Today, Governor Mark Dayton issued Executive Order 11-27, establishing the Governor's Task Force on Broadband and continuing his commitment to strengthening our state's infrastructure and fostering a strong business climate. The Task Force will be charged to expand broadband access in Minnesota. Dayton's stated goal is "border-to-border" high-speed internet and cell phone access throughout Minnesota.
Governor Dayton also directed the Minnesota Department of Commerce to create a Broadband Development Office and convene a subcabinet of agencies to work on statewide broadband policies.
"Our state's history of economic success has shown us how vital a solid infrastructure is to building a strong business climate. Broadband access is an important part of that 21st century infrastructure," said Governor Mark Dayton. "Broadband accessibility is an issue that is critical to growing our state's economy -- particularly in Greater Minnesota. As long as there are inequities in access to broadband in Minnesota, we will see those same inequities reflected in our schools, hospitals, and businesses. This task force will give our state an action plan for identifying and correcting these disparities so that Minnesota can compete and thrive in a global economy."
We will be focused on concrete ways to build broadband for Minnesota's homes and businesses," said Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman. "By working together, we will ensure that we set the best possible foundation to meet Minnesota's broadband needs and goals."
The task force will be made up of 15 members, to be appointed by Governor Dayton through the open appointments process. Members of the taskforce will represent a balance of broadband interests, including consumers, business and residential users, educational and health care institutions, telephone and cable companies, wireless providers as well as metro and rural local units of government. The Governor will designate a member to serve as chair of the task force.