On Wednesday, the Senate Agriculture and Rural Development Committee heard three bills that provide funds for the rural broadband grant program and appropriation for the programs. Senator Mark Koran (R-North Branch) co-authored one of the bills, SF 1186, that will provide $25 million in 2022 and 2023 to bring service to unserved areas in Minnesota.
“In today’s world, families and businesses are becoming increasingly more reliant on devices that require access to a quality broadband connection,” Senator Koran said. “In recent years, we’ve seen the role that broadband service plays in our health, our education, and as an economic driver for the region. With funding provided by this legislation, we’re connecting more underserved areas from across the state and moving Minnesota one step closer to providing reliable access for all.”
The Border to Border Broadband Fund targets the development of permanent broadband infrastructure in unserved and underserved areas. Minnesota contains large segments of the state that fall into the unserved and underserved categories, which shows that this infrastructure is a critical need.
This package of bills will provide accessible broadband to rural Minnesotans and ensure that their needs are being met. Internet access is not a luxury but a necessary utility in today’s world, and we must bring it to everyone in the state.