U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar said today that Minnesota may benefit from a high-tech stimulus package being considered in Washington.
At a forum on broadband access today, Klobuchar said she expects the high-tech package to follow road, building and bridge projects in an initial government stimulus effort headed for the desk of President Barack Obama when he takes office.
There isn't a pricetag attached yet, but Sen. Klobuchar said an investment in Internet technology could be a big economic boon for Minnesota.
The state recently ranked 44th in the nation in terms of median download speed, one yardstick of Internet access. Some rural parts of the state don't even have local dialup Internet access.
Klobuchar said Minnesota needs to fix that.
"This obviously makes it very hard for us to compete as we're going into this international global economy," said Klobuchar. "We want people to be sending jobs to Thief River Falls and Park Rapids and Sebeka and Lanesboro, instead of India and Japan."
Dozens of people attended the forum and said high-tech infrastructure could have some of the same benefits as roads and bridges in their communities.