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2013 Enacted Broadband Legislation635201203

2013 Enacted Broadband Legislation

11/15/2013

MotherboardHigh-speed broadband is considered by many to be a fundamental vehicle for new services and applications that are critical to the nation’s economic vitality. State legislative involvement has been an important factor for successful implementation of a variety of broadband projects.

Legislation was enacted or passed in at least 17 states in 2013.

ARKANSAS 
H.B. 1493
Status: April 22, 2013; Act No. 1454
Provides for the secretary of state - public notice calendar and broadband services enhancements and appropriation for the 2013-2014 fiscal year.

S.B. 680
Status: April 4, 2013; Act No. 672
Makes an appropriation to the department of education for grants and personal services and operating expenses for empowering students to understand entrepreneurship and leverage broadband technologies.

S.B. 797
Status: March 19, 2013; Act No. 442
Ensures continued broadband expansion in rural areas within the state; provides 911 emergency service to rural areas within the state; enhances the 911 emergency system and assists its funding; defines Interconnected VoIP service; provides for the implementation of a specified plan in certain circumstances; makes changes concerning Arkansas High Cost Fund charge levels, funding categories, intrastate Carrier Common Line charges, universal service, the phase-out of the High Cost Fund, and certain rates.

S.B. 926
Status: April 12, 2013; Act No. 1168
Creates a state broadband manager to promote, develop, and coordinate broadband expansion and appropriate broadband infrastructure for all areas of the state.

(Additional broadband appropriations are included in Arkansas H.B. 1053, H.B. 1154, H.B. 2232, S.B. 364, S.B. 614, S.B. 618.)

CALIFORNIA
S.B. 740
Status: Oct. 3, 2013; Chaptered by Secretary of State. Chapter No. 522
Increases the amount the Public Utilities Commission is authorized to collect of a surcharge deposited into the State Advanced Services Fund. Requires deposits into the Broadband Infrastructure Grant Account for grants for infrastructure projects to provide broadband universal service. Provides applicants and challenging parties the opportunity to demonstrate broadband service in a project area. Provides for the Broadband Public Housing Account and last-mile broadband access to unserved areas.

A.B. 1299
Status: Oct. 3, 2013; Chaptered by Secretary of State. Chapter No. 507
Requires that a specified amount of additional moneys collected that are deposited into the Broadband Infrastructure Account, be used to support programs designed to increase adoption rates for broadband service for residents of publicly supported communities, and not more than a specified amount of funds in additional funds in the account be used to connect broadband networks to publicly supported communities.

DELAWARE
H.J.R. 6
Status: July 31, 2013; Signed by Governor.
This House Joint Resolution re-establishes a Communications Tax Review Group to study and make recommendations for a modernized, competitively neutral tax system that encourages investment in broadband networks and eliminates the disparate tax treatments of like communications providers.

HAWAII
H.B. 635
Status: May 6, 2013; Act 264, 7/3/2013
Requires the state and the counties to approve, approve with modification, or disapprove all broadband-related permits within sixty business days of submitting a permit application and a fee; provides that if no action is taken on the sixty- first business day, the application will be deemed approved.

INDIANA
S.B. 492
Status: May 13, 2013; Public Law No. 256-2013
Deletes expired provisions concerning rate transition periods for telecommunications service providers; provides that a tariff filed by a telecommunications provider serves as public notice; repeals rate reduction programs and settlement agreements; provides that a communications service provider is not eligible for property tax exemptions for broadband service if the facilities or technologies are used in a location where wireline broadband service is provided; repeals the lifeline assistance program.

S.B. 560
Status: May 1, 2013; Public Law No. 133-2013
Provides for the establishment by counties of infrastructure development zones in which natural gas, broadband and advanced services, and water infrastructure is exempt from property taxation; allows certain electric customers to petition for rate discounts; authorizes a utility that provides electric or gas service to petition to recover transmission, distribution, and storage improvement costs; provides for coordination of public right-of- way use for transportation infrastructure improvement projects.

KANSAS
H.B. 2201
Status: April 17, 2013; Chapter No. 2013-110
Creates the Telecommunications Study Committee to study telecommunications issues, the KUSF, the federal Universal Service Fund (FUSF), the state’s public policy on telecommunications, and the possibility of establishing a Kansas Broadband Fund. Deregulates telecommunications in the state; makes changes to distributions from the state Universal Service Fund; allows the Board of Regents to charge fees for services provided by the KAN-ED program; creates the state broadband fund; relates to voice traffic.

H.B. 2326
Status: June 28, 2013; Chapter No. 2013-66
Provides that no VoIP and IP enabled services shall be subject to the jurisdiction of, regulation by, supervision of or control by any state agency or political subdivision of the state.

MAINE
S.B. 301
Status: May 22, 2013; Became law without governor’s signature. Resolve No. 28
(Resolve)Directs the ConnectME Authority to establish a working group to identify technical, legal, funding and jurisdictional challenges to the deployment of broadband conduit for fiber-optic communications and to develop solutions to facilitate deployment of broadband infrastructure; directs the authority to submit a written report of findings and recommendations to the Joint Standing Committee on Energy, Utilities and Technology and to the Joint Standing Committee; includes road and bridge construction.

MINNESOTA
H.B. 729
Status: May 23, 2013; Filed with Secretary of State. Chapter No. 2013-85
Appropriates money for jobs and economic development, commerce and consumer protection, and housing; relates to labor and industry, medical license fees, employment, economic development, and workforce development, the unemployment insurance tax, notice for contracts for deed involving residential property, a requirement that elevator contractors maintain liability insurance, broadband development, and a requirement that the Department of Transportation post a database on its Web site.

MISSISSIPPI
S.B. 2829
Status: June 3, 2013; Chapter No. 462
Extends the sales tax exemption on sales of equipment to telecommunications enterprises that is used in the deployment of broadband technologies; extends the ad valorem tax exemption for equipment used in the deployment of broadband technologies by telecommunications enterprises.

MISSOURI
H.B. 331
Status: July 5, 2013; Signed by Governor.
The Uniform Wireless Communications Infrastructure Deployment Act." Intended to encourage and streamline the deployment of broadband facilities and to help ensure that robust wireless communication services are available throughout Missouri.

MONTANA
H.B. 4
Status: April 25, 2013. Chaptered. Chapter No. 294
Appropriates money that would usually be appropriated by budget amendment to various state agencies for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2013; provides that certain appropriations continue into state and federal fiscal years 2014 and 2015.

NEW HAMPSHIRE
H.B. 368
Status: May 16, 2013; Signed by Governor. Chapter 29
Extends the telecommunications planning and development initiative; changes certain provisions of the telecommunications planning and development advisory committee.

NEVADA
S.B. 41
Status: May 22, 2013; Chaptered. Chapter No. 55
Revises the regulation of providers of telecommunication services by the state Public Utilities Commission; authorizes the commission to regulate broadband services in this state under certain circumstances; revising provisions relating to the eligibility of persons with low incomes for reductions in rates for certain telephone services; amends provisions regarding hearings and approval of rate changes; relates to small scale providers of last resort; relates to rates of return and waivers.

A.B 486
Status: June 2, 2013; Chaptered. Chapter No. 368
Revises provisions relating to telecommunication providers; authorizes competitive telecommunication providers to apply to the State Public Utilities Commission for relief from the obligations and status of a provider of last resort when alternative services are available; revises provisions relating to the regulation of Internet Protocol-enabled service or Voice over Internet Protocol service.

OHIO
S.C.R. 15
Status: June 26, 2013; Passed House
Urges the United States House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology to hold regular hearings regarding the nationwide broadband public safety network; requires the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) to identify the costs of such network to Ohio, and include related amendments to the law governing FirstNet.

TENNESSEE
S.B. 776
Status: April 26, 2013; Public Chaptered. Chapter No. 204
Relates to Telecommunications; repeals the broadband task force.

UTAH
H.B. 336
Status: April 26, 2013; Chaptered. Chapter No. 372
Repeals provisions regarding the Governor's Office of Economic Development; repeals the State Pioneer Communities Program Act; repeals the Rural Broadband Service Account Act.

WEST VIRGINIA
H.B. 2979
Status: May 15, 2013; Act No. 18
Relates to the Broadband Deployment Council; clarifies that the data rate for broadband will be the same as specified by the Federal Communications Commission; requires reports to the Joint Committee on Government and Finance; extends the council's outreach and education efforts beyond unserved areas, rule-making and emergency rule-making authority; revises the council's guidelines and criteria for funding assistance; modifies the application process for project assistance; revises publication requirements.

S.B. 250
Status: May 15, 2013; Act No. 121
Relates generally to the promulgation of administrative rules by the Department of Commerce; relates to broadband deployment grants, standards for certification of coal mine electricians, special motorboating, hunting and trapping, fishing, bedding and upholstered furniture, amusement rides and attractions, supervision of elevator mechanics and apprentices and crane operators certification.
 


Compiled by Cassandra Kirsch and Pam Greenberg.

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