ST. PAUL, Minn. – Governor Mark Dayton wants to spend $30 million to expand internet access throughout Greater Minnesota.
He says his proposal would affect 11,000 more homes businesses, and community institutions.
“All Minnesotans need and deserve affordable, reliable high-speed internet. It is not fair that some Minnesotans have had to wait years to access the same high-speed internet as their friends and families in other areas,” said Governor Dayton. “If we are serious about connecting all Minnesotans to the opportunities of the 21st Century, we must increase our efforts to provide all Minnesotans with the high-speed internet access they need. I urge the Legislature to make a robust investment in rural broadband infrastructure this session.”
Dayton says when he took office in 2011, only 56 percent of Minnesotans had access to high-speed internet and that was largely in urban areas. He says that number is now 88 percent, including 73 percent of rural Minnesotans, thanks to the “Border-to-Border Broadband Grant Program” and additional private investment.
“Broadband is a critical economic development tool that not only improves the competitiveness of businesses, but also quality of life,” said DEED Commissioner Shawntera Hardy. “The Border-to-Border Broadband Development Program makes it possible for families, businesses, and community institutions throughout Greater Minnesota to access high-speed internet, and participate in our modern, high-tech economy. I look forward to working with the Minnesota Legislature to make additional, needed investments in broadband infrastructure this session.”