On a nearly unanimous vote (66-0), the Minnesota Senate passed a bill today (Mon) designating 20 million dollars to improve broadband access in rural Minnesota:

…”to help educate our students, to help people work from home, to help telemedicine become more of a reality.”

…says bill sponsor, Elbow Lake Republican Torrey Westrom. Fellow Republican Mark Koran from North Branch voted “yes”, but says the bill does not go far enough:

“If you look at today’s modern capacities and needs, it’s 100 meg down and 10 meg up. When you lay *that* map over the current map that you see, over 50 percent of rural Minnesota… doesn’t have access to broadband today.”

Koran says after six years of state programs, a vast majority of Minnesota is still a decade behind on Internet access.