Broadband Task Force
On March 29, 2019, Governor Walz issued Executive Order 19-10 continuing the Governor’s Task Force on Broadband. According to the language of the Executive Order, “A multi-stakeholder body should continue to advise the executive and legislative branches on broadband policy, including strategies for successfully achieving the state broadband goals, comprehensive assessment of digital inclusion issues and gaps, and strategies for unlocking the benefits of universal access to broadband for all communities in Minnesota.” The Task Force will consist of 15 members, with the Governor appointing one member to serve as chair. The Task Force is charged with creating an annual report to be issued by December 31 each year. The report will address areas such as: the needs, barriers, issues and goals for broadband access; the needs and use of broadband in various sectors; digital inclusion definitions and the benefits, needs and strategies for addressing identified gaps; availability and accessibility for unserved and underserved populations; advances in broadband technology; opportunities to coordinate with other levels of government; and continued review of the adequacy and appropriateness of the broadband goals.
Information on how to apply to serve on Governor Walz’s Task Force on Broadband is available on the Minnesota Secretary of State’s Open Positions site.
This new Task Force will build on the work of former Governor Dayton’s Task Force on Broadband. Several initiatives of that task force ultimately ended up being adopted in law, including the creation of an Office of Broadband Development, the establishment of a Border to Border Broadband Infrastructure grant program, and the goals that all homes and businesses have access to broadband service of at least 25Mbps download and 3Mbps upload by 2022 and that all homes and businesses have access to at least one provider offering service of at least 100Mbps download/20Mbps upload by 2026. For reference, the meeting minutes and agendas and the annual reports from the last few years of Governor Dayton’s Task Force on Broadband are posted below.