DEED Digital Opportunity Program Feedback Due Sept 29

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DEED Digital Opportunity Program Feedback Due Sept 29

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) is seeking public input on the state's Digital Opportunity Program draft plan.

The Digital Opportunity plan, produced by DEED's Office of Broadband Development (OBD), outlines how Minnesota will use an upcoming grant from the federal government to advance digital equity. Each state must submit a plan to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) detailing how it will spend its allocation from the $2.75 billion Digital Equity Act, which is part of the $65 billion in federal broadband funding included in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law that Congress passed in 2021.

Minnesotans have three options to share their thoughts and comments on the state's Digital Opportunity Program plan draft through Sept. 29.

First, the Office of Broadband Development will host listening sessions person in 16 cities across the state. Two online sessions will also be offered. Registration is encouraged but not required. The schedule is as follows:

Date Time City Location
Sept. 13 2-4 p.m. Fergus Falls Fergus Falls Public Library, 205 E Hampden Ave.
Sept. 14 12-1:30 p.m. Online Meeting Register Here
Sept. 18 2:30-4:30 p.m. Hinckley Hinckley Community Room, 198 Dunn Ave. N
Sept. 19 2-4 p.m. Two Harbors Two Harbors Public Library, 320 Waterfront Dr.
Sept. 20 6-8 p.m. Deer Driver Community Tech Hub, 1049 Comstock Dr.
Sept. 21 1-3 p.m. Minneapolis North Regional Library, 1315 Lowry Ave. N
Sept. 26 6:30-8:30 p.m. International Falls Minnesota North College – Rainy River, 1501 Hwy. 71
Sept. 27 10 a.m. - 12 p.m. Bemidji Northwest Minnesota Foundation, 201 3rd St. NW
Sept. 27 2-3:30 p.m. Online Meeting Register Here

Minnesotans can also review the Minnesota Digital Opportunity Plan draft in summary or full version formats and provide written feedback by Sept. 29, 2023 via the OBD online comment form, or mail comments to:

Office of Broadband Development
Attn: Digital Opportunity Plan
Great Northern Building
180 5th St. E
St. Paul, MN 55101

Eligible groups can also establish and register a Digital Connection Committee to provide feedback on the draft plan and receive updates from OBD. More information and registration is available at the Office of Broadband Development.  

OBD will collect and review the feedback to develop a final plan to submit to NTIA by the Nov. 30 deadline.  

The Digital Opportunity Plan is just one component of Minnesota's comprehensive plans and efforts to improve and extend state's broadband infrastructure.

In addition to this plan, DEED is slated to provide $100 million in grants from the Border-to-Border Broadband program over the next two years. Additionally, the federal government has allocated Minnesota more than $650 million for broadband expansion through the Broadband Equity Access and Deployment Program. This federal funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will be allocated to the state over the next few years.