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Montevideo American-News - Montevideo, MN
  • Border-to-border broadband infrastructure grant presentation given at county courthouse

  • The economy, job landscape, just about everything to do with commerce, and, evidently sooner than latter, governance and education, is connected to the internet. This shift in business interaction, it’s instant communication hastening the correspondence of innovation and job applications, has the office of Governor Mark...
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    The economy, job landscape, just about everything to do with commerce, and, evidently sooner than latter, governance and education, is connected to the internet. This shift in business interaction, it’s instant communication hastening the correspondence of innovation and job applications, has the office of Governor Mark Dayton and the representatives of the independent non-profit Connect Minne­sota, who spoke on Friday at a public session, keenly aware that some are being left behind.
    Lags in digital literacy prompted Governor Dayton to create his Task Force on Broadband in 2012 which is “responsible for developing policies to promote the expansion of broadband access,” according to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development website. Following this came the instituting of the Office of Broadband Development which, through its findings, gave Governor Dayton the grounds to sign into law the Border-to-Border Broadband Development Grant this last May. The $20 million grant is to be allocated on an application bases to the regions deemed under served, if served at all, by broadband providers.
    The agreed upon appropriation is a one time funding by the Minnesota legislature. This isn’t to say that no such funds will be permitted again, but that this sizeable investment is expected to lay a broadband foundation. Once wirelessly buttressed state-wide, regions that were once under served won’t have to pay hand over fist for carriers to install lines and providers won’t have to worry about taking the time to invest in putting down lines in very rural areas. The logic is that broadband costs, for consumers and providers, city councils and the state legislature, will fall precipitously once everyone has a sturdy broadband foothold.
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