Minnesota has a new director of state broadband initiatives, Danna MacKenzie who currently serves as Cook County information systems director will take the post. According to an announcement from the Governor’s office, MacKenzie already served on a number of broadband boards and groups in the state.
The post was established just this year by the state legislature and will be responsible for coordinating all statewide broadband efforts. State economic development officials are focused on improving rural broadband access in Minnesota, and have also noted room for improvement on existing urban networks.
Minnesota maintains some municipal broadband networks, although they have faced push back from private providers on cost. Regional broadband expansion activities have been underway in the state for a number of years, and this post will create a central point of contact going forward.
Minnesota is an early mover on a post of this type that isn’t part of a task force or other third party administrative entity.