skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Monday, June 24, 2024

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

America's 'Radical Elders' continue their work for fairness, justice; SCOTUS upholds law disarming domestic abusers; Workplace adoption benefits help families, communities; Report examines barriers to successful post-prison re-entry in NC.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

A congresswoman celebrates Biden protections for mixed status families, Louisiana's Ten Commandments law faces an inevitable legal challenge, and a senator moves to repeal the strict 19th century anti-obscenity and anti-abortion Comstock Act.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

A Minnesota town claims the oldest rural Pride Festival while rural educators say they need support to teach kids social issues, rural businesses can suffer when dollar stores come to town and prairie states like South Dakota are getting help to protect grasslands.

MN Broadband Bill Would Connect Widely Scattered Residents

play audio
Play

Thursday, March 24, 2022   

Thanks to state and federal commitments, Minnesota soon will unleash a large sum of funding to ensure more residents have broadband internet access, but industry groups warn of missing homes as work ramps up and hope a legislative plan addresses logistical issues.

Last year, Minnesota lawmakers approved spending $70 million dollars to expand the state's networks for high-speed internet. A House bill would create a specialized grant program to convince providers to extend cable lines to homes in far-flung areas.

Rep. Jordan Rasmusson, R-Fergus Falls, the bill's sponsor, said Minnesota needs to get the effort right.

"Policymakers and stakeholders need to examine every part of the funding and construction process and eliminate as many barriers to deployment as possible, ensuring no one is left behind," Rasmusson asserted.

Issues include some homes showing up on broadband maps as served, even though they are not connected, hurting their eligibility for assistance. Rasmusson added existing grant programs are too large to cover a handful of smaller properties. The $70 million comes from American Rescue Plan funding, on top of other federal dollars being made available to the state for broadband development.

The bill, which has bipartisan support, cleared a House committee this week and was sent to another panel in the chamber.

Anna Boroff, executive director of the Minnesota Cable Communications Association, said offering smaller grants for line extensions has worked in other states to help close gaps.

"Unless we provide the Office of Broadband with tools to identify and reach them, these locations will continue to wait for service or be forced to come up with the funds to pay a provider to serve them," Boroff pointed out.

Gaps in broadband access have received extra focus during the pandemic with households working remotely, along with distance learning. Advocates argued it is especially difficult for low-income families to thrive if they do not have reliable internet service. Roughly 240,000 homes around the state do not have high-speed internet.


get more stories like this via email
more stories
The 2024 Summer U.S. Conference of Mayors in Kansas City, Mo., will be under the leadership of its president, Mayor Hillary Schieve of Reno, Nev., and host Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas.
(SeanPavonePhoto/Adobe Stock)

play sound

Some Michigan mayors are out of the office this week - but still working for their cities. They're at the 92nd meeting of the United States …


Social Issues

play sound

An interim North Dakota legislative committee this week got an update from state leaders on potential moves to reconnect kids in foster care with thei…

Environment

play sound

Two new solar farms will soon be under construction in the Lexington and Lebanon areas to bring affordable and clean energy to eastern Kentuckians…


Ohio resident Jeremy Madden, his wife and their adopted daughter. (Jeremy Madden)

Social Issues

play sound

More employers are offering benefits to adoptive parents, according to a new survey by the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption. The amount of paid …

Social Issues

play sound

The Arizona Court of Appeals recently dismissed a case brought by Republican Arizona attorney general candidate Abraham Hamadeh, Republican Cochise …

North Carolina is home to 934,604 small businesses. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

North Carolina's business community is alarmed after Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson praised the controversial House Bill 2, known as the "Bathroom Bill," at …

Social Issues

play sound

Members of the group Radical Elders are participating in a Chicago tech conference this weekend to explain the impact of technology on older Americans…

play sound

Danskammer Energy is no longer seeking an expansion of its Newburgh plant. The original plan called for expanding the company's "peaker plant" meant …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021