Governor Mark Dayton’s special task force recommends the state spend 35 million dollars a year until all households in Minnesota have basic high-speed Internet. Chair Margaret Anderson Kelliher says in the past seven years, the state/federal/private sector partnership has extended broadband to 34 thousand households and five thousand businesses. Kelliher says, “That leaves us still with about 250 thousand what we would call unserved households. They don’t have the most basic level of service.”
Republicans have been reluctant to spend as much as Democrats want, arguing the private sector is making significant progress in expanding broadband access in Minnesota. Kelliher responds, “This group of folks, this 250 thousand Minnesotans, are at places where, frankly, providers have not been able to reach because the cost… is frankly… prohibitive.”
The bonding request Governor Dayton unveils Tuesday will likely include money for expanding broadband Internet access in Greater Minnesota.
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