Statewide media raise up rural broadband
May 13, 2015 by Blandin Foundation
Just one short month ago, rural voices rallied together in response to the Minnesota House’s decision to cut broadband funding. Some resource shuffling has happened since then but as the session’s end date is quickly approaching, this week we’re seeing a resurgence of rural broadband-related content in the media and online. Here’s a snapshot…
KBJR: In a multi-part series, the Northland’s News Center is spotlighting stories about the need for high-speed Internet in northern Minnesota as well as how some communities have reaped the benefits of early investment in broadband. Tune in tonight for the second part of the series.
Many lawmakers in St. Paul agree: broadband access for those areas is critical for business, especially if the state hopes to meets it goal of being in the top five states for broadband access.
“Minnesota wants to be a leader in certain areas, and this is certainly one of those areas,” said Rep. Erik Simonson (DFL-Duluth).
Star Tribune: On Monday, the Star Tribune carried a commentary by Red Wing Senator Matt Schmit that criticizes the pace in which legislators are addressing broadband access in Minnesota and urges heightened attention.
“But at the rate we’re going, we’ll connect the final quarter of Minnesota households with high-speed Internet at a snail’s pace.”
“As a state, we set an important goal that all Minnesotans should have access to high-speed Internet. We’ve measured our progress but are coming up short. We have a tested tool for targeting resources and improving access. But the question remains: Will this Legislature get the message?”
MinnPost: Today, MinnPost explored some of the reasons why state action around broadband has been lethargic — including lack of a shared understanding about broadband’s economic impact in rural, understanding the differences between wired versus wireless technology, and whether or not the pace of the legislators is a political tactic.
For up-to-date information on broadband in Minnesota, make sure to follow our Blandin on Broadband Blog.
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