A recommendation to provide high-speed Internet access to every Minnesotan by 2015 is on track to becoming an official state goal.
Sponsored by Rep. Sheldon Johnson (DFL-St. Paul), HF2907 calls for Minnesota to transform itself into a national and international leader in providing broadband access. The House Telecommunications Regulation and Infrastructure Division approved the bill and referred it to the House Commerce and Labor Committee.
Among other things, the bill calls for a boost in speed: no less than 10 megabits per second for downloads and five megabits per second for uploads for every user in the state. In addition, it states that Minnesota should rank among the top five U.S. states for both speed and access to broadband Internet, and among the top 15 nations globally for broadband access.
Johnson said the bill is based on the recommendations of the final report of the Minnesota Ultra High-Speed Broadband Task Force. Rick King, erstwhile chairman of the task force and chief technology officer for Thomson Reuters North American Legal, said 80 percent of the state’s economy is tied to “knowledge and service industries” that will benefit from better Internet connectivity.
A companion, SF2254, sponsored by Yvonne Prettner Solon (DFL-Duluth), awaits action by the Senate Energy, Utilities, Technology and Communications Committee.