Minnesotans react to legislative conversations about Internet technologies
April 20, 2017 by Blandin Foundation
As rural Minnesota’s communities work for solutions to unique opportunities and challenges — in healthcare, economy, education and public life — it’s easy to see how quality broadband is at the foundation of all of them.
Starting up again this week, legislators will re-engage in a number of conversations about the state’s Internet access that will affect our state’s future vitality and the hard work leaders have already put in to assess community technology needs, garner support and rally toward action.
In today’s Duluth News Tribune, two editorials — one Local View and the other Our View — call out and comment on two of these conversations. Here are a few highlights.
From writer Janet Keough, resident of a township north of Duluth, on satellite versus wired broadband:
This situation is not unusual. Multiple users simultaneously using multiple Internet video or other intense systems is common for families with schoolchildren, at family gatherings, for small businesses, and at local community centers. Internet video is becoming very data-intensive, with high-definition video common for gaming and certain software, eating both speed and more and more data. The “Internet of things” is real. Home-based monitoring tools are now common in thermostats, refrigerators, pet minders, medical monitors and more. And that’s on top of telecommuting, video connectivity, music streaming, gaming and other data-intensive activities. Many people use the Internet to access television networks. While 25 megabits per second may be a sufficient speed now, it won’t be long (a year or so?) before it isn’t enough for personal and business use, and cost-effective data plans are inadequate.
Like electricity and roads, wired Internet is needed across our state to ensure that everyone in Minnesota will be able to use convenient, affordable, world-class broadband networks that enable us to thrive in our communities into the future.
From the Duluth News Tribune Editorial Board on small cell wireless broadband technology:
Because Minnesota must keep pace with technology if it wants to keep up with other states and the rest of the world in attracting business and encouraging economic progress, the Legislature this session can take action to streamline and make consistent throughout the state rules, regulations and requirements for small cells.
Tags: Minnesota broadband
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