Broadband Taskforce — Our bill passed, signed by the Governor!

UPDATE

Ooops.  The law hasn’t passed yet — I misunderstood Rick’s letter…  Here’s the salient quote (down near the bottom)

pass the law (well, getting closer anyway – should be next week!)

Sorry about that.  I’ll leave the original stupid/mistaken post here, but you can ignore it.  On the bright side, I’m hoping for the opportunity to write another “Woohoo” post if the bill does pass.

Sorry about that…

Mikey

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Woohoo!  We did it!

I just got this great news from Rick King, our chair.  Here’s his note.  The one thing I’d add is that his leadership is what made this bet worth taking.

All,

I am not a betting man. Had I been one, I would have placed a pretty big bet on the Task Force succeeding as the odds would have been against me. I mean, seriously, who would have thought that 23 people, with diverse backgrounds and conflicting interests, would have worked so well together? That we would put an agreement on paper and influence others enough to likely pass legislation to codify our recommendations?

Well, we did it. And today, almost two years after its inception, the Ultra High-Speed Broadband Task Force ceases to exist.  In what seems like the perfect farewell gift, the Minnesota Legislature approved a bill and it was recently signed into law by the Governor.  Is the new law what I would have written had I had a magic wand and lived in the Land of Unlimited Resources?   Maybe not.

Is it, however, wise, forward-looking legislation that positions Minnesota as a leader in the nation.  Now, with the National Broadband Report released, I think our wisdom as a state shines even brighter.

While the Task Force’s report was almost 150 pages long, our key recommendations were narrowly defined:  we wanted universal access to Ultra High-Speed Broadband in Minnesota, we defined Broadband as a minimum of 10 to 20 megabits per second download and 5 Mbps upload, and we wanted the state to set a comparative goal within the U.S. and the world. Furthermore, we felt that there had to be some sort of ongoing institution to ensure that the objectives were pursued. It’s all in the bill.

With this, my last letter as Chair, I would like to recognize the talent and the hard work of each and every Task Force member and the supporting staff and friends across the state who freely gave us their work, ideas, advice and enthusiasm to create the report and pass the law (well, getting closer anyway – should be next week!).  It has been my privilege to meet and work with each of you.

Together, we have contributed to making Minnesota a better place to live and work.  And, a leader among the States in our great country.

I should have placed that bet.

Warmest regards,

Your ex-chair

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