In April 2008, the MN legislature passed a law creating the Minnesota Ultra High-Speed Broadband Task Force. The Task Force convened in August 2008 to outline a path to ultra high-speed Internet access for all residents of the state by 2015. Over a year and a half, a group of 23 diverse members met with experts to learn the issues, listen to the public, research solutions from other states and nations, and debate the best way to meet the state's needs. They held meetings in the metro area and in greater Minnesota. All of these meetings, research and dialog culminated in a report released in October, 2009.
A Minnesota Public Radio story from August 25, 2011 by Dave Peters and titled "Dayton picks new broadband task force" provides a nice history of broadband-related task forces recently in Minnesota. According to the article:
"Gov. Mark Dayton says he's re-creating a broadband task force for Minnesota. He wants it to report on the state's needs by the end of the year but, more importantly, come up with a set of recommendations for improvement a month later. ... In addition to the task force, the Commerce Department will create a broadband development office and will lead an inter-agency effort to coordinate state policies.
"In 2008, Gov. Tim Pawlenty appointed the Ultra High Speed Broadband Task Force. The group spent a year and a half determining what the state needed to do to be competitive in the information era.
"In 2010, the Legislature took that group's recommendations and pretty much put them into law. Specifically, it enacted goals for 2015 -- every resident should have truly high speed Internet access available and Minnesota should be in the top five states nationally for access. But lawmakers appropriated no money and directed no path to reach the goals.
"Later in 2010, the Pawlenty administration appointed another task force (the original disbanded) to track progress. It issued a report in December (suffice it to say the state isn't close to being in the top five) and vanished from the scene as a new governor took office."
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