For years, many rural communities suffered from a broadband donut hole problem - the investment in better-than-dial-up was in the population center, leaving a donut of poor access around it. Now policy to reverse that in places like Minnesota is perversely creating the opposite problem, to the detriment of the entire community.
This week on the Community Broadband Bits podcast we welcome back Dan Dorman, Executive Director of the Greater Minnesota Partnership. He is also a former legislator and current small business owner in Greater Minnesota.
We discuss how this problem developed and where we see it happening before our very eyes. Though we focus on Minnesota, this issue is broadly applicable to all states. We also talk about how Comcast lobbyists have cynically manipulated the program to prevent economic development or possible competition, despite the fact that Comcast serves practically no one outside of the metro region.
Lisa Gonzalez and I predicted this problem in our paper from 2014, All Hands On Deck: Minnesota Local Government Models for Expanding Fiber Internet Access. Listen to Dan Dorman's last appearance, episode 136.
We want your feedback and suggestions for the show - please e-mail us or leave a comment below.
Thanks to Kathleen Martin for the music, licensed using Creative Commons. The song is "Player vs. Player."