On a nearly unanimous vote (66-0), the Minnesota Senate passed a bill today designating 20 million dollars to improve broadband access in rural Minnesota. Bill sponsor, Elbow Lake Republican Torrey Westrom says the purpose is “to help educate our students, to help people work from home, to help telemedicine become more of a reality.”
Fellow Republican Mark Koran from North Branch voted “yes”, but says the bill does not go far enough. He says, “If you look at today’s modern capacities and needs, it’s 100 meg down and 10 meg up. When you lay *that* map over the current map that you see, over 50 percent of rural Minnesota… doesn’t have access to broadband today.” Koran says after six years of state programs, a vast majority of Minnesota is still a decade behind on Internet access.