ST. PAUL, MN – One week after hosting a Job Summit focused on strengthening Minnesota’s infrastructure and fostering a strong business climate, Governor Mark Dayton appointed 15 members to a Governor’s Task Force on Broadband. The Task Force, which was established by Executive Order 11-27, will be charged with developing policies to promote the expansion of expand broadband access in Minnesota. Dayton’s stated goal is “border-to-border” high-speed internet and cell phone access throughout Minnesota.
According to Governor Dayton, the Task Force will develop an action plan for identifying and correcting disparities in access and adoption of Broadband in all Minnesota communities – urban, rural, and suburban. Dayton says that action plan will help ensure that residential homes, schools, hospitals, and businesses have access to the technology and information resources they need to thrive in a global economy.
Members of the taskforce represent a balance of broadband interests, including consumers, business and residential users, educational and health care institutions, traditional telephone and cable companies, wireless providers as well as metro and rural local units of government. They are: Bernadine Joselyn, Director of Public Policy and Engagement for the Blandin Foundation, Shirley Walz, Sr. Director of Technology for Thomson Reuters; Margaret Anderson Kelliher (Chair), Director of the Minnesota High Tech Association; Steve Lewsader, President of the Communication Workers of America (CWA), Local 7201; Duane Ring, President of the nine-state Midwest Region of Century Link; Gary Evans, CEO of Hiawatha Broadband Company (HBC); Dick Sjoberg, Sjoberg’s Cable; Daniel Richter, President of MVTV Wireless; Danna MacKenzie, Director of Information Systems for Cook County
Maureen Ideker, Director of Telehealth, Essentia Health; Matt Grose, Superintendent, Deer River Public Schools; Steve Peterson, Bloomington City Council; Bob Bass, Bloomington, AT&T Wireless; Keith Modglin, Information Systems Director for the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe; and Bao Vang, President/CEO of the Hmong-American Partnership.
The Minnesota Department of Commerce, which houses the state’s Broadband Development Office, will work closely with the Governor’s Task Force on Broadband.
“For the short- and long-term success of our economy, every school, business, and consumer in Minnesota must have affordable, high-speed access to information and the online marketplace,” said Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman. “That is what the work of this Task Force is all about.”