Schmit leads on MN rural broadband

Internet Infrastructure

PHOTO: Joselito Tagarao, Creative Commons license

I don’t like to fawn too much over elected officials, even the ones who are my friends. But OMG I’m in full senator crush mode over State Sen. Matt Schmit (DFL-Red Wing) and his recent interview with Brian Lampert in MinnPost about the vital role of rural broadband in Minnesota’s future.

Schmit was one of the architects of a deal to put $20 million in new rural broadband infrastructure investment for the state, mostly in underserved areas.

Says Schmit:

“We’re looking at a long window to get from where we are today to where we need to be. This will put people to work for a long time. So yes, there is a very large jobs component here. But this isn’t just spending money to put people to work, it’s money spent to create competitive environments where new businesses can form.” 

Have I written about this? Have I written about this? Yes, I have.

Rural lawmakers shouldn’t have to be dragged along or cajoled on this issue; its value to current and future generations is so painfully clear that only willful ignorance allows one to miss it. It’s got education, business and public safety ramifications. Focusing on the outcome — ubiquitous high speed internet as a modern public utility — allows any number of public or private solutions, and a mutually beneficial field for partisan negotiations.

The future is right there for the taking. I wish the Iron Range was at the forefront of the rural broadband debate. Perhaps it still can be.


  1. Al Gustaveson says

    If you can’t cut it down or dig it up Range lawmakers don’t give a hoot…

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