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Minnesota Agencies

Information on Minnesota State Agencies, Boards, Task Forces, and Commissions

Compiled by the Minnesota Legislative Reference Library


High-Speed Broadband Task Force

Also known as:
Minnesota Ultra High-Speed Broadband Taskforce
Active dates:April, 2008 - March 1, 2010
Function:

Report to the Governor and Legislature by November 1, 2009 on the level of broadband service, including connection speeds for sending and receiving data that is reasonably needed by all citizens by 2015; policies and actions necessary to achieve the goal, including the elimination of obstacles to investment and the identification of areas in the state that currently lack infrastructure necessary to support broadband service, opportunities for the public and private sectors to cooperate to achieve the goal; strategies, financing methods, and financial incentives used in other states and countries to support the deployment of high speed broadband; security, vulnerability, and redundancy actions necessary to ensure the reliability of high speed broadband; costs of reaching the broadband goal, including capital costs, and identification of who will bear those costs; economic development opportunities made possible by the wide dissemination of high-speed broadband; and how access to high-speed broadband can benefit education institutions, healthcare institutions, community-based organizations, and government institutions.

History:

In April 2008, the MN legislature passed a law creating the Minnesota Ultra High-Speed Broadband Task Force. The Task Force convened in August 2008 to outline a path to ultra high-speed Internet access for all residents of the state by 2015. Over a year and a half, a group of 23 diverse members met with experts to learn the issues, listen to the public, research solutions from other states and nations, and debate the best way to meet the state's needs. They held meetings in the metro area and in greater Minnesota. All of these meetings, research and dialog culminated in a report released in October, 2009.

A Minnesota Public Radio story from August 25, 2011 by Dave Peters and titled "Dayton picks new broadband task force" provides a nice history of broadband-related task forces recently in Minnesota. According to the article:

"Gov. Mark Dayton says he's re-creating a broadband task force for Minnesota. He wants it to report on the state's needs by the end of the year but, more importantly, come up with a set of recommendations for improvement a month later. ... In addition to the task force, the Commerce Department will create a broadband development office and will lead an inter-agency effort to coordinate state policies.

"In 2008, Gov. Tim Pawlenty appointed the Ultra High Speed Broadband Task Force. The group spent a year and a half determining what the state needed to do to be competitive in the information era.

"In 2010, the Legislature took that group's recommendations and pretty much put them into law. Specifically, it enacted goals for 2015 -- every resident should have truly high speed Internet access available and Minnesota should be in the top five states nationally for access. But lawmakers appropriated no money and directed no path to reach the goals.

"Later in 2010, the Pawlenty administration appointed another task force (the original disbanded) to track progress. It issued a report in December (suffice it to say the state isn't close to being in the top five) and vanished from the scene as a new governor took office."

See agency notebook entry or link above for full article.

Membership:

The task force consists of 26 members, including 20 appointed by the Governor.

Members include: one representative of higher educational systems; one representative of K-12 institutions or consortia; one representative of regional public libraries; one representative of the Communications Workers of America; two representatives of health care institutions, one metro, and one rural; three representatives of telephone companies, one of whom represents telephone companies with 50,000 or fewer subscribers located outside the metro area; two representatives of cable communications systems providers, one metro and one rural; one representative of wireless internet service providers; one representative of Minnesota counties; two representatives of Minnesota cities; four citizen at-large members representing internet users, equally divided between business and residential users in the metro and rural areas appointed by the Governor. The commissioners of commerce, and employment and economic development or their designees; Office of Enterprise Technology designee. Two members of the Minnesota Senate, one DFL and one Republican, one metro and one non-metro; and two members of the Minnesota House of Representatives, one metro and one non-metro. The Governor designates one of the citizen at-large members to serve as chair of the Task Force.

Note: The Legislative Reference Library may have additional reports on or by this group available through our catalog.
Record last updated: 01/12/2018
 

Additional print information on this group may be available in the Library's collection of agency notebooks. Please contact a librarian for assistance. The Minnesota Agencies database is a work in progress.

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