The Minnesota House and Senate went their separate ways Wednesday with expansive bills covering economic development, energy regulation and broadband Internet access programs, offering a glimpse of the gulf they’ll have to bridge on those items and the broader budget over the final weeks of the session.
Lt. Gov. Tina Smith and Katie Sieben, commissioner of Minnesota’s economic development department, held a teleconference Monday to talk about the state’s new broadband Internet expansion program.
The high-speed Internet capability that’s an afterthought in big cities and regional centers is spreading ever deeper into the nation’s countryside. It has been nudged along by billions in federal stimulus dollars and state efforts to expand a key amenity for both quality of life and business competitiveness.
Broadband Internet is the focus of a state Senate hearing, where members are anticipating an update on Gov. Mark Dayton’s goal of bringing high-speed Internet to more places.