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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Paul Torkelson (R)

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Thursday, April 14, 2016

ST. PAUL – What's going to happen with broadband this year? State Representative Paul Torkelson said proposals are now coming forward that would increase broadband investment in rural areas, which is a move he supports.


"When I was a boy, my dad told me that the Rural Electrification Act dramatically changed our state for the better, and brought electricity to all farms around Minnesota," Torkelson said. "To me broadband is just as important, and we need to focus on the unserved and underserved portions of the state."


A recent House proposal would invest an additional $28 million in rural broadband expansion, with a focus on areas with larger numbers of low-income households, and another $7 million for underserved schools.


Combined with federal Connect America Funds, approval of this proposal means Minnesotans would see a historic broadband infrastructure investment.


"In order for Greater Minnesota to compete in today's economic environment, businesses and citizens must have reliable access to the internet," Torkelson said. "This plan is a great step towards providing broadband access to areas of the state that desperately need it."