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Minnesota House Greater Minnesota Jobs and Economic Development Finance Division approves legislation to increase funding for high-speed broadband internet across the state

The House Greater Minnesota Jobs and Economic Development Finance Division approved legislation Monday authored by Rep. Rob Ecklund (DFL – International Falls) to increase funding for high-speed broadband internet across the state. Additionally, the bill strengthens both distance learning and telemedicine under the COVID-19 pandemic with new investments.  Ecklund stated to KAUS News that necessities in life including working, learning or receiving healthcare remotely would be enhanced greatly in rural Minnesota if the bill becomes law…

The bill invests $10 million in the state’s Border-to-Border Broadband Grant Program to expand high-speed broadband, with the funding targeted to unserved areas. It also invests $8 million in a new Distance Learning Broadband Access Grant Program to provide students with the equipment necessary to access learning materials on the internet and reimburse school districts for costs to provide broadband access.  The bill would also invest $2 million in the new Telemedicine Equipment Reimbursement Grant Program to reimburse health care providers and counties that purchase and install telemedicine equipment to provide COVID-19-related health care services.


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