broadband Task Force heard from Hannah Buckland, the new Ditigal Equity Lead at the Office of Broadband Development and from folks at Connected Nation about broadband mapping.

Welcome, Task Force Introductions, Attendee Introductions and Approval of Minutes from July 13, 2022 and August 29, 2022 Meetings

Minnesota Humanities Center from Nicole McMahon, Implementation and Event Center Director

  • they have been working on making hybrid meetings more possible

FCC Mapping Update from Ashley Littell Hitt, GISP, Vice President, GeoAnalytics at Connected Nation

  • first MN connected national broadband maps happened in 2008
  • for 5 years there were two map check-ins a year
  • There’s an interactive map where people can check their address; they still map down to 25/3
  • Maps will be coming out in November
  • These maps will replace the 477 form-based maps
  • Connected Nation focused on service areas – not census tracts
  • BEAD will require good maps; they will focus on areas without 25/3 first – address level mapping with be important
  • Fixed wireless converted to address level will be interesting but folks are worried about it being overstated.

Digital Equity from Hannah Buckland, Digital Equity Program Lead, Office of Broadband Development

  • Digital Equity includes: access to broadband, a device and the skills to use them
  • MN can get $880,000 for a state digital equity grant – then we’ll have a year to work on it
  • NTIA manages other grant – should be available in 2024

Office of Broadband Development Update with Diane Wells, Deputy Director

  • The new executive director will be names very soon
  • Met with stakeholders on legislative issues
  • Affordability is becoming more of an issue
  • Looking at low density programs – where DEED can pay for 75 percent and up to $10M
  • Looking at the line extension programs for folks with long driveways
  • Live extension program has to be up by Nov 1
  • Next round of border to border should start soon after current applications are announced
  • Applications are coming in for grants but the $5 million cap is preventing some folks from applying

Affordability and Adoption Sub-Group
Creating a list of challenges – like affordability and language
Scott presented the template for the report

Funding, Mapping and Usage Sub-Group
didn’t meet

Governor’s Task Force on Broadband Update from Teddy Bekele, Chair, Minnesota Governor’s Task Force on Broadband

Public Comment, Other Business, October 24 Meeting Plans, Wrap-up

OPPORTUNITY: position open on the MN Broadband Task Force

From the Minnesota Secretary of State…

The Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State today released notice of vacancies for various state boards, councils and committees that are accepting applications. Minnesotans are encouraged to apply and serve in demonstration of public service. The newest vacancies are listed below, and the full list of 344 vacancies can be found on our website Open Positions.

The positions include a seat on the Governor’s Task Force on Broadband. They meet monthly and it’s a great opportunity to help shape the future of broadband in Minnesota.

Duluth approved digital access master plan and State broadband grant application

Broadband and broadband funding has been a hot topic in Duluth these days, as WDIO reports, it sounds like some decisions were made this week..

The Duluth City Council considered several broadband related resolutions during a meeting Monday evening.

The council did approve resolutions approving the city’s digital access master plan and also approved a resolution which will allow the city to submit an application to the state for a $3.2 million development grant.

However, the council decided to send back to administration a resolution that would establish up to $5,000,000 from the Community Investment Trust Fund to support the Duluth open Access Fiber Pilot Project.

More information on all three resolutions can be found here.

MN Broadband Task Force July 2022: Affordable Connectivity Program and American Connection Corps

The Task Force member heard about Affordable Connectivity Program and Affordable Connectivity ProgramAmerican Connection Corps. It was energizing and informative.

They also got an update from the Office of Broadband Development. The OBD is in the middle of receiving Border to Border applications with hopes of doing a second round of funding later in the fall.

1:30 p.m. – 1:40 p.m. Welcome, Task Force Introductions, Attendee Introductions and Approval of Minutes from May 20, 2022 Meeting

Meeting the new Task Force member, Phil Stalboerger, VP Public Affairs, Medical Transportation Management

1:40 p.m. – 1:45 p.m. Office of Broadband Development Diane Wells, Deputy Director

There are four staff members now. The Digital Equity Application and Letter of Intent were both filed. The BEAD filing is due later. The next deadline is Aug 5, to report that we do want $5 million for broadband planning. The Capitol Projects Funds – we have $70 million from the fund already in the grant project. There’s another $110 million available ($60.2M already spoken for) need to discuss the rest.

Border to Border grants are open now. The deadline to submit an intent to apply has passed. We are going through the stages and hope to be done in September. Hoping to open another grant round later this fall.

We are working to add new staff. Final stages of hiring a Digital Equity Lead. Applications just closed for Executive Director. It will be at least a 2-interview process. Will soon be hiring more grant managers.

1:45 p.m. – 2:15 p.m. Affordable Connectivity Program Dave Savolaine, Consumer Affairs and Outreach Division, FCC

2:30 p.m. – 3:15 p.m. American Connection Corps Updates in Minnesota Benya Kraus, Lead for America Co-Founder and ACC Executive Director

The American Connection Corps is a national nonprofit that matches fellows with rural communities to expand broadband infrastructure and use. They have had great support from Land o’Lakes and Center Care.

We heard from fellows from Otter Tail and Redwood and their efforts to understanding the broadband needs in the community and increasing use. They have done great work with gathering data, mapping out availability and funding opportunities.

We also heard about the importance broadband has in bringing healthcare, especially mental healthcare to rural areas.

3:15 p.m. – 3:20 p.m.  Affordability and Adoption Sub-Group

  • Haven’t met – but talked about a schedule for the future.

3:20 p.m. – 3:25 p.m. Funding, Mapping and Usage Sub-Group

  • Did meet. Making plans for future topics. How can people challenge the maps? How can we track the funds available.

3:25 p.m. – 3:40 p.m. Governor’s Task Force on Broadband Update Teddy Bekele, Chair, Minnesota Governor’s Task Force on Broadband

They are still talking about sending a letter to the PUC about LTD Broadband’s reconsidering ETC status.

3:40 p.m. – 3:45 p.m. Public Comment, Other Business, August 29 Meeting Plans, Wrap-up

EVENT Jul 13: MN Broadband Task Force 1:30pm today

The MN Broadband Task Force is meeting this afternoon. I will livestream the meeting on Facebook but all are welcome to join the Teams meeting remotely…

Governor’s Task Force on Broadband
Wednesday, July 13, 2022
1:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Click here to join the meeting
Join with a video conferencing device
mn@m.webex.com
Video Conference ID: 118 809 811 9
Alternate VTC instructions
Or call in (audio only)
+1 651-395-7448,,381365715#   United States, St. Paul
Phone Conference ID: 381 365 715#
Find a local number | Reset PIN
Learn More | Meeting options

  • 1:30 p.m. – 1:40 p.m. Welcome, Task Force Introductions, Attendee Introductions and Approval of Minutes from May 20, 2022 Meeting
  • 1:40 p.m. – 1:45 p.m. Office of Broadband Development Diane Wells, Deputy Director
  • 1:45 p.m. – 2:15 p.m. Affordable Connectivity Program Dave Savolaine, Consumer Affairs and Outreach Division, FCC
  • 2:15 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. Break
  • 2:30 p.m. – 3:15 p.m. American Connection Corps Updates in Minnesota Benya Kraus, Lead for America Co-Founder and ACC Executive Director
  • 3:15 p.m. – 3:20 p.m.  Affordability and Adoption Sub-Group
  • 3:20 p.m. – 3:25 p.m. Funding, Mapping and Usage Sub-Group
  • 3:25 p.m. – 3:40 p.m. Governor’s Task Force on Broadband Update Teddy Bekele, Chair, Minnesota Governor’s Task Force on Broadband
  • 3:40 p.m. – 3:45 p.m. Public Comment, Other Business, August 29 Meeting Plans, Wrap-up

Dates for future MN Broadband Task Force monthly meetings

The news is brief but valuable if you like to attend…

2022 Upcoming Meetings

Meetings are virtual. Instructions for joining will be at the top of the agenda documents.

  • July 13
  • August 29
  • September 29
  • October 24
  • November 17
  • December 5
  • December 19

MN Broadband Task Force Meeting May 2022: Cybersecurity

I’m afraid there’s no video of the meeting but I have handouts to share from the MN Broadband Task Force meeting:

They heard from several experts in the field about cybersecurity. They talked about the Legislature including a letter the Task Force had sent to the policymakers asking them to consider a greater investment in broadband grants than had been on the table…

While we are appreciative that the House included a $25 million investment, we are disappointed that, in this time of a record surplus, it was reduced from its initial $100 million. Any amount will help to expand broadband access, but Minnesota’s broadband expansion efforts will need more than this amount to reach the finish line.

EVENT April 22: Governor’s Task Force on Broadband Monthly Meeting

The MN Broadband Task Force is happening on Friday April April 22…

Governor’s Task Force on Broadband

Friday, April 22, 2022

10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Microsoft Teams meeting

Join on your computer or mobile app

Click here to join the meeting

Join with a video conferencing device

mn@m.webex.com

Video Conference ID: 111 205 119 8

Alternate VTC instructions

Or call in (audio only)

+1 651-395-7448,,702207788#   United States, St. Paul

Phone Conference ID: 702 207 788#

Find a local number | Reset PIN

10:00 a.m. – 10:10 a.m.   Welcome, Task Force Introductions, Attendee Introductions and Approval of Minutes from March 24, 2022 Meeting

10:10 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.  Legislative and OBD update

Diane Wells, Deputy Director, DEED Office of Broadband Development

10:15 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.  Update and discussion on subgroup topics from Teddy Bekele, Chair, Minnesota Governor’s Task Force on Broadband

10:45 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.                Break

11:00 a.m. – 11:45 a.m. Grant Process – role of MMB with IIJA, Capital Projects Fund, and SLFRF Liz Connor, Minnesota Management and Budget (MMB)

11:45 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Public Comment, Other Business, May Meeting Plans, Wrap-up

MN Broadband Task Force March Meeting: Fond du Lac story and adoption in MN

Today the MN Broadband Task Force got presentations from two of its members: Jason Hollinday from Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa and Bernadine Joselyn.

Jason talked about the history of Fond du Lac’s broadband network. They started working on broadband in 2005. They approached all angles – they built demand, wrote grants, realized fiber was the answer and became the fiber broadband provider and ETC (eligible telecom company). They overcame challenges of ruralness and internal capacity.

Bernadine talked about the three legged stool of digital equity – access to broadband, devices and the knowledge to use them. Broadband access is lower in rural areas – in part because of the demographics of rural areas – older people, low income and less education. She included a video of speakers from rural areas on why they appreciated and/or needed better broadband depending on their situation.

The group also looked at what topics they would address in 2022:

  • Funding and investments
  • Updated Mapping and Usage
  • Affordability and adoption

EVENT Mar 24: Governor’s Task Force on Broadband March Agenda

Here’s the agenda for the MN Task Force Meeting on Thursday of this week…

Governor’s Task Force on Broadband
Thursday, March 24, 2022
10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Click here to join the meeting
Video Conference ID: 115 630 774 0
Alternate VTC instructions
Or call in (audio only)
+1 651-395-7448,,807036507#   United States, St. Paul
Phone Conference ID: 807 036 507#

  • 10:00 a.m. – 10:10 a.m. Welcome, Task Force Introductions, Attendee Introductions and Approval of Minutes from February 23, 2022 Meeting
  • 10:10 a.m. – 10:15 a.m. Update on 2022 Session Deven Bowdry, DEED Government Relations Coordinator
  • 10:15 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.  Broadband FTTH Development for Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Jason Hollinday, Director of Planning
  • 10:45 a.m. – 11:05 a.m.  Adoption and Challenges in Rural Communities Bernadine Joselyn, Blandin Foundation
  • 11:05 a.m. – 11:20 a.m. Break
  • 11:20 a.m. – 11:50 a.m. Update from Teddy Bekele, Chair, Minnesota Governor’s Task Force on Broadband
  • 11:50am. – 12:50 p.m. Discussion on Subgroup Topics
  • 12:50 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. Public Comment, Other Business, April Meeting Plans, Wrap-up