Minnesota Broadband and Biz: January 2013

by Ann Treacy


As Minnesota gears up for the legislative session, policy continues to be a theme in broadband trends. In December, the Minnesota Broadband Task Force released broadband recommendations.

Throughout January, members of the Task Force have been meeting with legislators in both the Senate and House and with local business to promote their recommendations. The Task Force emphasizes the need for intervention if Minnesota wants to reach broadband goals of 10 Mbps downstream and 5 Mbps up by 2015. They also support Governor Dayton’s recommendations for a Broadband Development Office, which is a recommendation that comes directly from their December report.

In the last month, the Blandin on Broadband blog highlighted several stories related to policy and business of broadband:

  • Taxing Online Purchases: In his proposed budget, Governor Dayton supports taxing online purchases. This follows a national effort, Marketplace Fairness Act, which strives to level the playing field for online and Main Street businesses.
  • Primer on Public Utilities Commission: The Minnesota PUC met with legislators to talk about what they do and the impact federal legislation has had on telecommunications industry and regulations locally.
  • Federal Compliance: Baller Herbst Law Group shares information for providers of cable television, telecommunications, interconnected VoIP, Internet access, and other communications and information services on Federal Communications law compliance for 2013.
  • The Mayo Clinic in Rochester announces a $5 billion economic development initiative to increase livability in Rochester. They are interesting in working public entities to improve infrastructure and opportunities in the area.
  • Connect Anoka County received ARRA funding to deployment broadband. Working with Zayo Broadband, they have nearly completed construction on an approximately 286 mile fiber network throughout Anoka County linking 145 governmental institutions.
  • Red Wing Port Authority Exec Director Randy Olson and Division Head of Information Services Laura Blair are featured on Gigabit Nation Radio talking about driving broadband adoption and network financial sustainability.