Last week Danna MacKenzie was named the director of the Minnesota Office of Broadband Development. This week the Minnesota Broadband Task Force met to discuss their annual report on Broadband in Minnesota.
Broadband policy is taking a front seat again today as the as the Connect Minnesota Summit gets underway.
In the last month, the Blandin on Broadband blog highlighted stories of broadband business, policy and use in Minnesota:
- A recent Connect Minnesota report indicates that 74.5 percent of Minnesota households can access fixed and mobile broadband at speeds of at least 10 Mbps download/6 Mbps upload. That is an improvement of almost five percent since April; however looking at the map of coverage, it is clear that the access is unevenly distributed between rural and urban areas.
- Senator Matt Schmit holds a serious of listening sessions on broadband in Bemidji, Grand Rapids, Staples, Mora, Willmar, Winthrop and Austin. A general consensus was that people are hungry for broadband and ready for action.
- Senators Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken tell FCC Chair Wheeler about their continued concern about the impact of the FCC’s Transformation Order on Rate of Return carriers and their ability to further invest in their networks.
- Minnesota Broadband Coalition reemerges to convene an ad hoc group of citizens, businesses and organizations that are interested in raising public voice in broadband policy discussions.
- Carlton County wins a Local Government Innovation Award for their TXT4Life Suicide Prevention program.
- Arrowhead Electric completes most of the fiber construction in Cook County, however service is not yet available to residents. So many are setting up camp to use wireless made available near the office until their homes are fiber-ready. Demand is high in the area!
- Dakota County extends their fiber network to Goodhue and Washington Counties.
- LqP County is recognized for the increased economic development opportunities brought to local communities through broadband.
- Lake County files a complaint with the FCC about Frontier because Lake County has used Frontier poles to string fiber and Frontier is saying that they (Frontier) want to retain the bottom position on all utility poles. That would require Lake County to move their attachments, which would cost more than $240,000.
- Morrris wins a Local Government Innovation Award for the Morris Rental Housing Commission website that connects landlords, renters (many of them college students) and information.