The 1993 Minnesota Legislaure funded the development of a statewide telecommunications network to connect post-secondary education institutions around the state. They also established the Higher Education Telecommunications Council (HETC) to provide statewide leadership and vision for the new Learning Network.
In 1995, the HETC became the METC and the Learning Network was expanded to include K-12 education and public libraries. The METC Board of Directors consists of 25 members and includes representatives of K-12 education, higher education, public libraries, the Minnesota Legislature, and state agencies.
The following paragraphs are from "K-12 Telecommunications Access in Minnesota: History" (LB1044.84 K22 2008).
The Learning Network of Minnesota (LNM) was established in 1993 by the Minnesota Legislature to provide a statewide high-speed telecommunications highway for distance learning for higher education. In 1995, the higher education LNM was expanded to establish links to K-12 public education and public libraries. Using high-speed telecommunications lines, the LNM provides access and delivery of information resources to students and library patrons such as Internet access, distance learning opportunities through interactive television (ITV) and on-line learning, a transport system for the state to send and receive data electronically from K-12 schools and libraries, and access to MnLINK, the Minnesota Library Information Network.
The governance of the LNM was initially the responsibility of the Minnesota Education Telecommunications Council (METC). The METC was a multi-agency advisory board established in law and composed of 25 members. Membership on METC included representatives from both houses of the Legislature, K-12 public schools, public libraries, state agencies (Departments of Administration, Children, Families & Learning (now known as the Minnesota Department of Education), and the Minnesota Office of Higher Education Services), and higher education (University of Minnesota, Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, and the Private College Council).
The Council is set to expire on June 30, 2004.