Office of Broadband Development
Function: An Office of Broadband Development is established within the Department of Employment and Economic Development and shall remain in existence until the commissioner certifies that the state has met the broadband goals established in section 237.012.
The purpose of the office is to encourage, foster, develop, and improve broadband within the state in order to: drive job creation, promote innovation, and expand markets for Minnesota businesses; serve the ongoing and growing needs of Minnesota's education systems, health care system, public safety system, industries and businesses, governmental operations, and citizens; and improve accessibility for underserved communities and populations.
Beginning January 15, 2014, and each year thereafter, the Office of Broadband Development shall report to the legislative committees with jurisdiction over broadband policy and finance on the office's activities during the previous year.
During the 2013 session, the Legislature created the Office of Broadband Development within the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED); that statutory language can be found at Minn. Stat. § 116J.39 and 116J.391.
DEED's broadband-related activities in 2013 focused primarily on the establishment of the Office of Broadband Development. In the process, DEED consolidated existing state resources for broadband and conducted the search for the executive director. Danna MacKenzie was appointed by the Governor as executive Director and assumed her position on January 6, 2014. The Office of Broadband Development will focus on broadband infrastructure, education, and use in 2014. (p. 9 Office of Broadband Development: Report to the Legislature, 2014).
It is a state goal that as soon as possible, but no later than 2015, all state residents and businesses have access to high-speed broadband that provides minimum download speeds of ten to 20 megabits per second and minimum upload speeds of five to ten megabits per second (Minn. Stat. 237.012).
The office shall consist of a director of the Office of Broadband Development, as well as any staff necessary to carry out the office's duties.
The director shall be appointed by the governor and shall serve in the unclassified service. The director must be qualified by experience and training in broadband.
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