Both parties in both capitals claim to be for rural broadband development. That doesn’t mean the problem’s getting solved quickly.
A bipartisan group of lawmakers is pushing to allocate $70 million for internet projects. But even that funding would only go so far toward the state’s ultimate goal — to bring much faster universal internet to everyone in Minnesota by 2016.
The presence of a new business along the main drag of this Sibley County town – and a high-tech one, at that – has generated some buzz in the community.
Rural priorities include the passage of another bonding bill; another increase in LGA funding; money for street repairs in small towns; broadband expansion and bolstered child care options.
Broadband is critical to the fate of Greater Minnesota. But the people who can make a difference, from providers to politicians, don’t even agree on the problem, much less the solution.
Minnesota’s momentum in building rural broadband is now seriously at risk.
Market failures aren’t just limited to things like national defense.
A $16 million project will bring broadband to 20 cities in Renville, Sibley, Nicollet and McLeod Counties. Mille Lacs County hopes a feasibility study now under way results in similar improvements.
If Minnesota is to remain one of the premier places to live, work, learn and do business, we must leverage the power of the state to improve our broadband problem.
An unprecedented cable switch has plenty of critics, and political hurdles may keep superfast broadband from saving consumers.