Access to high speed broadband is important for a sustainable rural economy in Minnesota. All sectors and corners of Minnesota need robust broadband connections: education, agriculture, main street businesses, manufacturing and health care.
Minnesota’s Governor’s Task Force on Broadband consistently recommends funding the Border-to-Border Broadband Development Grant Program. The 2017 Report recommends $71.48 million per biennuim, in on-going funding over the next four years. This will provide broadband internet speeds of 25 Mbps/3Mbps to the 252,000 households that currently lack such service – and be poised to help Minnesota achieve its statutory broadband speed goal of connecting all Minnesotans with broadband internet speeds of 100 Mbps/20Mbps by 2026.
Members of the Minnesota Rural Broadband Coalition are experienced in the challenges and opportunities to bring broadband to all corners of Minnesota.
The Minnesota Rural Broadband Coalition and its supporters request the 2018 Legislature to fund the Border to Border Broadband Development Grant program with $51.48 million in 2018 in order to achieve state’s 2026 broadband speed goals of 100Mbps/20Mbps upload. Consistent and stable funding of the grant program is important to allow economic development agencies, local governments and others to be creative and collaborative in their approach to providing broadband services to these areas.
The MN Rural BB Coalition is group of local units of government, schools, economic development agencies, main street businesses, health care providers, organizations and individuals who came together to advocate for the broadband vision created in the fall of 2015 at a Border to Border Broadband: Better Together conference hosted by Blandin Foundation and the MN Office of Broadband Development.
The Vision is for everyone in Minnesota will be able to use convenient, affordable world-class broadband networks that enable us to survive and thrive in our communities and across the globe.