Minn DFL House lawmakers push for broadband investments

By KBJR News 1

April 22, 2014 Updated Apr 23, 2014 at 12:01 AM CDT

St. Paul, MN (NNCNOW.com) - DFL House lawmakers made a push for investments to expand access to high speed internet across Minnesota on Tuesday.

Several High School students joined the lawmakers at the Capitol to make their plea for faster internet access for school work.

Before the Easter break, the House has approved a supplemental budget including $25 million dollars for broadband development.

Minnesota currently ranks 23rd nationally when it comes to broadband speed.

"It is an issue of competitiveness. It's an issue of balancing the playing field between all parts of the state so that no part of the state is being left behind as we move toward a 21st century economy," said Rep. Paul Thissen (DFL-House Speaker).

A recent study by ConnectMN, a nonprofit working in partnership with the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development showed 93 percent of metro-area households have access to high speed broadband coverage as opposed to only 46 percent of residents in Greater Minnesota.

DFL lawmakers are urging the Senate to approve a similar investment for high speed internet.

Governor Mark Dayton has offered his support.

Written by Kevin Jacobsen
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