The Connected Nation Blog: Governor’s Task Force Prepares to Tackle the Digital Divide

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Governor’s Task Force Prepares to Tackle the Digital Divide

Bloomington, MN - Today marks the first meeting of the Minnesota Governor’s Broadband Task Force. In September, Governor Mark Dayton issued an Executive Order to establish a Governor’s Task Force on Broadband and has directed the Minnesota Department of Commerce to create a Broadband Development Office.

Key items on today’s agenda will include reviewing the Task Force requirements, discussing recommendations on how best to proceed, considering future meeting dates and potential locations, and discussions on information and resources for the Task Force.

The Task Force mandate is to:
  • Develop, implement, and promote state broadband policy, planning, and initiatives to achieve state broadband needs and goals
  • Inventory, assess, and report on various aspects of broadband
  • Develop a Minnesota Broadband Plan outline

The Task Force is comprised of members representing both metropolitan and rural Minnesota regions and representing a variety of broadband interests including consumers, education institutions, healthcare institutions, telephone, cable, and wireless companies.

Broadband technology is a powerful tool that Minnesota residents are using on a daily basis because of the value that it brings to their lives. Connect Minnesota is working to make high-speed Internet available statewide, while empowering every Minnesota resident to use broadband to enrich their lives.

To achieve these goals, Connect Minnesota has conducted a survey of 3,032 residents across the state to see if they access broadband, and if so, how they are using it. In addition, we have conducted the largest state-level survey of people who do not subscribe to broadband to see what is preventing them from joining the digital community. Based on this data, we estimate that approximately 666,000 adults statewide do not have home broadband service, and adoption varies significantly across socioeconomic lines.

We will assist the Governor’s Broadband Task Force in working to ensure that all can experience the benefits of broadband.

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