Consider the news that broadband’s reach is “falling short.”
There is some irony in the Legislature considering allowing local governments to opt out of newspaper publishing of official reports (Twin Cities+Region, Feb. 27), while the Star Tribune’s front page, on the same day, notes that broadband’s reach is “falling short in the state.” The accompanying map shows several rural counties where broadband saturation is well below 30 percent. What this means is that the rush to the Internet, and away from print, may well get ahead of website availability and use through the state. At the very least, after taking into account the counterarguments from the Minnesota Newspaper Association, legislators would do well to get factual data on citizen access and use of various sources of information throughout the state. Otherwise, hasty action may have the unintended consequence of reducing access to official reports and data in an era when it may be popularly (and inaccurately) presumed that electronic media serve everybody. They don’t — at least not yet.
PHIL TICHENOR, Brooklyn Park
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