INTERNET ACCESS: Minn. House looks to close gap between rural, m - KMSP-TV

INTERNET ACCESS: Minn. House looks to close gap between rural, metro schools

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Rep. Simonson makes a case for broadband expansion Rep. Simonson makes a case for broadband expansion
ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) -

Minnesota House DFL leaders made their case for $25 million of their supplemental budget to go toward broadband infrastructure expansion in Greater Minnesota, creating more equality between rural and metro school districts.

House Speaker Paul Thissen said that $25 million serves as a down payment on the vision of comprehensive broadband development in throughout the state.

Mora High School assistant principal Nick Bakke noted the infrastructure is lagging and not all of his students have broadband access. Mora senior Cassidy Carlisle said slow and intermittent Internet access makes it difficult to apply to college, as it's common to only submit application materials online, not to mention, lack of access makes it difficult to complete basic school work.

Rep. Erik Simonson said $25 million is too small an amount to put toward the cause – rather, $100 to $300 million is what’s needed. Thissen added there’s no money in the Senate’s supplemental budget but feels the House’s $25 million version of the bill is vital to rural Minnesota.

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