Broadband 2020 Legislation

Heather Morton 6/30/2020

Data streaming into globe floating in front of computer monitor

With roughly 9 out of 10 adults in America using the internet, many consider it to be a necessity of modern life. Because access to the internet is unavailable or inadequate in parts of the country, states and the federal government are focusing on deploying broadband—the technologies that allow internet data to be transmitted at high speeds—as universally as possible.

In the 2020 legislative session, 43 states, Guam and Puerto Rico addressed broadband in issue areas such as educational institutions and schools, dig once, funding, governance authorities and commissions, infrastructure, municipal-run broadband networks, rural and underserved communities, smart communities and taxes. Twenty-three states enacted legislation or adopted resolutions: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

The box allows you to conduct a full text search or type the state name.

 

 

Broadband 2020 Legislation

State:

Bill Number:

Bill Summary:

Issue Area:

Alabama

SB 81

This bill requires each broadband service provider operating in the state to submit a report containing its broadband network area coverage map to the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs and would provide the department with rulemaking authority relating to the submission of those reports.

Governance and Mapping

Alaska

SB 74
Signed by governor 3/25/20, Chapter 5

Relates to funding for internet services for school districts.

Education/Schools and Funding

Alaska

SB 81
Passed Senate 3/4/20

Relates to electric and telephone cooperatives; relates to telephone service and related telecommunications services.

Infrastructure and Rural and Underserved

Arizona

HB 2262

Appropriates $5 million from the state General Fund for each of the fiscal years, FY 2021, FY 2022 and FY 2023, to the Arizona Commerce Authority to provide broadband grants.

Funding

Arizona

HB 2386
Passed House 2/25/20

Allows a county free library district to offer or provide funding for: Providing literacy promotion programs for all age groups, with emphasis on early literacy, school readiness, adult literacy, digital literacy and workforce development.

Digital literacy

Arizona

HB 2814

Allows a county, city or town to establish and adopt a rural economic development improvement program and prescribes project certification criteria for a program. Allows a certified project that meets eligibility requirements to receive a qualified facilities tax credit provided that qualifications for the tax credit are met. Includes broadband in project definition.

Funding

Arizona

SB 1223

Relates to appropriation; relates to rural broadband grants.

Funding and Rural and Underserved

Arizona

SB 1460
Signed by governor 6/5/20, Chapter 84

Authorizes the formation of an electric cooperative nonprofit membership corporation or a nonprofit electric generation and transmission cooperative for the purposes of providing broadband service. Prescribes requirements for the cooperative in providing broadband service on property.

Infrastructure and Rural and Underserved

Arkansas

SB 6
Signed by governor 4/20/20, Act 103

Provides that effective July 1, 2020, the balance of the appropriation provided in Item (J) of §6 of Act 351 of 2019, for broadband expansion and rural fiber deployment for research stations, the National Center for Toxicological Research, and member branch campuses, in a sum not to exceed $525,000 and the balance of the appropriation provided in Item (K) of §6 of Act 351 of 2019, for broadband expansion and rural fiber deployment in Mena, De Queen, and West Helena, in a sum not to exceed $500,000.

Funding

Arkansas

SB 42
Signed by governor 4/20/20, Act 139

Appropriates monies to the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, to be payable from the Rural Broadband I.D. Expenses Trust Fund, for rural broadband grants by the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Institute for Digital Health and Innovation for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2021. States intent of the General Assembly to provide funds to local entities to defray expenses for broadband due-diligence business studies in connection with preparation for federal grant and loan applications for broadband development programs administered by the Federal Communications Commission, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, or other federal agency to spur federally-defined broadband development in rural Arkansas.

Funding and Rural and Underserved

California

AB 659
Died pursuant to Art. IV, §10(c) of the Constitution 2/3/20

Establishes the California Smart City Challenge Grant Program to enable municipalities to compete for grant funding for emerging transportation technologies to serve their transportation system needs, and specifies certain program goals. Requires the California Transportation Commission to form the California Smart City Challenge Workgroup to guide the commission on program matters.

Smart Communities

California

AB 1409
Died pursuant to Art. IV, §10(c) of the Constitution 2/3/20

Appropriates moneys for purposes of the Digital Divide Grant Program. Requires the commission to implement the grant program upon the commission projecting an account balance of $500,000 in the following calendar year. Defines "homework gap projects" as projects that provide elementary and high school pupils with after school access to broadband.

Education/Schools, Funding and Rural and Underserved

California

AB 2163

Establishes the Rural Broadband and Emergency Infrastructure Grant Act of 2020 to ensure that all California fairgrounds are equipped with adequate broadband and telecommunications infrastructure to support local, regional, and state emergency and disaster response personnel and systems. The bill, upon appropriation, requires the Department of Technology, Department of Food and Agriculture, Public Utilities Commission, California Broadband Council, and Office of Emergency Services to jointly develop the Rural Broadband and Emergency Infrastructure Grant Program to provide each California fairground with grant moneys to support broadband and telecommunications infrastructure deployment.

Funding and Rural and Underserved

California

AB 2357

Makes nonsubstantive changes to a requirement that a local publicly owned electric utility make appropriate space and capacity on, and in, it's utility poles and support structures available for use by cable television corporations, video service providers, and telephone corporations.

Infrastructure and Rural and Underserved

California

AB 2626

Requires the California Research Bureau to conduct research on ways to close the digital divide through policies, including, but not limited to, tax policies, that reduce the upfront costs of devices and communications technology purchased by local educational agencies to provide students with equitable access to distance learning.

Education/Schools and Rural and Underserved

California

AB 2686

Requires the California Broadband Council to convene at least 4 times annually.

Governance

California

SB 1058

This bill requires the Public Utilities Commission to evaluate the extent to which federal reductions in lifeline telephone service subsidies and the lack of access to reliable, affordable broadband voice service would result in rates limiting access to basic voice service. If the commission finds that federal reductions could result in the loss of basic voice services by increasing costs to California lifeline telephone service subscribers for those services, the bill would require the commission to adjust the state-level subsidies for those services in a manner that ensures that California lifeline telephone service subscribers retain affordable access to basic voice services, as specified. Amends the Moore Universal Telephone Service Act. Requires the Public Utilities Commission, in an existing or a new proceeding, to direct every internet service provider, to file an annual emergency operations plan containing certain information with the Commission.

Infrastructure

California

SB 1130
Passed Senate 6/26/20

This bill requires the commission to develop, implement, and administer the California Advanced Services Fund (CASF) program to encourage deployment of 21st century-ready communications, as provided. The bill provides that the goal of the program is to, no later than Dec. 31, 2024, approve funding for infrastructure projects that will provide high-capacity, future-proof infrastructure, as defined, based on current engineering and scientific information at the time of program application, as provided. The bill requires the commission, in approving infrastructure projects, to approve projects with a goal of providing high-capacity, future-proof infrastructure to households that are unserved areas, as defined, or unserved high-poverty areas, as defined. The bill requires the commission to prioritize projects in unserved areas and unserved high-poverty areas, as provided. The bill also requires the commission to ensure that no awardee receives a grant for infrastructure projects for which the awardee has already received the full cost of the project from a federal grant. The bill requires the commission, in approving projects for funding under the CASF program, to ensure that all approved projects can be completed without increasing the surcharge for CASF on telephone customers and repeals the authority of the commission to increase the maximum amount of the surcharge collected for the CASF program in any year if the commission makes the above-described determination. This bill requires the commission to annually offer an existing facility-based broadband provider the opportunity to demonstrate that it will deploy broadband or upgrade existing facilities to a delineated unserved area within 90 days, with the opportunity for extension beyond the 90 days, as provided, if the commission makes the specified finding. Existing law requires projects eligible for grant awards to meet certain requirements, including that the project deploy infrastructure capable of providing broadband access at speeds of a minimum of 10 megabits per second (Mbps) downstream and 1 Mbps upstream to unserved households in census blocks where no provider offers access at speeds of at least 6 Mbps downstream and 1 Mbps upstream. Existing law requires the commission, when approving projects, to make certain considerations. This bill, among other changes relating to project eligibility and approval, requires that the project, in order to be eligible for grant awards, deploy infrastructure capable of providing broadband access at speeds of a minimum of 25 Mpbs downstream, 3 Mbps upstream, and a latency that is sufficiently low to allow real-time, interactive applications to unserved areas and unserved high-poverty areas. Existing law authorizes an individual household or property owner to be eligible to apply for a grant to offset the costs of connecting the household or property to an existing or proposed facility-based broadband provider. Existing law requires the aggregate amount of grants awarded to not exceed $5 million. This bill deletes these provisions. Existing law requires specified technology grants to include funding for specified costs, including costs incurred by an existing facility-based broadband provider to upgrade its existing facilities to provide for interconnection. This bill provides for the above-described costs so long as the existing facility-based broadband provider can demonstrate to the commission that it is financially infeasible for it to upgrade without grant supports. Existing law requires specified moneys to be available for infrastructure projects that provide last-mile broadband access to households to which no facility-based broadband provider offers broadband service at speeds of at least 10 Mbps downstream and 1 Mbps upstream. This bill instead requires the specified moneys to be available for infrastructure projects that provide last-mile broadband access to households to which no facility-based broadband provider offers broadband service at speeds of at least 25 Mbps downstream, 25 Mbps upstream, and a latency that is sufficiently low to allow real-time, interactive applications. Existing law requires the commission to conduct various interim and final audits of the California Advanced Services Fund to ensure that funds have been expended in accordance with the approved terms of the grant awards and loan agreements, as specified. Existing law requires the commission to report the interim findings to the Legislature by April 1, 2020. This bill requires the commission to also report interim findings by April 1, 2022. Existing law requires the commission to, until April 1, 2023, annually provide a report to the Legislature that includes certain information, including the remaining unserved areas in the state, the status of the California Advanced Services Fund balance, and the projected amount to be collected in each year through 2022. This bill instead requires the commission to provide this report until April 1, 2025. The bill requires that the information specified above include the remaining unserved areas and unserved high-poverty areas in the state and the status of the fund balance and the projected amount to be collected in each year through 2024.

Funding, Governance, High Speed, Rural and Underserved

California

SB 1206

Existing law, the Permit Streamlining Act, governs the approval process that a city or county is required to follow when approving, among other things, a permit for construction or reconstruction for a development project for a wireless telecommunications facility and a collocation or siting application for a wireless telecommunications facility. This bill authorizes a city or county to impose on an applicant for a permit for a broadband infrastructure development project a reasonable fee for costs associated with the submission, and the expedited review, processing, and approval of an application, including, but not limited to, personnel costs as necessary, if the applicant elects for the expedited review and processing and agrees to pay that fee. Existing law provides that the Department of Transportation has full possession and control of state highways and associated property. Existing law authorizes the department to issue written permits authorizing the permittee to, among other things, make an opening or excavation in a state highway, and place, change, or renew an encroachment. Existing law requires the department to either approve or deny an application for an encroachment permit within 60 days of receiving a completed application. Existing law requires the department to notify companies and organizations working on broadband deployment on its internet website of specified department-led highway construction projects that, among other things, involve construction methods that are suitable for installing broadband conduit. Existing law authorizes those companies and organizations to collaborate with the department to install broadband conduits as part of those projects. Existing law requires the department to develop guidelines to facilitate the installation of broadband conduit on state highway rights-of-way. The bill requires the department to adopt a model ordinance for adoption by a city or county governing the city’s or county’s review, processing, and approval of an application for a permit to conduct microtrenching, as specified. The bill requires a city or county to adopt the model ordinance or a similar ordinance that includes certain provisions, including a requirement that the city or county ministerially approve or deny a completed application within 30 days of receiving the application, as specified. This bill authorizes a city or county to impose on an applicant for a permit for a broadband infrastructure development project a reasonable fee for costs associated with the submission, and the expedited review, processing, and approval of an application, including, but not limited to, personnel costs as necessary, if the applicant elects for the expedited review and processing and agrees to pay that fee.

Dig Once, Governance and Infrastructure

Colorado

HB 1137
Sent to governor 6/29/20

Concerns a requirement that the broadband deployment board give substantial weight to a local entity's written certification that an area within the entity's jurisdiction is an unserved area when considering an application for grant money for the provision of broadband service to that unserved area; makes an appropriation.

Funding, Governance and Rural and Underserved

Colorado

SB 128
Postponed indefinitely 2/18/20

Under current law, a cooperative electric association with an electric utility easement on real property is authorized to install or to allow a commercial broadband supplier to install broadband facilities on the real property, subject to notice and procedural requirements. The bill expands the authorization to also apply to an electric generation and transmission cooperative association with an electric utility easement on real property. The bill also authorizes the installation of new underground broadband facilities within these easements, subject to the same notice and procedural requirements.

Infrastructure and Rural and Underserved

Connecticut

None

 

 

Delaware

None

 

 

District of Columbia

None

 

 

Florida

HB 969
Signed by governor 6/9/20, Chapter 26

Authorizes certain funds within State Transportation Trust Fund to be used for certain broadband infrastructure projects within or adjacent to multiuse corridors; requires the Department of Transportation to give priority to certain projects; designates the Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) as lead state agency to facilitate expansion of broadband internet service; requires DEO to work with certain entities; creates Florida Office of Broadband in DEO; provides purpose and duties of office.

Funding, Governance and Infrastructure

Florida

HB 1309
Died in committee 3/14/20
SB 1776
Died in committee 3/14/20

Requires the Department of Management Services (DMS) to develop geographic information system maps in collaboration with specified entities and consistent with certain reporting standards; specifies required contents of maps; requires DMS to annually update maps and establish mechanism to receive and verify public input related to broadband internet service; requires DMS to monitor, participate in and provide input in proceedings of FCC related to broadband service.

Governance and Mapping

Florida

HB 4531
Withdrawn from consideration 3/14/20

Provides an appropriation for the Longboat Key, Smart City Implementation project.

Smart Communities

Florida

HB 9221
Withdrawn from consideration 3/14/20

Provides an appropriation for the study of broadband service and infrastructure investment

Funding and Infrastructure

Florida

SB 1166
Substituted by HB 969 3/5/20

Authorizes certain funds within the State Transportation Trust Fund to be used for certain broadband infrastructure projects within or adjacent to multiuse corridors; designating the Department of Economic Opportunity, and not the Department of Management Services, as the lead state entity to facilitate the expansion of broadband internet service in this state; creating the Florida Office of Broadband within the Division of Community Development within the Department of Economic Opportunity, etc.

Funding, Governance and Infrastructure

Georgia

HB 22

Amends Title 46 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to public utilities and public transportation, so as to specifically authorize telephone cooperatives and their broadband affiliates to provide broadband services; to provide for definitions; to authorize certain financing and partnerships for the provision of broadband services; to provide for related matters.

Infrastructure and Rural and Underserved

Georgia

HB 23

Amends Chapter 3 of Title 46 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to electrical service, so as to specifically authorize electric membership corporations and their affiliates to provide broadband services; to provide for and revise definitions; to authorize certain financing and partnerships for the provision of broadband services; to prohibit cross-subsidization between the provision of broadband services and an electric membership corporation's natural gas activities or electricity services activities; to authorize the Public Service Commission to have jurisdiction over compliance with the cross-subsidization prohibitions and to provide for expedited adjudication of any complaints related thereto; to provide certain rights, powers, and benefits to broadband affiliates of electric membership corporations; to require certain rates, terms, and conditions for pole attachments between communications service providers and electric membership corporations and their broadband affiliates; to provide for related matters

Infrastructure and Rural and Underserved

Georgia

HB 100

Amends Title 46 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to public utilities and public transportation, so as to specifically authorize electric membership corporations and their affiliates to provide broadband services; to provide for definitions; to authorize certain financing and partnerships for the provision of broadband services; to prohibit cross-subsidization between the provision of broadband services and an electric membership corporation's natural gas activities or electricity services activities; to provide for related matters.

Infrastructure and Rural and Underserved

Georgia

HB 244
Passed Senate 6/22/20

Amends Part 2 of Article 4 of Chapter 3 of Title 46 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to corporate purposes and powers of electric membership corporations, so as to require electric membership corporations to comply with certain requirements in determining the rates, fees, terms, conditions, and specifications for attachments to utility poles by communications service providers; to provide for certain rates, fees, terms, conditions, and specifications for such attachments to be determined by the Public Service Commission; to provide for the commission to promulgate certain rules and regulations; to provide for definitions; to provide for a short title; to provide for related matters.

Infrastructure and Rural and Underserved

Georgia

HB 428

Amends Titles 36 and 48 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to local government and revenue and taxation, respectively, so as to provide for state and local excise taxes on communications services and to eliminate certain other state or local taxes, charges, or fees related to such services; to provide for procedures, conditions, and limitations; to exempt certain broadband equipment from sales and use tax; to provide for powers, duties, and authority of the Department of Revenue and the state revenue commissioner; to provide for definitions; to provide for legislative findings and intent; to provide for a short title; to provide for related matters.

Taxes

Georgia

HB 499
Passed House 2/5/19

Amends Article 4 of Chapter 3 of Title 46 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to electric membership corporations and foreign electric cooperatives, so as to permit the use of electric easements for broadband services; to provide for a definition; to provide for legislative findings and declarations as to certain utility easements; to provide for related matters.

Infrastructure and Rural and Underserved

Georgia

SB 309

Amends Title 36 of the O.C.G.A., relating to local government, so as to provide for comprehensive regulation of local government infrastructure financing; to include broadband network projects as undertakings for which revenue bonds may be issued; to create the Georgia Municipal and Local Government Infrastructure Finance Authority and the Georgia County and Local Government Infrastructure Finance Authority; to provide for automatic repeal; to provide for related matters.

Funding

Georgia

SB 370
Sent to governor 6/29/20

Amends Title 46 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to public utilities and public transportation, so as to provide for compliance with certain safety and permit requirements when electric easements are utilized for broadband services; to provide for a definition; to provide for related matters.

Infrastructure and Rural and Underserved

Georgia

SB 411

Amends Part 2 of Article 4 of Chapter 3 of Title 46 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to corporate purposes and powers of electric membership corporations, so as to require electric membership corporations to comply with certain requirements in determining the rates for attachments to utility poles by communications service providers; to provide for certain terms and conditions for such attachments; to provide for definitions; to provide for a short title; to provide for related matters

Infrastructure and Rural and Underserved

Georgia

SB 459

Amends Titles 46 and 50 of the O.C.G.A., relating to public utilities and public transportation and state government, respectively, so as to provide funding for the deployment of certain communications services throughout this state; to change certain provisions relating to the Universal Access Fund so as to modernize such Act and to provide for a certain portion of such fund to be used for the deployment of broadband services in unserved areas; to provide for limitations and sunset provisions; to change certain provisions relating to Georgia Broadband Deployment Initiative to provide for such funding awards; to provide for related matters.

Funding and Rural and Underserved

Georgia

SR 938

Urges the U.S. Federal Communications Commission to reconsider its proposed rule regarding use of the 5.850-5.925 GHz band.

Spectrum

Guam

56-35

Relates to requiring the completion of an independent economic impact statement relative to fiberoptic undersea cable landing stations.

Infrastructure

Hawaii

HB 58

Short form bill relating to broadband.

 

Hawaii

HB 152

Short Form Bill relating to broadband communications.

 

Hawaii

HB 533
To conference committee 4/15/19

Establishes the Hawaii Broadband Office within HTDC.  Establishes the position of State Broadband Strategy Officer. Renames the Broadband Assistance Advisory Council as the Broadband Advisory Council and amends its purpose and membership. Requires the CEO of HTDC to convene and chair the Broadband Advisory Council. Appropriates funds.

Governance

Hawaii

HB 821
Passed House 3/5/19

Requires the Hawaii technology development corporation to seek to establish a public-private partnership to plan, build, and manage key strategic broadband infrastructure and attract cloud-based companies to Hawaii. Makes an appropriation for the Hawaii broadband initiative and to establish an open access, carrier neutral cable landing station.

Funding and Infrastructure

Hawaii

HB 1062
To conference committee 4/18/19

Establishes a broadband infrastructure grant program to be administered by the Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism.

Funding and Infrastructure

Hawaii

HB 1156
SB 553
Passed House 3/5/19

Establishes the broadband service infrastructure grant program to award grants to applicants to extend deployment of facilities used to provide broadband service to unserved and underserved areas of the state. Makes an appropriation.

Funding, Infrastructure and Rural and Underserved

Hawaii

HB 2264

Appropriates funds to the Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism for cable landing infrastructure.

Funding and Infrastructure

Hawaii

HB 2596
SB 2433

Establishes the broadband service infrastructure grant program to award grants to applicants to extend deployment of facilities used to provide broadband service to unserved and underserved areas of the state.

Funding, Infrastructure and Rural and Underserved

Hawaii

SB 218

Requires the Hawaii technology development corporation to seek to establish a public-private partnership to plan, build, and manage key strategic broadband infrastructure and attract cloud-based companies to Hawaii. Makes an appropriation to establish an open access, carrier neutral cable landing station.

Funding and Infrastructure

Hawaii

SB 2527

Establishes the broadband infrastructure grant program within the Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism, to award grants to applicants to extend deployment of infrastructure used to provide broadband service to unserved and underserved areas of the state.

Funding, Infrastructure and Rural and Underserved

Idaho

HB 490

Relates to powers of municipal corporations; amending chapter 3, title 50, Idaho code, by the addition of a new §50-346, Idaho code, to provide for city authority to establish provisions regarding a city communications service.

Municipal

Illinois

HB 489

Amends the Broadband Access on Passenger Rail Law. Makes a technical change in a section concerning the short title.

 

Illinois

HB 723

Amends the Broadband Advisory Council Act. Makes a technical change in a section concerning the short title.

 

Illinois

HB 2220

Amends the Illinois Highway Code. Provides that upon receipt of an application, consent to use a highway may be granted to any communications provider issued a certificate of public convenience and necessity from the Illinois Commerce Commission. Provides requirements (same as those under current law for a public utility) for communications provider use of a highway right-of-way if the highway authority does not have fee ownership of the property to be used. Defines "communications provider."

Dig Once

Illinois

HB 3492

Creates the Illinois Low Income Broadband Assistance Program. Requires the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity to establish an Illinois Low Income Broadband Assistance Program (Program) to ensure the availability and affordability of broadband service to low income families. Provides that the Department shall coordinate with Local Administrative Agencies (LAAs) to determine eligibility for the Program, provided that eligible income shall be no more than 135% of the federal poverty level. Provides that families whose annual household income is at or below 100% of the federal poverty level shall be eligible for free broadband service. Provides that a credit of at least $9.95 a month for broadband services shall be payable monthly to: (i) families whose annual household income is above 100% of the federal poverty level but no greater than 135% of the federal poverty level; and (ii) families that include at least one adult person or dependent child who qualifies for or participates in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, the Supplemental Security Income program, Veterans Pension and Survivors Benefits Programs, and other specified assistance programs. Provides that the $9.95 broadband service credit may be adjusted according to family size. Provides that families who participate in the federal Lifeline program or any other State Internet service subsidy program shall not be eligible to participate in the Illinois Low Income Broadband Assistance Program. Contains provisions concerning continued eligibility requirements; bill payments requirements; and rulemaking authority.

Rural and Underserved

Illinois

HB 4152

Amends the Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act. Provides that, subject to federal law and regulation, no provider of telephone, cellular telephone, television, Internet, energy, or water service shall impose a fee for termination or early cancellation of a service contract if the customer dies before the end of the contract. Provides that every violation is an unlawful practice punishable by a civil penalty not to exceed $1,000.

 

Illinois

HB 5319

Amends the Public Utilities Act. Provides that cable or video providers shall cease charging customers for modems and routers, whether rented together or separately, when the customer has paid to the provider the wholesale cost of the modem or router, or modem and router if rented together, plus a reasonable mark-up not to exceed 5% of the modem, router, or modem and router wholesale cost to the provider. Provides that the cable and video provider shall provide notice regarding the discontinuance of rental charges to the customer in each billing statement. Provides that the notice shall include a disclosure of rights and responsibilities relating to the maintenance of modems and routers.

 

Illinois

HB 5770

Amends the Broadband Advisory Council Act. Directs the Council to develop a plan to provide access to broadband services at no cost to all residents of this State. Provides that the Office of Broadband within the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity shall support and assist the Council in the development of the plan. Requires that priority be given to zip codes identified as having high levels of poverty and areas lacking the infrastructure necessary to meet requirements for high-speed access to the Internet. Requires the Council to identify existing and new streams of State revenue necessary to implement the plan. Provides that the Council shall report the plan and recommendations for legislation necessary to implement the plan to the General Assembly by March 31, 2021.

Governance and Rural and Underserved

Illinois

HR 132

States opposition to the implementation of any sales tax on internet usage.

Taxes

Illinois

SB 741

Amends the Broadband Access on Passenger Rail Law. Makes a technical change in a section concerning the short title.

 

Illinois

SB 801

Amends the Broadband Access on Passenger Rail Law. Makes a technical change in a section concerning the short title.

 

Illinois

SB 810

Amends the Broadband Access on Passenger Rail Law. Makes a technical change in a section concerning the short title.

 

Illinois

SB 1237

Amends the Illinois Highway Code. Provides that upon receipt of an application, consent to use a highway may be granted to any communications provider issued a certificate of public convenience and necessity from the Illinois Commerce Commission. Provides requirements (same as those under current law for a public utility) for communications provider use of a highway right-of-way if the highway authority does not have fee ownership of the property to be used. Defines "communications provider."

Dig Once

Illinois

SB 1843

Amends the Broadband Advisory Council Act. Makes a technical change in a section concerning the short title.

Governance

Illinois

SB 2135
Signed by governor 6/12/20, Public Act 101-640

Establishes the Restore Illinois Collaborative Commission to participate in and provide input on plans to revive the various sectors of the state's economy in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic; provides for universal no cost broadband internet access; provides for public entity meetings; provides for remote witnessing and notarization; provides emergency powers for the secretary of state.

Governance and Rural and Underserved

Illinois

SB 2268

Amends the Public Utilities Act. Provides that cable or video providers shall cease charging customers for modems and routers, whether rented together or separately, when the customer has paid to the provider the wholesale cost of the modem or router, or modem and router if rented together, plus a reasonable mark-up not to exceed 5% of the modem, router, or modem and router wholesale cost to the provider. Provides that the cable and video provider shall provide notice regarding the discontinuance of rental charges to the customer in each billing statement. Provides that the notice shall include a disclosure of rights and responsibilities relating to the maintenance of modems and routers.

 

Illinois

SB 2500

Amends and repeals various acts by abolishing various state governmental entities to effect changes in the statutes to conform the statutes to the changes in law made by Executive Order 2018-11 and by making other conforming changes. Includes the Community Technology Center Grant Program.

Funding and Governance

Illinois

SB 2531

Amends the Public Utilities Act. Provides that cable or video providers shall cease charging customers for modems and routers, whether rented together or separately, when the customer has paid to the provider the wholesale cost of the modem or router, or modem and router if rented together, plus a reasonable mark-up not to exceed 5% of the modem, router, or modem and router wholesale cost to the provider. Provides that the cable and video provider shall provide notice regarding the discontinuance of rental charges to the customer in each billing statement. Provides that the notice shall include a disclosure of rights and responsibilities relating to the maintenance of modems and routers.

 

Illinois

SB 3998

Amends the Broadband Advisory Council Act. Provides that, in addition to its other duties, the Council shall explore the feasibility of universal or public broadband.

Governance and Rural and Underserved

Indiana

HB 1304

Provides that the Indiana utility regulatory commission (IURC) may adopt rules necessary to administer the Indiana universal service fund (IUSF), including rules to: (1) adjust the amount of the surcharge percentage required to be collected by communications service providers and remitted to the IUSF; and (2) establish the types of communications service providers that are required to assess a surcharge for remittance to the IUSF. Provides that the IURC may, to the extent not prohibited by federal law, require a provider of interconnected voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP) service to collect and remit to the IUSF a surcharge  on the provider's revenue from intrastate use of the provider's interconnected VOIP service. Provides that a communications service provider, including a provider of broadband service through fiber optic cable, has access to public rights-of-way as a public utility for purposes of federal law exempting public utilities from payment of fair market value for use of public rights-of-way acquired with federal mass transportation funds. Allows use of the I-Light network for provision of communications service to unserved areas, subject to rules adopted by the office of community and rural affairs to: (1) define unserved areas for purposes of the rules; and (2) establish an application process to receive and evaluate proposals by communications service providers for use of I-Light to provide communications service to unserved areas. Provides that a fee owner of a right-of-way or a possessor of an easement: (1) is not entitled to compensation; (2) may not charge a fee of any kind; and (3) may not unreasonably deny authorization; for construction, operation, or maintenance of infrastructure by public and municipally owned utilities, including communications service providers, to the extent that the construction, operation, or maintenance does not interfere with the ordinary and normal use of the right-of-way or easement. Provides that the department of transportation, when issuing a permit for excavation or obstruction of a street, highway, or right-of-way: (1) may not require provision of a bond or cash deposit in an amount greater than $10,000 for each area designated in the permit; and (2) must accept a blanket bond in satisfaction of the bond requirement. Makes a technical correction.

Governance and Rural and Underserved

Indiana

SB 177
Signed by governor 3/18/20, Public Law 59

Provides that the office of community and rural affairs, rather than the Indiana economic development corporation, administers the broadband ready communities development center.

Governance

Indiana

SB 343
Signed by governor 3/18/20, Public Law 81

Changes the rural telephone cooperative act to the rural communications cooperative act, allowing the formation of nonprofit cooperative corporations for the purposes of providing telecommunications service and information service, including video service, broadband service, and VOIP service. Makes conforming amendments.

Rural and Underserved

Indiana

SB 349

Amends the statutory priorities for the funding of projects from the rural broadband fund to provide that the office of community and rural affairs (office) shall establish as a priority the funding of projects to extend the deployment of eligible broadband service to areas in which the only available connections to the Internet are at actual speeds of not more than 25 megabits per second downstream. (Current law prioritizes the funding of projects to deploy eligible broadband service to rural areas based on two different levels of broadband speed available in such areas.) Requires the office to amend, not later than April 15, 2020, the office's guidelines implementing the broadband grant program as necessary to reflect the changes to the funding priorities made by the bill's provisions. Provides that not later than 90 days before the date on which applications for grant funding may first be submitted with respect to a particular round of funding, the office shall issue to any persons providing broadband service in rural areas a request for information soliciting: (1) data identifying each service address for which the person provides broadband service in a rural area, including information on upload and download speeds of the service provided; and (2) information identifying service addresses or other locations in rural areas to which the person will provide eligible broadband service not later than 18 months after the date on which applications for grant funding may first be submitted with respect to the particular round of grant funding. Provides that if the information received by the office in response to a request for information does not indicate that any person is providing broadband service to a particular service address, the office shall consider the service address to be: (1) without broadband service; and (2) eligible for inclusion in any proposed broadband project for which grant funding is sought. Provides that with respect to any service addresses or other locations identified by a person for the deployment of eligible broadband service not later than 18 months after the date on which applications may first be submitted for a particular round of funding, the office shall consider the service addresses or locations identified to be ineligible for inclusion in any proposed broadband project for which funding is sought, subject to the person submitting: (1) a plan for the proposed deployment; and (2) quarterly progress reports on the person's activities in furtherance of the plan. Provides that before each round of grant funding, the office shall publish on the office's Internet web site: (1) data, not identified by provider, as to which service addresses in rural areas receive broadband service at certain specified speeds; (2) data, not identified by provider, as to which service addresses in rural areas are planned for broadband deployment within the 18 month period beginning with the date applications may first be submitted for the particular round of funding; and (3) a map of Indiana showing the general locations of these service addresses or locations. Provides that any information submitted to the office under these provisions: (1) is confidential for purposes of the statute concerning access to public records; (2) is subject to certain protections concerning confidential or proprietary business information; and (3) may not be disclosed by the office, other than in a form that does not identify the person providing the information.

Funding, Governance and Rural and Underserved

Indiana

SB 411

Urges the legislative council to assign to the interim study committee on energy, utilities, and telecommunications the topic of installation and leasing of broadband capacity infrastructure by investor-owned electric utilities to broadband service providers for the provision of broadband internet service to unserved and underserved areas in Indiana. Specifies issues that must be considered in the study.

Infrastructure and Rural and Underserved

Indiana

SB 441

Requires certain school corporations and schools to provide information and meet certain requirements regarding compatibility with the Ed-Fi Data Standard.

Education/Schools

Iowa

HF 2023
Withdrawn from further consideration 3/5/20

This bill relates to state taxation of broadband grants provided to a communications service provider. Under the bill, a communications service provider given a federal, state, or local broadband grant may exclude from the computation of the individual or corporate state income tax, as applicable, the amount of the grant to the extent the grant is subject to federal individual or corporate income tax under §118(b)(2) of the Internal Revenue Code, if the grant is used to install broadband infrastructure that facilitates broadband service in targeted service areas at or above the download and upload speeds specified in the definition of targeted service area in Code §8B.1. The bill defines “broadband infrastructure”, “communications service provider”, and “targeted service area”. The bill permits refunds of taxes, interest, or penalties arising from claims resulting from the enactment of the bill for broadband service grants that were taxable during the tax year beginning Jan. 1, 2019, but before Jan. 1, 2020, and requires such claims to be filed prior to Oct. 1, 2020.

Funding and Taxes

Iowa

HF 2107
Withdrawn from further consideration 3/5/20

This bill relates to the development and utilization of high-speed electronic transmission mediums, including certifications to be issued by the economic development authority and the fiberoptic conduit installation program. The bill requires the authority to establish a broadband forward certification program. The objective of the program is to encourage political subdivisions to further development of both broadband infrastructure and access to broadband. A political subdivision shall apply to the economic development authority for broadband forward certification pursuant to application requirements specified in the bill. The bill describes certain actions a political subdivision certified as broadband forward cannot take. If a political subdivision successfully applies for broadband forward certification, the authority is required to coordinate with other state agencies regarding preferences given in the awarding of grants or making of loans. The bill also requires the authority to establish a telecommuter forward certification program. The objective of the program is to encourage political subdivisions to further and promote the availability of telecommuting. The bill specifies application requirements for telecommuter forward certification, and describes certain actions a political subdivision certified as telecommuter forward cannot take. As with the broadband forward certification program, if a political subdivision successfully applies for telecommuter forward certification, the authority is required to coordinate with other state agencies regarding preferences given in the awarding of grants or making of loans. The bill repeals the fiberoptic network conduit installation program under the authority of the office of the chief information officer and reestablishes the program under the purview of the department of transportation. The fiberoptic network conduit installation program provides that the department of transportation is to administer a program related to the installation of fiberoptic network conduit where such conduit does not exist. More specifically, the department is to coordinate with applicable agencies and entities to ensure there is an opportunity to install fiberoptic network conduit during certain projects. The bill also requires the department to maintain and publish on its internet site a list of construction projects utilizing public funding that involve opening the ground alongside a private road.

Governance, High Speed and Infrastructure

Iowa

HF 2442
Passed House 3/5/20

Directs the office of the chief information officer and the Iowa telecommunications and technology commission to jointly conduct a feasibility study relating to internet exchange points.

Infrastructure

Iowa

HF 2459
Withdrawn from further consideration 6/4/20

Relates to broadband service; includes matters under the purview of the Office of the Chief Information Officer, the Empower Rural Iowa Broadband Grant fund, and certain broadband infrastructure tax exemptions; includes effective date and retroactive applicability provisions.

Funding, Governance and Taxes

Iowa

HF 2520
Passed House 3/5/20

This bill relates to the development and utilization of high-speed electronic transmission mediums, including certifications to be issued by the economic development authority and the fiberoptic conduit installation program.

Governance, High Speed and Infrastructure

Iowa

HF 2575
Passed House 3/5/20

Exempts from the computation of the individual and corporate state income taxes broadband grants received by communications service providers; includes effective date and retroactive applicability provisions.

Funding and Taxes

Iowa

HF 2605

This bill appropriates moneys from the general fund of the state for FY 2020-2021 to the office of the chief information officer for deposit in the connecting Iowa farms, schools, and communities broadband grant fund.

Education/Schools, Funding, Infrastructure and Rural and Underserved

Iowa

SF 2048

This bill relates to the connecting Iowa farms, schools, and communities broadband grant program. Currently, the office of the chief information officer is prohibited from awarding a grant from the connecting Iowa farms, schools, and communities broadband grant fund that exceeds 15% of the communications service provider’s project cost. The bill increases the percentage limit to 25% of the communications service provider’s project cost. The bill appropriates moneys to the office for FY 2019-2020 and FY 2020-2021 for deposit in the connecting Iowa farms, schools, and communities broadband grant fund. Moneys are allocated each fiscal year from the appropriations to be used for providing technical assistance to communications service providers to assist them in applying for grants under the program.

Funding, Infrastructure and Rural and Underserved

Iowa

SF 2262
Becomes SF 2400 3/3/20

Relates to broadband service, including matters under the purview of the office of the chief information officer, the empower rural Iowa broadband grant fund, and certain broadband infrastructure tax exemptions; includes effective date and retroactive applicability provisions.

Funding, Governance, Rural and Underserved and Taxes

Iowa

SF 2400
Signed by governor 6/25/20

Relates to broadband service, including matters under the purview of the office of the chief information officer, the empower rural Iowa broadband grant fund, and certain broadband infrastructure tax exemptions, and including effective date and retroactive applicability provisions.

Funding, Governance, Rural and Underserved and Taxes

Kansas

HB 2588

Establishes Eisenhower Transportation Program. Authorizes and empowers the secretary of transportation to make grants for construction projects, the purpose of which is to expand and improve broadband service in the state of Kansas. Authorizes the secretary of transportation to make such grants when working jointly with the office of broadband development within the department of commerce.

Funding, Governance and Infrastructure

Kansas

HB 2618
Passed House 2/26/20

Establishes the State Broadband Deployment Grant Program (Grant Program) to be administered by the Office of Broadband Development (Office) in the Department of Commerce (Department). The purpose of the Grant Program would include development of a competitive grant program by the Office to award funding to applicants seeking to expand access to broadband internet service (broadband) in the state. Funding for the Grant Program would be subject to appropriation acts.

Funding and Governance

Kansas

HB 2017, Special Session

Provides that on July 1, 2021, and each July 1 thereafter, or as soon thereafter such date as moneys are available, 1/3 of the total amount credited to the medical cannabis revenues fund shall be transferred by the director of accounts and reports from the medical cannabis revenues fund to the operating grant (including official hospitality) account of the department of commerce in the state general fund to be expended for the expansion of broadband internet connectivity.

Funding

Kansas

SB 173
Signed by governor 4/2/20, Chapter 8

Provides for the Eisenhower legacy transportation program. The bill authorizes safety or technology elements to be added in a preservation plus project. The bill states such elements may include, but not be limited to, adding paved shoulders, passing lanes, traffic signals, or intelligent transportation system elements or laying broadband fiber or the conduit for broadband fiber. The bill states it is the intent of the Legislature that the secretary has the authority to enhance preservation plus projects by adding safety or technology improvements, or both. The bill authorizes federal funding from grants or stimulus to be used for preservation plus projects. The bill authorizes the secretary, working jointly with the Office of Broadband Development within the Department of Commerce, to make grants for construction projects that expand and improve broadband service in Kansas. The bill requires grants made by the secretary to reimburse grant recipients for up to 50% of actual construction costs in expanding and improving broadband service. Such grant reimbursements will be upon the terms and conditions the secretary deems appropriate, in coordination with the secretary of Commerce.

Funding, Governance and Infrastructure

Kansas

SB 375
Passed Senate 3/16/20

Authorizes and directs the secretary of Transportation to initiate a program to be called the FORWARD transportation program.

Funding, Governance and Infrastructure

Kentucky

HB 332

Amends KRS 154.15-010 to add definitions for "broadband service", "eligible entity", "unserved area", "wholesale network access"; amends KRS 154.15-020 to require the Kentucky Communications Network Authority to offer wholesale access to the excess capacity on KentuckyWired only in unserved areas.

Governance and Rural and Underserved

Kentucky

HB 358
Withdrawn 2/26/20

Defines affiliate; exempts certain tangible personal property from sales and use tax if purchased by providers of communications services, multichannel video programming services, internet access, or any combination, thereof, and require yearly report of the exemption to the Legislative Research Commission; authorizes the report from the Department of Revenue, and reorder the Aug. 1, 2020.

Taxes

Kentucky

HB 362
Signed by governor 3/30/20, Act 72

Establishes the Infrastructure Revolving Fund to provide financial assistance to governmental agencies and investor owned water systems for the construction or acquisition of infrastructure projects; establishes the Broadband Deployment Fund to provide grants to government agencies and private sector entities to construct infrastructure for the deployment of broadband service in underserved areas of the Commonwealth.

Funding, Governance, Infrastructure, Mapping, and Rural and Underserved

Kentucky

HB 553

Creates a new section of KRS Chapter 139 to define terms; provides for a refund of taxes paid to providers of communications service, internet access, and multichannel video programming services, or any combination thereof; requires yearly report of refunds to the Legislative Research Commission for the effective calendar years of 2021 through 2024; amend KRS 131.190 to authorize the report from the Department of Revenue; makes technical changes.

Taxes

Louisiana

HB 651

Enacts Chapter 14 of Title 45 of the Louisiana Revised Statutes of 1950, to be comprised of R.S. 45:1611 through 1613, relative to broadband service; to provide definitions; to provide right to use public property; to provide for the installation of broadband system lines; to provide right to cross railroad tracks; to provide requirements for crossing; to provide for a fee to the railroad; to provide for removal of abandoned lines; and to provide for related matters.

Infrastructure

Louisiana

HB 68, Special Session
Passed House 6/18/20

Enacts R.S. 47:6041, relative to income or corporation franchise tax credits; establishes a tax credit for certain broadband coverage providers; to provide for the amount of the credit; limits the total amount of credits authorized to be granted; provides for requirements and limitations.

Rural and Underserved and Taxes

Louisiana

HCR 77
Adopted 5/31/20

Urges and requests removal of public and private sector barriers to accelerate the expansion of broadband in the state.

Rural and Underserved

Louisiana

HCR 78
Adopted 5/3/20

Provides relative to Louisiana broadband maps to identify access and activation gaps.

Mapping

Louisiana

HCR 22, Special Session

Urges and requests the House Committee on Commerce and the Senate

Committee on Commerce, Consumer Protection, and International Affairs to study the effects that the railroads have on broadband deployment

Infrastructure

Louisiana

HR 40, Special Session
Passed House 6/24/20

Urges and requests the House Committee on Commerce to meet and study the current effects that railroads have on broadband deployment and to report its findings to the legislature.

Infrastructure

Louisiana

SB 406
Vetoed by governor 6/11/20

Amends and reenacts R.S. 12:401, 403(4), 428, and 430, relative to rural access to broadband high-speed internet access; to grant authority to electric cooperatives; to provide broadband high-speed internet services; to provide for broadband operators; to provide for broadband service providers; to provide for limitations on liability; to provide for servitudes; to provide for applications; to provide for certain terms, conditions and procedures; to provide for powers; to provide for definitions; and to provide for related matters.

Infrastructure and Rural and Underserved

Louisiana

SB 10, Special Session
Sent to governor 6/29/20

Enacts R.S. 12:430.1 and 430.2, relative to rural access to broadband high-speed internet access; provides relative to servitudes; provides for reporting by cooperatives regarding broadband high-speed internet access; provides for reporting by certain telecommunications associations regarding broadband high-speed internet access; provides for terms, conditions, and procedures; and provides for related matters.

Governance, Infrastructure and Rural and Underserved

Louisiana

SCR 35
Adopted 6/1/20

Urges and requests the Department of Transportation and Development to determine which of its assets are available for broadband internet lines and to implement a "Dig Once" policy allowing broadband internet operators to install cable in the ground more economically.

Dig Once and Infrastructure

Maine

LD 172

The funds provided by this bond issue, in the amount of $15 million will be used to provide funds through the Maine Technology Institute to allow municipalities to invest in smart and connected infrastructure, technology and capacity, including but not limited to information and communications technology such as broadband connectivity, connected sensors and data aggregation platforms; light-emitting diode lighting; adaptive traffic control signals; autonomous vehicle projects; electric vehicle infrastructure; and distributed power generation, storage and management.

Smart Communities

Maine

LD 173

Provides critical communications for family farms, businesses and residences by strategic public investment in high‑speed internet and broadband infrastructure; requires that a certain percent of sales and use tax revenue collected from marketplace facilitators be transferred to the ConnectME Authority to further deployment of high‑speed Internet and broadband infrastructure to unserved and underserved areas of the state.

Funding, Governance, HighSpeed and Rural and Underserved

Maine

LD 295

The funds provided by this bond issue, in the amount of $100 million will be used for the provision of broadband internet service in unserved and underserved areas through ConnectME Authority grants to partnerships between private, municipal and nongovernmental service providers.

Funding, Governance and Rural and Underserved

Maine

LD 354

The funds provided by this bond issue, in the amount of $20 million will be used for encouraging the provision of reliable high-speed internet in rural underserved areas of Maine.

Funding, High Speed and Rural and Underserved

Maine

LD 1563
Signed by governor 3/18/20, Chapter 625

Encourages the development of broadband coverage in rural areas; revises provisions relating to the collection of data; makes technical corrections.

Funding and Rural and Underserved

Maine

LD 2021

This bill appropriates $15 million from the General Fund to the ConnectME Authority for the provision of broadband Internet infrastructure in unserved and underserved areas.

Funding, Governance and Rural and Underserved

Maryland

HB 861
Withdrawn from further consideration 2/25/20

Requires an owner‑member whose underground facility provides broadband service to mark the location of the underground facility within 4 hours after a time‑sensitive ticket is transferred to the owner‑member; defines "time‑sensitive ticket" as a ticket that the person initiating a ticket request identifies as requiring an owner‑member to mark its underground facility promptly in order to minimize damage to property.

Infrastructure

Maryland

HB 999
Became law without governor’s signature 5/8/20, Chapter 606
SB 540

Establishes a process for an electric cooperative to operate as a member-regulated cooperative in a certain area; requires a cooperative's board of directors to hold a certain meeting and forums and provide a certain notice and information to the cooperative's members on whether to operate as a member-regulated cooperative; requires a member-regulated cooperative to report to certain committees of the General Assembly on the status of the deployment of broadband Internet service to the cooperative's members; etc.

Infrastructure and Rural and Underserved

Maryland

HB 1508
SB 790

Provides that certain provisions of law governing resource sharing do not apply to any private industry entities that have separate legal rights of access under state or local law to install communications lines and associated facilities in the state rights‑of‑way; requires the Department of Information Technology to waive certain fees for all last mile broadband telecommunications projects in unserved areas.

Infrastructure and Rural and Underserved

Massachusetts

HB 1874

Relates to the purchase and installation of wireless internet service in schools and public institutions of higher education.

Education/Schools

Massachusetts

HB 2882

Relates to the speed of internet access plans.

 

Massachusetts

HB 2892

Relates to the establishment of a special commission to examine the state of the advanced telecommunications broadband industry in the commonwealth.

Education/Schools, Governance and Rural and Underserved

Massachusetts

HB 3802

Relates to low cost internet service.

Rural and Underserved

Massachusetts

HB 3919

Expands the School Building Authority and creates a new program to assist public school districts with 21st Century technology.

Education/Schools

Massachusetts

HB 4148

Relates to municipal access to utility poles located in municipal rights of way.

Infrastructure and Rural and Underserved

Massachusetts

HB 4708
Substituted by HB 4733 5/20/20

Finances the general governmental infrastructure of the commonwealth.

Education/Schools

Massachusetts

HB 4733

Finances the general governmental infrastructure of the commonwealth.

Education/Schools, Funding and Municipal

Massachusetts

SB 207

Ensures safer technology investment by the Massachusetts Broadband Institute.

Funding and Governance

Massachusetts

SB 1964

Relates to the establishment of a special commission for the promotion of a Massachusetts broadband competitive marketplace.

Education/Schools, Governance and Rural and Underserved

Massachusetts

SB 1982

Relates to wifi and cellular infrastructure along rail lines.

Infrastructure

Michigan

HB 4268

Exempts eligible broadband equipment from personal property tax.

Taxes

Michigan

HB 4288

Provides for broadband funding.

Funding and Rural and Underserved

Michigan

HB 5266
Signed by governor 3/10/20, Public Act 61

Provides for electric cooperative member regulated pole attachments and calculated rate agreements; provides for the costs of modifying a facility; provides for claims in law and equity for disputes.

Infrastructure and Rural and Underserved

Michigan

HB 5673

Allows for communication infrastructure special assessment districts in townships.

Funding, High Speed, Infrastructure and Taxes

Michigan

HR 275

Memorializes the Congress of the United States to ensure that all Americans have internet access necessary to participate in telemedicine, distance learning, and telework as part of any legislation that provides relief and recovery resources related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Rural and Underserved

Michigan

HR 283

Urges the Congress of the United States to allocate funding for states that have established broadband expansion block grant programs.

Funding

Michigan

SB 163

Creates an exemption for eligible broadband equipment from personal property tax.

Taxes

Michigan

SR 113

Memorializes the Congress of the United States to fully fund affordable and consistent internet access for all communities and households across the state of Michigan and the entire country.

Rural and Underserved

Minnesota

HF 1507
Passed House 5/7/20

Relates to state government; establishes the Coronavirus Economic Security Act; modifies loans during public health emergency; provides for small business loans and grants; provides grants for expanding broadband and telemedicine; provides housing assistance; expands personal care assistance services; increases personal care assistant rates; provides penalties; appropriates money.

Education/Schools, Funding and Rural and Underserved

Minnesota

HF 3029
SF 3049

Relates to telecommunications; establishes a grant program for distance learning equipment; establishes a grant program for telemedicine equipment purchased to deal with Coronavirus; requires reports; appropriates money.

Education/Schools, Funding and Rural and Underserved

Minnesota

HF 4083
SF 3965

Relates to telecommunications; modifies the definition of local government unit to include school districts.

Infrastructure

Minnesota

HF 4268
SF 4198

Relates to rural broadband; allows existing easements held by rural electric cooperatives to be used to provide broadband service.

Infrastructure and Rural and Underserved

Minnesota

HF 4415
Signed by governor 5/27/20, Chapter 116
SF 4369

Provides for school closures and other amendments due to coronavirus; clarifies the calculation of certain school aids formulas; makes forecast adjustments to funding for general education, education excellence, teachers, special education, facilities, fund transfers and accounting, nutrition and libraries, early childhood, and community education and lifelong learning.

Funding and Rural and Underserved

Minnesota

HF 4542

Makes certain policy changes for prekindergarten through grade 12 education including general education, education excellence, facilities and fund transfers, distance learning, state agency emergency powers, making Coronavirus formula adjustments, and making corrections to 2019 law for certain referendum provisions and appropriations; makes forecast adjustments to funding for general education.

Funding and Rural and Underserved

Minnesota

HF 35, Second Special Session

SF 6, Second Special Session
Passed Senate 6/19/20

Establishes a funding program for distance learning equipment; establishes a grant program for telemedicine equipment purchased to deal with COVID 19; requires reports; appropriates money.

Education/Schools, Funding and Rural and Underserved

Minnesota

SF 3856

Relates to telecommunications; provides an annual statutory appropriation for the broadband development grant program; appropriates money.

Funding and Rural and Underserved

Minnesota

SF 4472

Relates to broadband; specifies grant amount for unserved areas.

Funding, Governance and Rural and Underserved

Minnesota

SF 4494

Relates to telecommunications; establishes a funding program for distance learning equipment; establishes a grant program for telemedicine equipment purchased to deal with Coronavirus disease 2019; requires reports; appropriates money.

Funding and Underserved

Minnesota

SF 4580

Relates to education; establishes a distance learning broadband access grant program; requires the Commissioner to equitably distribute the state education agencies reserve portion of the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Funds; requires school districts and charter schools to use Funds for certain purposes.

Education/Schools, Funding and Rural and Underserved

Minnesota

SF 30

Requires the commissioner of Human Services to apply for the Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grant authorized under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act.

Education/Schools, Funding and Rural and Underserved

Mississippi

HB 93
Died in committee 6/3/20

Creates the Smart State Act; establishes a grant program to be administered by the Mississippi Development Authority for the purpose of making grants to municipalities to assist in paying costs associated with using technology to improve law enforcement and other forms of public safety services, traffic control and systems, transportation systems, transportation infrastructure, and other infrastructure; authorizes the issuance of a specified amount of state general obligation bonds to provide funds.

Smart Communities

Mississippi

HB 143
Died in committee 6/3/20

Establishes a grant program for the purpose of making grants to assist businesses in paying costs associated with providing and expanding cellular and broadband access and coverage in rural counties and rural municipalities; provides that the Mississippi Development Authority shall administer the grant program created in this act; creates a special fund in the state treasury, designated as the Rural Counties and Municipalities Cellular and Broadband Fund; authorizes the issuance of a specified amount.

Funding, Governance and Rural and Underserved

Mississippi

HB 397
Died in committee 3/3/20

Requires each school district to develop and implement a wireless technology infrastructure to serve all the schools and classrooms in the district; requires the districts to develop a strategic plan to provide for a two year phase in period for complete implementation; requires districts to conduct thorough needs assessments to determine existing ability and network capacity and recommendations for future network traffic.

Education/Schools

Mississippi

HB 696
Died in committee 6/3/20

Extends until a specified date, the sales tax exemption on sales of equipment to telecommunications enterprises which is used in the deployment of broadband technologies; extends until a specified date, the income and franchise tax credit granted to telecommunications enterprises for the cost of equipment used in the deployment of broadband technologies; extends until July 1, 2023, the ad valorem tax exemption for equipment used in the deployment of broadband technologies by telecommunications enterprises.

Taxes

Mississippi

HB 1174
Died in committee 3/3/20

Includes certain investor owned public utilities the same as electric cooperatives for the purposes of the Broadband Enabling Act; provides for purposes of possible amendment.

Infrastructure and Rural and Underserved

Mississippi

HB 1239
Died in committee 6/3/20

Extends until a specific date, the sales tax exemption on sales of equipment to telecommunications enterprises that is used in the deployment of broadband technologies; extends until a specific date, the income tax credit and corporation franchise tax credit authorized for telecommunications enterprises for the cost of equipment used in the deployment of broadband technologies; extends until a specific date, the ad valorem tax exemption for equipment used in the deployment of broadband technologies.

Taxes

Mississippi

HB 1296
Died in committee 6/3/20

Extends until a specified date, the sales tax exemption on sales of equipment to telecommunications enterprises that is used in the deployment of broadband technologies; extends until a specified date, the income tax credit and corporation franchise tax credit authorized for telecommunications enterprises for the cost of equipment used in the deployment of broadband technologies; extends until a specified date, the ad valorem tax exemption for equipment used in the deployment of broadband technologies.

Infrastructure and Taxes

Mississippi

HB 1675

Authorizes the governing authorities of the city of Okolona, Mississippi, to utilize its electric power delivery system in Chickasaw, Monroe, Lee and Clay counties, Mississippi, to provide broadband service to its customers.

Infrastructure, Municipal and Rural and Underserved

Mississippi

HB 1729
To House for concurrence 6/23/20

Extends until July 1, 2025, the sales tax exemption on sales of equipment to telecommunications enterprises that is used in the deployment of broadband technologies; amends §57-87-5, Mississippi code of 1972, to extend until July 1, 2025, the income tax credit and corporation franchise tax credit authorized for telecommunications enterprises for the cost of equipment used in the deployment of broadband technologies; amends §57-87-7, Mississippi code of 1972, to extend until July 1, 2025, the ad valorem tax exemption for equipment used in the deployment of broadband technologies by telecommunications enterprises.

Infrastructure and Taxes

Mississippi

HB 1788
Passed House 6/26/20

Creates the Pandemic Response Broadband Availability Act; creates the "Mississippi pandemic response broadband availability grant program fund" as a special fund in the state treasury for the purpose of providing funds for grants to Mississippi public school districts, independent schools and Native American tribal school districts; provides that the Mississippi pandemic response broadband availability grant program shall be administered by the Mississippi department of education, for the purpose of making grants to eligible school districts and schools to provide them with grant monies for eligible expenses; directs the Mississippi department of education to develop regulations and procedures to govern the administration of the program; prescribes the requirements for the grants; specifies that the use of grant funds shall be subject to audit and regulation of the Mississippi department of education, and noncompliance with the terms of the grant shall require repayment of grant monies to the state; specifies that all monies shall be disbursed from this special fund in compliance with the requirements of the CARES Act and guidelines from the U.S. department of the treasury regarding the use of monies from the coronavirus relief fund; transfers undistributed monies in the fund as of Dec. 1, 2020, to the unemployment compensation fund; provides that a declaration of any portion of this act as invalid shall not affect the remaining portions of this act; amends §31-7-13, Mississippi code of 1972, to exempt public school districts and schools from the procurement and competitive bidding requirements for contracts made under the Mississippi pandemic response broadband availability act; and for related purposes.

Education/Schools, Funding and Rural and Underserved

Mississippi

HB 1792
Passed House 6/28/20

Makes an appropriation from the "technology instruction and digital access to learning (tidal) grant program fund" to the state department of education to facilitate distance learning due to interruptions in learning as a result of the impact of COVID-19 on public education; and for related purposes.

Education/Schools, Funding and Rural and Underserved

Mississippi

HB 1797
Passed House 6/29/20

Makes an appropriation from the Mississippi broadband availability grant program fund to the Mississippi department of education for purposes of the Mississippi broadband availability act; and for related purposes.

Education/Schools, Funding and Rural and Underserved

Mississippi

HB 1800
Passed House 6/29/20

Makes an appropriation from the Mississippi electric cooperatives broadband COVID-19 grant program fund and the COVID-19 broadband provider grant program fund to the Mississippi department of finance and administration for purposes of the Mississippi electric cooperatives broadband COVID-19 grant program and the COVID-19 broadband provider grant program; and for related purposes.

Funding, Infrastructure and Rural and Underserved

Mississippi

SB 2439
Passed Senate 3/11/20

Extends the sales tax exemption on sales of equipment to telecommunications enterprises that is used in the deployment of broadband technologies; extends the income and franchise tax credits granted to telecommunications enterprises for the cost of equipment 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.

Infrastructure and Taxes

Mississippi

SB 2687
Died in committee 3/3/20

Incorporates and applies certain provisions of the State Broadband Enabling Act to investor owned electric public utilities in connection with the provision of broadband services on a wholesale basis.

Infrastructure and Rural and Underserved

Mississippi

SB 3009

Authorizes the governing authorities of the city of Okolona to utilize its electric power delivery system in Chickasaw, Monroe, Lee and Clay counties, Mississippi, provides broadband service to its customers; and for related purposes.

Infrastructure, Municipal, Rural and Underserved

Mississippi

SB 3044
Passed Senate 6/18/20

Establishes the "equity in distance learning act" to be administered by the Mississippi department of education to provide guidance, technical support and financial reimbursement to schools to provide distance learning and online services; to state legislative findings and intent; defines terms; establishes the "equity in distance learning grant program"; provides that allocations under the program shall be made based on average daily attendance; highly encourages each school to commit a portion of its federal elementary and secondary school emergency relief (ESSER) funds to purchase equipment for its distance learning plan; requires the department to inform each school of its portion of available funds, develop regulations and procedures to govern the grant program and to compile an express products list; prescribes the eligibility requirements for schools to be reimbursed under the grant program; creates a special fund in the state treasury to be known as the "equity in distance learning fund"; provides that the provisions of this act are severable; and for related purposes.

Education/Schools, Funding and Rural and Underserved

Mississippi

SB 3046
To House for concurrence 6/28/20

Creates the "COVID-19 Connectivity Act"; defines terms as used in the act; provides legislative intent; establishes the COVID-19 connectivity grant program to be administered by the public utilities staff for the purpose of expanding broadband service to unserved or underserved areas in the state; authorizes the public utilities staff to retain a certain amount of funds available under this act to pay for reasonable expenses incurred in the administration of the grant program; provides that the grants must be issued pursuant to a competitive process and to require the public utilities staff to publish on its website its criteria for competitively scoring applications; provides for the application process; to require semiannual reports from applicants awarded funds; to create the COVID-19 connectivity fund from which the grants authorized by this act shall be disbursed; amends §77-3-2 to declare that it is the policy of the state of Mississippi to support expansion of existing and emerging technologies to foster reliable and resilient service and customer access to enhanced services; amends §77-3-3 to include definitions of "broadband service provider," "broadband operator," "electric delivery system" and "enhanced grid investments"; amends §77-3-44 to include fiber-optic infrastructure and enhanced grid investments as an economic development activity, to allow investor-owned electric utilities to permit broadband providers use of the electric delivery system to provide broadband services, to regulate easements, to allow certain entities to construct fiber-optic infrastructure on public utilities' existing rights-of-way; and for related purposes.

Funding and Rural and Underserved

Missouri

HB 1768
Sent to governor 5/27/20

This bill modifies the powers of neighborhood improvement districts and community improvement districts to include the ability to partner with telecommunications companies or broadband service providers in order to construct or improve telecommunications facilities (§§67.453 and 67.1461, RSMo). Requires the Department of Economic Development to maintain a record of all federal grants awarded to entities for the purposes of providing, maintaining, and expanding rural broadband in the state. In cases in which federal funds have been awarded but later retained, withheld, or otherwise not distributed to the original grant recipient due to failure to meet performance standards or other criteria, the Department of Economic Development will seek to have the funds awarded to another eligible, qualified Missouri broadband provider (§620.2451).

Funding and Governance

Missouri

HB 1859

This bill extends the sunset on the Broadband Internet Grant Program to Aug. 28, 2027.

Funding

Missouri

HB 2005
Sent to governor 5/27/20

Appropriates money for the expenses, grants, refunds, and distributions of the Office of Administration, the Department of Transportation, the Department of Conservation, the Department of Public Safety, the Chief Executive's Office, and the several divisions and programs thereof; transfers money among certain funds for the upcoming fiscal year. Includes appropriations For broadband expansion and reimbursement to residential and agricultural areas in counties of the sate of Missouri with high concentrations of state employees without residential access to broadband internet, for the purpose of enabling state employees to work remotely due to the COVID-19 disease.

Funding and Rural and Underserved

Missouri

HB 2184

This bill allows for neighborhood and community improvement districts to expend funds for the improvement of telecommunications facilities in the district.

Municipal

Missouri

HB 2302

This bill establishes the "Electrical Corporation Broadband Authorization Act", which authorizes an electrical corporation to: (1) Own, construct, install, maintain, repair, and replace broadband infrastructure; (2) Operate the corporation's broadband infrastructure for or in connection with providing electrical service; (3) Engage in broadband operation or permit broadband affiliates to engage in broadband operations using the corporation's infrastructure; (4) Provide broadband services or permit broadband affiliates or third-party providers to provide broadband services using the corporation's infrastructure; and (5) Enter into contracts, leases, licenses or other agreements with broadband affiliates, third-party providers, or customers on any terms and conditions at the sole discretion of the corporation without securing authorization, permission, or approval from the Public Service Commission. When determining the revenue requirement used to set the electrical corporation's base rates in a general rate proceeding, the commission must include the corporation's test year broadband operations and services revenues and its prudently-incurred investment in broadband infrastructure. Any ordinance adopted by a municipal or county government that allows the corporation to install and maintain infrastructure for supplying electricity also must grant the right to install and maintain broadband infrastructure, either directly or through broadband affiliates.

Infrastructure and Rural and Underserved

Missouri

HB 2316

This bill requires the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to submit an annual report to the General Assembly beginning on June 30, 2021. The report will indicate the number of elementary and secondary pupils who reside in a residence with limited or no access to the internet. The report shall indicate the total number of pupils statewide and by school district.

Education/Schools and Mapping

Missouri

SB 632
Passed Senate 4/27/20

Currently, the broadband internet grant program for unserved and underserved areas of the state will expire on Aug. 28, 2021. This act extends the program until June 30, 2027.

Funding and Rural and Underserved

Missouri

SB 865

Under this act, a grant recipient of funds from the Missouri Broadband Grant Program shall return such funds if the grant recipient fails to establish retail broadband internet speeds of at least 25Mb per second download and 3Mb per second upload.

Funding and Rural and Underserved

Missouri

SB 874

This act allows two or more municipalities to form a broadband infrastructure improvement district for the delivery of broadband internet service to the residents of such municipalities. A district created under the act shall have to power to contract with a broadband internet service provider to provide broadband internet service to the residents of the district. A district may finance the provision or expansion of broadband internet service through grants, loans, bonds, or user fees, but shall not have the power to levy, assess, apportion, or collect any tax upon property within the district nor upon any of its members. The act also sets forth the composition and operation of the district governing board.

Governance, Municipal and Rural and Underserved

Missouri

SB 921

This act creates the Electrical Corporation Broadband Authorization Act, which allows electrical corporations to operate and use broadband infrastructure, as set forth in the act, in order to provide broadband services, as such term is defined in the act. The act modifies the definition of "electric plant" to include broadband infrastructure operated, controlled, owned, used or to be used for or in connection with or to facilitate the provision of electric service, broadband operations, or broadband service. The act also creates several definitions relating to broadband. As described in the act, an electrical corporation's investment in such broadband infrastructure shall be included in the electrical corporation's rate base used to set the revenue requirement upon which the electrical corporation's base rates are set. The Public Service Commission shall not have jurisdiction over the terms, conditions, charges, contracts, leases, licenses, or other agreements of an electrical corporation or of its broadband affiliate, for the corporation's or affiliate's broadband operations or provision of broadband services. Finally, the act allows an electrical corporation to condemn land for the purpose of constructing broadband infrastructure.

Infrastructure and Rural and Underserved

Montana

No regular 2020 legislative session

 

 

Nebraska

LB 208

Provides an exception for leasing dark fiber or providing certain telecommunications and related services by a state agency or political subdivision.

Municipal

Nebraska

LB 992

Adopts the Broadband Internet Service Infrastructure Act; provides for certain broadband and internet related services.

Education/Schools, Funding, Governance, Infrastructure and Rural and Underserved

Nebraska

LB 996

Creates the Broadband Data Improvement Program.

Governance

Nebraska

LR 166

Allows for an interim study to review the report of the Rural Broadband Task Force that was created by LB994, 2018.

Governance and Rural and Underserved

Nebraska

LR 175

Allows for an interim study to ensure accelerated broadband deployment statewide.

Governance and Rural and Underserved

Nevada

No regular 2020 legislative session

 

 

New Hampshire

HB 1111
To House for concurrence 6/16/20

This bill allows municipalities to determine locations within the municipality unserved by a broadband provider.  This bill also provides for the establishment of communication districts.

Municipal and Rural and Underserved

New Hampshire

HB 1578
Failed to pass House 3/11/20

This bill requires internet access providers to reimburse customers for interruptions in service and makes the failure to do so a violation of the Consumer Protection Act.

 

New Hampshire

SB 457

This bill provides for the establishment of communications districts.

Municipal

New Hampshire

SB 459

This bill defines areas where broadband providers do not respond to certain municipal requests as unserved. This bill also allows E911 services to share broadband information with municipalities.

Rural and Underserved

New Hampshire

SB 559

This bill permits municipalities to consider areas unserved if broadband providers fail to respond to a request for information within 2 months, or if the transmission rates fail to meet a telecommunications capability as defined by §706 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996.

Rural and Underserved

New Jersey

AB 182

Requires public utilities and cable television companies to accommodate and relocate facilities when necessary for transportation infrastructure projects at direction of the Department of Transportation.

Infrastructure

New Jersey

AB 185
SB 1458

Expands the Economic Development Authority’s small business loan program to include certain broadband telecommunications service providers.

Funding

New Jersey

AB 186
SB 1414

Directs the Board of Public Utilities to allow broadband telecommunications service providers to use poles belonging to public utilities or cable television companies in certain instances.

Infrastructure

New Jersey

AB 188

Allows local units to offer broadband telecommunications service under certain circumstances.

Municipal

New Jersey

AB 232

Provides corporation business tax credit for certain investment in broadband infrastructure in underserved communities.

Infrastructure, Rural and Underserved and Taxes

New Jersey

AB 850

Establishes Community Broadband Study Commission.

Governance and Municipal

New Jersey

AB 1416

Requires public utilities and cable television companies to accommodate and relocate facilities and pay costs thereof when necessary for infrastructure projects.

Infrastructure

New Jersey

AB 1510

Requires cable television companies to provide faster internet access speed to certain customers.

Education/Schools and High Speed

New Jersey

AB 1725

Requires certain telecommunications, cable television, and public utility service providers to notify public entities of service discontinuance a certain number of business days in advance of a shutoff.

 

New Jersey

AB 2118

Requires telecommunications, cable television, and internet service providers to allow service recipients to terminate service agreements following a physician's referral to a long term care facility.

 

New Jersey

AB 2584

Requires certain community access television companies to provide internet service at public libraries with business customer class Iinternet access bandwidth and circuit capacity proportional to public libraries' needs.

High Speed

New Jersey

AB 2586
SB 1656

Requires community access television companies to provide free broadband internet service and associated equipment to public libraries and, under certain circumstances, other municipal buildings.

 

New Jersey

AB 3649

Requires Office of Information Technology to establish a statewide wireless network through public private partnership agreement.

Municipal

New Jersey

AB 3842
Vetoed by governor 5/4/20
SB 2282
Substituted 3/19/20

Establishes Bridging the Digital Divide in Schools Grant Program in Department of Education to provide and expand access to technology and equipment for students in certain school districts.

Education/Schools, Funding and Rural and Underserved

New Jersey

AB 4133
SB 2415

Establishes the School Connectivity Grant Program to expand access to online instruction for economically disadvantaged students; makes appropriation.

Education/Schools, Funding and Rural and Underserved

New Jersey

ACR 13
SCR 70

Urges the Board of Public Utilities to investigate broadband internet and landline telephone services in the state's rural communities; urges the State Board of Agriculture and Department of Agriculture to explore ways these services can be brought to the state's rural communities.

Governance and Rural and Underserved

New Jersey

AJR 158
Signed by governor 3/20/20, Joint Resolution 1
SJR 77
Substituted 3/19/20

Urges the Federal Communications Commission to take temporary measures to secure broadband access for those affected by COVID 19.

Rural and Underserved

New Jersey

AR 92

Urges Congress to pass Community Broadband Act.

Municipal

New Jersey

SB 2603

Requires the Department of Education (DOE) to provide funds to school districts for acquisition of technology devices to address digital divide and requires districts to reimburse DOE from available federal funds.

Education/Schools, Funding and Rural and Underserved

New Mexico

HM 65

Requests the Public Education Department to study the feasibility of a public private partnership to provide internet access on school buses to bridge the digital divide.

Education/Schools and Rural and Underserved

New Mexico

SB 17

Relates to taxation; creates gross receipts and compensating tax deductions for broadband telecommunications network facilities components.

Infrastructure and Taxes

New Mexico

SB 10, Special Session

Transfers federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act funding to the department of information technology to provide matching grant funding to tribal governments, school districts and certain political subdivisions of the state for expansion of high-speed internet capabilities in underserved areas for distance learning and telemedicine services; provides a process for grant applications; makes an appropriation; declares an emergency.

Education/Schools, Funding High Speed, and Rural and Underserved

New York

AB 138
SB 4368

Relates to state contracts being only with internet service providers compliant with net neutrality and establishes a revolving fund for the establishment of municipal internet service providers; appropriates $250 million therefor.

Funding and Municipal

New York

AB 1416
SB 4519

Relates to establishing a cap on the amount a subscriber may be charged for leasing a modem, remote or other device from a cable television company; requires cable television companies to only charge subscribers the actual cost of such equipment.

 

New York

AB 2568

Establishes infrastructure financing districts; provides for electoral mechanism for such establishment; sets conditions on authorized projects within such districts.

Funding

New York

AB 3693

Enacts the Omnibus Telecommunications Reform Act of 2019; reforms the competitive cable service, promotes the wide spread development of high capacity broadband internet access, and increases the availability and quality of services in this key economic development area and ensures the safety, reliability and affordability of telecommunications services.

Governance, High Speed, and Rural and Underserved

New York

AB 6679
SB 5696

Amends the Public Service Law; provides for broadband and fiber optic services; requires the Public Service Commission to determine the status of broadband and fiber optic services in the state; provides that the Commission shall require construction or installation of broadband and fiber optic services by an internet service provider in communities in which broadband and fiber optic services are determined to be absent, insufficient, or inadequate.

Governance and Rural and Underserved

New York

AB 8823

Amends the Public Service Law; requires contracts for cable television and broadband internet attachments to utility poles and the use of utility ducts, trenches and conduits to include all such poles, ducts, trenches and conduits located within a given census tract.

Infrastructure

New York

AB 10465
Substituted 5/27/20
SB 8410
Signed by governor 6/17/20, Chapter 120

Relates to aid for library construction; provides that public libraries that received aid for projects commencing July 1, 2017, through July 1, 2019, that are unable to complete such projects due to the state disaster emergency declared pursuant to Executive Order No. 202, as amended, shall be provided an additional 12 months from the statutory project end date to complete such projects.

Funding

New York

AB 10475

Requires that internet providers who provide service in a municipality provide basic internet service to each residential dwelling or residential dwelling unit in that municipality at no cost.

Rural and Underserved

New York

AB 10478
SB 8443

Authorizes the commissioner of New York homes and community renewal, as soon as practicable and subject to the disbursement of federal funds expressly for this purpose to the housing finance agency, to implement an emergency COVID-19 homeownership stability program and issue an emergency homeownership payment directly to the eligible homeowner; makes related provisions. Includes broadband in definition of utility.

 

New York

SB 111

Requires financial reports from the New York state broadband program office.

Governance

New York

SB 1068

Amends the Public Service Law; relates to providing broadband and fiber optic services; requires the public service commission to determine the status of broadband and fiber optic services in New York state; provides that the commission shall require construction or installation of broadband and fiber optic services by an internet service provider in communities in which broadband and fiber optic services are determined to be absent, insufficient, or inadequate.

Rural and Underserved

New York

SB 1609

Authorizes and directs the department of public service to study and report on the current status of cable television systems operating and providing services to the customer premises over fiberoptic cables.

Infrastructure

New York

SB 2202

Relates to conducting a study on various approaches to increasing broadband access within this state.

Rural and Underserved

New York

SB 2820

Relates to requiring internet service providers to charge a residential rate to emergency service organizations; creates a new article for the regulation of internet service providers.

 

New York

SB 3589

Amends the State Technology Law; relates to encouraging public private partnerships to help spread broadband deployment.

Funding and Rural and Underserved

New York

SB 5523

Establishes the municipal broadband fund to provide grants to municipal corporations for broadband projects and services.

Funding and Municipal

New York

SB 7229

Relates to internet access and communications for municipalities.

Municipal

New York

SB 7988

Amends the Public Service Law; directs the public service commission to establish quality of service standards, minimum performance levels, customer specific credits, and reporting requirements that shall apply to each internet service provider.

Governance

New York

SB 8020

Requires that state contracts only be with internet service providers compliant with net neutrality and establishes a revolving fund for the establishment of municipal internet service providers; appropriates $250 million therefor.

Funding and Municipal

North Carolina

HB 381

Provides for the capital needs of public schools, community colleges, universities, and agencies of the state; provides continuing funding for broadband infrastructure expansion.

Education/Schools and Funding

North Carolina

HB 431

Fosters infrastructure for broadband expansion and resources in by authorizing counties and cities to install and lease broadband infrastructure to increase adequate broadband services to attract investment in local economies, provide for educational and career opportunities, modernize farming technologies, and to provide for improved health care.

Municipal and Rural and Underserved

North Carolina

HB 588
SB 452

Makes base budget appropriations for current operations of state departments, institutions, and agencies, and for other purposes.

Education/Schools, Funding and Governance

North Carolina

HB 897

Provides that the utilities commission shall annually determine whether broadband service in the state is sufficiently competitive.

Governance

North Carolina

HB 1038

Makes omnibus appropriations of federal funds for COVID‑19 response and relief efforts in North Carolina, as recommended by the house select committee on COVID‑19.

Education/Schools, Funding and Rural and Underserved

North Carolina

HB 1043
Signed by governor 5/4/20, Chapter 4

Provides aid to people of the state in response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) crisis.

Education/Schools, Funding and Rural and Underserved

North Carolina

HB 1105
Passed House 6/22/20

Provides funding to the Department of Information technology to expedite and expand broadband infrastructure in the state with a supplementary grant period for the G.R.E.A.T. program.

Funding, Infrastructure and Rural and Underserved

North Carolina

HB 1122

Makes various changes to the laws regarding broadband deployment and access in the state.

DigOnce, Education/Schools, Funding, Infrastructure, Municipal and Rural and Underserved

North Carolina

HB 1125

Appropriates funds from the coronavirus relief fund to Winston‑Salem State University to support infrastructure for moving to online courses to respond to the impact of coronavirus on its students.

Education/Schools and Funding

North Carolina

HB 1130

Appropriates funds to create new programs and make changes to the Laws related to Early childhood education initiatives and elementary, secondary, and postsecondary public schools, includes the School Connectivity Initiative.

Education/Schools, Funding and Rural and Underserved

North Carolina

HB 1205
Passed House 6/23/20

Streamlines the preparation and finalization of new leases and lease renewals on state property to expedite deployment of broadband infrastructure.

Infrastructure

North Carolina

HB 1228

Establishes a grant program at the Department of Information technology to encourage the expansion of satellite based broadband service to unserved portions of the state.

Funding and Rural and Underserved

North Carolina

SB 164

Authorizes Edgecome and Halifax counties to provide communications service as a public enterprise.

Municipal

North Carolina

SB 284
To conference committee 6/25/20

Creates a pilot program to establish public-private partnerships that will assist certain counties with cybersecurity resources; creates a pilot program within the department of information technology to enhance program management capabilities within the agency; establishes a grant program at the department of information technology to encourage the expansion of satellite-based broadband service to unserved portions of the state; streamlines the preparation and finalization of new leases and lease renewals on state property to expedite deployment of broadband infrastructure; and makes appropriations to the department of information technology.

Funding, Infrastructure and Rural and Underserved

North Carolina

SB 308

Restores an open internet; appropriates funds for statewide broadband access.

Funding

North Carolina

SB 627

Allows cities and counties to receive broadband infrastructure grants under the growing rural economies with access to technology program.

Funding, Municipal and Rural and Underserved

North Carolina

SB 645

Fosters infrastructure for broadband expansion and resources by authorizing counties and cities to build and lease facilities and equipment of broadband services to increase adequate broadband services to attract investment in local economies; provides for educational and career opportunities, modernize farming technologies; provides for improved health care.

Funding and Municipal

North Carolina

SB 769

Enables local governments to expand access to broadband for the citizens of this state.

Municipal

North Carolina

SB 803
Passed Senate 6/15/20

Funds repairs and renovations projects for state agencies and the constituent institutions of the University of North Carolina and to enact various statutory changes relating to funding and commencing capital projects from the state capital and infrastructure fund.

Funding, Infrastructure and Rural and Underserved

North Carolina

SB 859

Appropriates funds to expand the school connectivity initiative to provide home mobile internet access points to all public school students who are eligible for federally subsidized free or reduced‑cost school meals.

Education/Schools, Funding and Rural and Underserved

North Dakota

No regular 2020 legislative session

 

 

N. Mariana Islands

Not available

 

 

Ohio

HB 13
Passed House 6/11/20

Amend §§133.13 and 727.01 and enacts §§122.09, 122.091, 122.092, 122.093, 122.094, 122.095, 122.096, 122.097, 122.098, 122.099, 122.0910, 122.0911, 122.0912, 122.0913, 122.0914, 122.0915, 122.0916, 122.0917, 122.0918, 122.0920, 122.0921, 122.0923, 122.0927, 122.0929, 303.251, and 505.881 of the Revised Code to establish the residential broadband expansion program and makes an appropriation.

Funding and Rural and Underserved

Ohio

HB 190

Amends §184.10 and enacts §§122.97, 122.971, 122.972, 122.973, 122.974, 122.975, 122.976, 122.977, 122.978, 122.979, 122.9710, 122.9711, 122.9712, 122.9713, 122.9714, and 5511.11 of the Revised Code to create the Ohio Broadband Development Grant Program, to encourage the Department of Transportation to work with telecommunications providers to lay fiber optic cable, and makes an appropriation.

Funding and Rural and Underserved

Ohio

HCR 26

Urges the Congress and the President of the United States to prohibit internet service providers from terminating internet service to residential customers and small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Ohio

SB 33
Passed Senate 5/01/19

Amends §§2909.07, 2909.10, 2911.21, 2911.211, and 2917.32 and to enact §§2307.67 and 2923.04 of the Revised Code to modify certain criminal offenses with respect to critical infrastructure facilities and to impose fines and civil liability for damage to a critical infrastructure facility.

Infrastructure

Oklahoma

HB 3151
Passed House 3/10/20

Imposes maximum charges with respect to certain connections to utility poles; prescribes method for determination of permissible rate increases; excludes rates related to electric power; provides for payment of rates for electric services; requires payment by rural electric cooperatives for certain relocations; prescribes method for computation of certain attachment rates; prohibits rural electric cooperatives from providing certain services; requires franchise prior to provision of certain cable services.

Infrastructure and Rural and Underserved

Oklahoma

HB 3196
Passed House 3/10/20

Relates to rural electric cooperative easements; provides for use of certain easements for broadband service; prohibits class action lawsuits against certain entities based on trespass or inverse condemnation; provides for permanent nature of trespass or inverse condemnation; prescribes measure of damages; prohibits admission of certain evidence for purposes of fair market value determination; provides for permanent easement based upon payment of damages.

Infrastructure and Rural and Underserved

Oklahoma

HB 3729
Passed House 3/9/20

Relates to telecommunications; modifies the definition of high speed Internet access service and broadband service for purposes of the Telecommunications Act.

High Speed

Oklahoma

HB 3771

Relates to technology; enacts the Rural Broadband Expansion Incentives Act.

Rural and Underserved

Oklahoma

HB 3775

Relates to broadband access; enacts the Rural Electric Co‑operative Broadband Access Policy Act of 2020.

Infrastructure and Rural and Underserved

Oklahoma

HB 4018
Veto overridden 5/22/20, Chapter 165

Relates to telecommunications; enacts the Rural Broadband Expansion Act; creates the Rural Broadband Expansion Council; imposes requirements on meetings of the Council; requires a study of rural broadband access; provides for an analysis of geographic areas; requires the creation of a mapping system; requires an analysis of financial viability; revises provisions relating to the Digital Transformation Program Revolving Fund.

Governance, Mapping and Rural and Underserved

Oklahoma

SB 1002
Veto overridden 5/22/20, Chapter 167

Relates to rural broadband expansion; relates to the Rural Broadband Expansion Council; modifies membership; provides for appointees by the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President Pro Tempore of the State Senate.

Governance

Oregon

HB 4079

Modifies definitions applicable for purposes of universal service surcharge; subjects sale of retail commercial mobile radio services and retail interconnected voice over internet protocol services to universal service surcharge; reduces rate cap to 6% of sale of services subject to surcharge; directs Public Utility Commission to transfer up to a certain amount per year of moneys deposited in universal service fund to Broadband Fund; establishes Broadband Fund.

Funding

Pennsylvania

HB 305
Passed House 6/20/19

Provides for an inventory of state and county owned communications assets and the use of communication towers for the development of wireless broadband services in unserved and underserved areas of this Commonwealth; provides for the Statewide Mobile Radio and Microwave System.

Infrastructure and Rural and Underserved

Pennsylvania

HB 2055

Relates to municipal authorities; provides for purposes and powers; relates to an alternative form of regulation of telecommunications services; provides for network modernization plans.

Municipal

Pennsylvania

HB 2348

Provides for Unserved High‑Speed Broadband Funding Program; establishes the Unserved High‑Speed Broadband Funding Program Account; makes an appropriation; makes a related repeal.

Funding, High Speed and Rural and Underserved

Pennsylvania

HB 2410

Prohibits termination of cable and Internet service during a disaster emergency.

 

Pennsylvania

HB 2421

Relates to school finances; establishes the Bridging the Digital Divide in Schools Grant Program.

Education/Schools and Funding

Pennsylvania

HB 2438

Provides for broadband services.

Infrastructure and Rural and Underserved

Pennsylvania

HB 2510
Signed by governor 5/29/29, Act 24

Provides for regional response health collaborations to promote health in facilities by supporting coronavirus readiness and response, and improving the quality of infection prevention; makes emergency appropriations for human services. Specifies that funds appropriated to a county for COVID Relief can be used for broadband internet deployment with priority given to unserved or underserved areas.

Funding and Rural and Underserved

Pennsylvania

HB 2637

Provides for emergency lifeline broadband benefit during a disaster emergency.

Rural and Underserved

Pennsylvania

HR 63

Directs the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee and the Joint State Government Commission to jointly conduct an audit and study on the compliance of nonrural telecommunication carriers with the Public Utility Code and high‑speed broadband universal service deployment mandates and to report their findings and recommendations to the House of Representatives.

High Speed and Rural and Underserved

Pennsylvania

HR 64

Establishes a legislative task force on the delivery of high‑speed broadband services and directing the Joint State Government Commission to establish an advisory committee to conduct a study on the delivery of high‑speed broadband services in unserved areas and underserved areas of this Commonwealth and to report its findings and recommendations to the House of Representatives.

Governance, High Speed and Rural and Underserved

Pennsylvania

HR 354

Directs the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee to conduct an audit on the compliance of telecommunication carriers with high speed broadband universal service deployment mandates under the Public Utility Code.

High Speed and Rural and Underserved

Pennsylvania

SB 835

Provides for funding of high speed broadband service infrastructure deployment in unserved areas of this Commonwealth and for powers and duties of the Department of Community and Economic Development.

Funding, High Speed and Rural and Underserved

Pennsylvania

SB 1118

Provides for broadband services.

Infrastructure and Rural and Underserved

Puerto Rico

HB 1294

Creates the Law of Joint Use of the Infrastructure of the Electric Power Authority in order to establish the parameters in which private companies and/or individuals can use the electric power service infrastructure to install fiber optic lines, telephony, internet and/or any other service, to limit the cause of action that private companies and/or individuals using the poles of the Electric Power Authority have in claims related to the maintenance of said infrastructure.

Infrastructure and Rural and Underserved

Puerto Rico

HJR 163

Orders the Telecommunications Regulatory Board to establish a center for access to the internet, in the municipality of Las Piedras, in accordance with Law 100 of 2005, known as the Act for the development of free access to the internet through all of Puerto Rico.

Governance and Rural and Underserved

Puerto Rico

HJR 164

Orders the Telecommunications Regulatory Board to establish a center for access to the Internet in the town of Naguabo, pursuant to Act 100 of 2005 known as the Act for the development of free access to the internet through all of Puerto Rico.

Governance and Rural and Underserved

Rhode Island

HB 7096

Requests the governor to designate a state wide broadband coordinator and establish a Broadband Advisory Council.

Governance

Rhode Island

SB 2776

Requests respectfully that the governor designate a statewide broadband coordinator and establish a Rhode Island Broadband Advisory Council.

Governance

A. Samoa

Not available

 

 

South Carolina

HB 3780
Passed House 4/4/19

Adds Article 3 to Chapter 7, Title 59 so as to create the "Growing Rural Economies with Access to Technology (GREAT) program", to facilitate the deployment of broadband to unserved areas of the state, to provide definitions, to establish the growing rural economies with access to technology fund, to provide that any property owned by a municipality may be leased or rented in certain situations, to provide that a municipality-owned utility may be leased, to provide that a municipality is authorized to sell or lease any public enterprise that it owns, to provide that the state shall allow collocation, installation, and operation of certain equipment by a broadband provider on any existing structures, and to provide for a monthly 911 service charge; and to designate the existing provisions of chapter 7, title 59 as "article 1, general provisions".

Funding and Rural and Underserved

South Carolina

HB 4759

Directs the state Department of Education to develop a technology plan for providing wireless internet access in all public schools and further direct the department to provide a report of its plan to the speaker of the House of Representatives and the president of the Senate before Aug. 1, 2021.

Education/Schools and Rural and Underserved

South Carolina

HB 4943

Creates the South Carolina rural communications infrastructure study committee to address access to communications services, including broadband, internet, voice, and cellular.

Governance, Infrastructure and Rural and Underserved

South Carolina

HB 4993

Adds Article 25 to Chapter 9, Title 58 entitled "Local Government-Owned Broadband Internet Access Service" so as to authorize and regulate local government-owned broadband internet access service providers.

Municipal and Rural and Underserved

South Carolina

SB 1076

Adds Article 25 to Chapter 9, Title 58 entitled "Broadband Accessibility Act" so as to provide legislative findings; to define relevant terms; to authorize and regulate the provision of broadband internet access service by electric cooperatives; to amend §33-49-20, relating to definitions applicable to the "electric cooperative act", so as to define the term "broadband system"; to amend §33-49-150, relating to the authority and jurisdiction of the office of regulatory staff over electric cooperatives, so as to vest the office of regulatory staff with the authority and jurisdiction to conduct inspections, audits, and examinations regarding the compliance of electric cooperatives with the provisions of this act; and to amend §33-49-250, relating to the powers of electric cooperatives, so as to provide that a cooperative has the power to wholly or partially own, operate, maintain, construct, install, and replace a broadband system directly or indirectly, through itself or through another entity including, but not limited to, a subsidiary, a corporation, or a cooperative of which it is a member or an affiliate.

Infrastructure and Rural and Underserved

South Carolina

SB 1080

Adds Article 25 to Chapter 9, Title 58 entitled "Broadband Accessibility Act" so as to provide legislative findings; to define relevant terms; to authorize and regulate the provision of broadband internet access service by electric cooperatives; to amend §33-49-20, relating to definitions applicable to the "electric cooperative act", so as to define the term "broadband system"; to amend §33-49-150, relating to the authority and jurisdiction of the office of regulatory staff over electric cooperatives, so as to vest the office of regulatory staff with the authority and jurisdiction to conduct inspections, audits, and examinations regarding the compliance of electric cooperatives with the provisions of this act; and to amend §33-49-250, relating to the powers of electric cooperatives, so as to provide that a cooperative has the power to wholly or partially own, operate, maintain, construct, install, and replace a broadband system directly or indirectly, through itself or through another entity including, but not limited to, a subsidiary, a corporation, or a cooperative of which it is a member or an affiliate.

Infrastructure and Rural and Underserved

South Dakota

SB 1235

Adds §58-4-140 so as to establish the office of broadband development, to provide duties of the office, and to provide for annual reports.

Governance

South Dakota

HB 1189
Signed by governor 3/27/20, Chapter 240

Makes an appropriation to expand rural access to broadband services.

Funding, Governance and Rural and Underserved

South Dakota

HB 1271

Establishes certain provisions regarding the rural broadband fund.

Funding, Governance and Rural and Underserved

South Dakota

HB 1292

Makes an appropriation to expand rural access to broadband services and declares an emergency.

Funding, Governance and Rural and Underserved

South Dakota

SB 154
Withdrawn from further consideration 2/24/20

Affects broadband in South Dakota.

 

Tennessee

HB 2150
Withdrawn from further consideration 3/5/20
SB 2133

Removes a provision that requires the Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations to report to the chairs of the Commerce Committee of the House of Representatives and Commerce and Labor Committee of the Senate on the impact of the Competitive Wireless Broadband Investment, Deployment, and Safety Act after the report is given.

Governance

Tennessee

HB 2318
SB 2086

Adds to those receiving the Tennessee Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations report on the impact of the Competitive Wireless Broadband Investment, Deployment, and Safety Act of 2018 by a specified date, the Speaker of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of representatives.

Governance

Tennessee

HB 2400
SB 2851

Designates as an unfair or deceptive act or practice in violation of the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act of 1977 certain failures by a provider of broadband services to provide the stated upload and download speeds to a consumer; allows the attorney general to assess a civil penalty of $5,000 to $15,000 for each violation.

 

Tennessee

HB 2605
SB 2803

Requires the department of environment and conservation to make broadband internet service available to visitors at all state parks.

Rural and Underserved

Tennessee

HB 2662
SB 1987

Requires a cooperative to provide written notice to other cooperatives supplying cable, video, or broadband services to customers in the service area of any new construction or development of the dates on which open trenching will be available for the other providers to install equipment at their own expense.

Dig Once and Infrastructure

Tennessee

HB 2664
SB 2547

Requires that the Tennessee Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations report on the Competitive Wireless Broadband Investment, Deployment, and Safety Act of 2018 due Jan. 1, 2021, to legislative committees also be made available on Tennessee Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations's website by Jan. 1, 2021.

Governance

Tennessee

HB 2678
SB 2476

Requires the statutorily required report by the department on the status of grants under the broadband accessibility grant program; includes progress toward increased access to and adoption of broadband services, by a specified date in any year in which grants are distributed under the program.

Funding and Governance

Texas

No regular 2020 legislative session

 

 

Utah

HB 385
Enacting clause struck 3/12/20

This bill creates the Division of Digital Access and Opportunity within the Department of Heritage and Arts. This bill: defines terms; creates the Division of Digital Access and Opportunity (the division) within the Department of Heritage and Arts; describes the division's responsibilities; provides for the appointment of a division director; provides that the division may establish a foundation; and creates an expendable special revenue fund.

Digital Literacy, Funding, Governance, and Rural and Underserved

Vermont

HB 93

This bill requires the Public Utility Commission to amend its existing rules governing pole attachments with the goal of expediting the use of facilities by telecommunications service providers able to offer and expand broadband throughout the state.

Infrastructure

Vermont

HB 94

This bill increases the Universal Service Charge for a limited time and use the additional funds raised to support the High-Cost Program, the Connectivity Initiative, and feasibility studies and technical assistance for municipalities in the process of developing a communications union district.

Funding

Vermont

HB 95

This bill requires the commissioner of Public Service to study the feasibility of electric companies providing broadband Internet access service using electric distribution and transmission infrastructure.

Infrastructure and Rural and Underserved

Vermont

HB 96

This bill requires applicants for a certificate of public good under 30 V.S.A. §248a to demonstrate that the proposed facility will provide broadband internet access service at speeds that meet or exceed 4 Mbps download and 1 Mbps upload to all service locations in one or more census blocks where at least 50% of the service locations in each census block only have access to internet service with speeds that are less than 4 Mbps download and 1 Mbps upload. It also proposes to extend the statutory sunset of 30 V.S.A. §248a to July 1, 2022.

Infrastructure and Rural and Underserved

Vermont

HB 160

This bill proposes to develop programs and initiatives designed to facilitate the deployment of broadband internet access service throughout Vermont.

Funding, Municipal and Rural and Underserved

Vermont

HB 958
Signed by governor 6/23/20, Act

This bill proposes to authorize the legislative body of a municipality, rather than the eligible voters of a municipality at an annual or special meeting, to vote to form a communications union district during a declared state of emergency due to COVID-19. It also amends the requirements for the initial appointment of member representatives and alternates and the initial organizational meeting.

Municipal and Rural and Underserved

Vermont

HB 966
Sent to governor 6/30/20

This bill proposes to appropriate state Coronavirus Relief Funds to various broadband, housing, and other initiatives in response to the COVID-19 public health emergency.

Funding and Rural and Underserved

Vermont

SB 91

This bill requires the commissioner of Public Service to study the feasibility of electric companies providing broadband internet access service using electric distribution and transmission infrastructure.

Infrastructure and Rural and Underserved

Virginia

HB 831
Signed by governor 4/10/20, Chapter 1132
SB 794
Signed by governor 4/10/20, Chapter 1131

Declares that it is the policy of the Commonwealth that (i) easements for the location and use of electric and communications facilities may be used to provide or expand broadband or other communications services; (ii) the use of easements to provide or expand broadband or other communications services is in the public interest; (iii) the installation, replacement, or use of public utility conduit, including the costs of installation, replacement, or use of conduit of a sufficient size to accommodate the installation of infrastructure to provide or expand broadband or other communications services, is in the public interest; (iv) the use of easements to provide or expand broadband or other communications services (a) does not constitute a change in the physical use of the easement; (b) does not interfere with, impair, or take any vested or other rights of the owner or occupant of the servient estate; (c) does not place any additional burden on the servient estate other than a de minimis burden, if any; and (d) has value to the owner or occupant of the servient estate greater that any de minimum impact; and (v) the installation and operation of broadband or other communications services within easements, appurtenant or gross, are merely changes in the manner, purpose, or degree of the granted use as appropriate to accommodate a new technology. The measure further provides that (1) absent any express prohibition on the installation and operation of broadband or other communications services in an easement that is contained in a deed or other instrument by which the easement was granted, the installation and operation of broadband or other communications services within any easement shall be deemed, as a matter of law, to be a permitted use within the scope of every easement for the location and use of electric and communications facilities and (2) subject to compliance with any express prohibitions in a written easement, any incumbent utility or communications provider may use an easement to install, construct, provide, maintain, modify, lease, operate, repair, replace, or remove its communications equipment, system, or facilities, and provide communications services through the same, without such incumbent utility or communications provider paying additional compensation to the owner or occupant of the servient estate or to the incumbent utility, provided that no additional utility poles are installed. The measure provides that any incumbent utility or communications provider may use a prescriptive easement to install, construct, provide, maintain, modify, lease, operate, repair, replace, or remove its communications equipment, system, or facilities, and provide communications services through the same, without such incumbent utility or communications provider paying additional compensation to the owner or occupant of the servient estate or to the incumbent utility, provided that no additional utility poles are installed.

Dig Once, Infrastructure and Rural and Underserved

Virginia

HB 979

Declares that a prescriptive easement, including the right to use such easement for both electric and communications services, exists in an area unserved by broadband when an electric cooperative has a utility map showing the placement, dating back not fewer than 20 years, of facilities owned, maintained, or controlled by the electric cooperative within an easement, and there is no documentation in those records of the electric cooperative or in the public record showing a grant of an inconsistent express easement by the landowner to the cooperative within the easement area. The measure entitles a third-party nongovernmental broadband service provider to use such a prescriptive easement at no charge by the electric cooperative for apportionment and lease of the real estate rights of the cooperative. The measure also provides that when a cooperative has acquired a prescriptive easement in an area unserved by broadband pursuant to which it has the right to install, maintain, and use poles and wires or underground conduits for a communications purpose, it shall be the public policy of the Commonwealth to encourage broadband expansion and to interpret such easement to also include the right of a nongovernmental broadband service provider to install, maintain, operate, repair, and replace broadband lines, systems, and facilities necessary for the provision and extension of broadband and other communications services within such easement. The measure gives the State Corporation Commission exclusive jurisdiction over any dispute as to the right of an electric cooperative or nongovernmental broadband service provider to use such a prescriptive easement.

Infrastructure and Rural and Underserved

Virginia

HB 1052

Authorizes any locality to provide any telecommunications service, including cable television services, Internet, broadband, telephone service, and wireless internet service, within its boundaries, after holding a public hearing, adopting a resolution, and obtaining approval from the State Corporation Commission. The measure eliminates existing provisions that (i) prohibit cross-subsidization of such services, (ii) require feasibility studies, (iii) prevent a locality from charging less than an incumbent provider, and (iv) limit the types of localities, by population and whether they provide electric utility service, that may qualify to offer such services.

Municipal

Virginia

HB 1068

Provides that if a public service company has acquired a prescriptive easement pursuant to which it has the right to poles and wires to provide electric service, its rights under that prescriptive easement shall be deemed to include the right to grant to a provider of broadband or other telecommunications services the rights to attach its wires and facilities to the public service company's poles and to enter upon the right-of-way to install and maintain the wires and facilities without the approval of the owner of the servient tract of land.

Infrastructure and Rural and Underserved

Virginia

HB 1177

Requires each school board to establish a policy to prohibit any teacher in the school division from assigning to any student a homework assignment that requires the use of an internet connection that is capable of transmitting information at a rate that is not less than 256 kilobits per second in at least one direction when such student lacks meaningful access to such an internet connection.

Education/Schools and Rural and Underserved

Virginia

HB 1242

Provides that any locality may establish any department, office, board, commission, agency, or other governmental division or entity that has authority to offer telecommunications, internet access, broadband, information, and data transmission services.

Municipal

Virginia

HB 1264
Stricken from docket 1/16/20

Allows a 501(c)(4) social welfare organization to obtain a land use permit from the Department of Transportation to use rights-of-way to operate a wholesale open-access fiber network.

Infrastructure

Virginia

HB 1271
Signed by governor 4/10/20, Chapter 1026
SB 792
Signed by governor 4/10/20, Chapter 1027

Allows a 501(c)(4) social welfare organization to obtain a land use permit from the Department of Transportation to use rights-of-way to operate a wholesale open-access fiber network.

Infrastructure

Virginia

HB 1280
Signed by governor 4/6/20, Chapter 752

Authorizes an electric utility to lease to any third party that is a wholesaler and that is not a government-owned broadband authority, for the purposes of providing broadband connectivity. The leases may extend in length beyond the end of the pilot program under which the utility provides broadband capacity to nongovernmental internet service providers in areas of the commonwealth unserved by broadband.

Infrastructure and Rural and Underserved

Virginia

HB 1697

Establishes a procedure by which a broadband service provider may obtain approval to place its fiber optic broadband lines across a railroad right-of-way. The measure provides that a broadband service provider may submit to the railroad company a notice of intent to construct, accompanied by a specification exhibit and a standard crossing fee of $800; if the railroad does not claim within 35 days that special circumstances exist or that the required specification exhibit is inadequate or incomplete, the broadband service provider is deemed to have authorization to commence placing the fiber optic broadband line across the railroad's right-of-way. The measure provides that a railroad company that believes that special circumstances exist may file a petition for relief with the State Corporation Commission. The bill requires the Commission to adopt regulations prescribing the terms and conditions for a crossing.

Infrastructure

Virginia

SB 302
Substituted by SB 794 2/3/20

Provides that any utility easement, granted before, on, or after July 1, 2020, whether granted publicly or privately, by statute, local ordinance, deed, or other recorded instrument, or by prescription, shall be deemed to include the laying, hanging, and maintenance of fiber optic cable. The bill further provides that any utility easement shall also be deemed to include access over private or public lands to permit the grantee to have physical access to such cable, unless the instrument granting the easement was recorded prior to July 1, 2020, and specifically states otherwise.

Infrastructure

Virginia

SB 351
Stricken from docket 1/20/20

Provides that any locality may establish any department, office, board, commission, agency, or other governmental division or entity that has authority to offer telecommunications, internet access, broadband, information, and data transmission services.

Governance and Municipal

Virginia

SB 526
Passed by indefinitely 1/21/20

Requires the governor to include in the budget bill recommended appropriations for initiatives that promote and develop broadband infrastructure comparable to or greater than any recommended appropriations for economic development.

Funding

Virginia

SB 536

Directs the Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission to award at least $50 million per year in grants to cover expenditures for the purchase and installation of wireless and broadband equipment to rural service areas in the commonwealth. The bill defines "rural service areas" as any locality with a mean broadband download speed of less than 10 megabits per second, and a mean broadband upload speed of less than one megabit per second.

Funding and Rural and Underserved

Virginia

SB 539
Substituted by SB 794 2/3/20

Declares that it is policy of the commonwealth that (i) existing or future easements for the location and use of electric facilities be used to provide or expand broadband or other communications services; (ii) such use of such easements is in the public interest; (iii) the use of such easements for the provision of broadband or other communications services, where no additional poles are erected, does not constitute a change in the physical use of the easement, interfere with or impair any vested rights of the owner or occupier of the servient estate, nor does it place any additional burden on the servient estate; and (iv) the installation and operation of broadband or other communications services within an existing or future electric easement are merely changes in the manner, purpose, or degree of the granted use as appropriate to accommodate a new technology. The measure also establishes that in the absence of any express prohibition on the installation and operation of broadband services in an existing electric easement, the installation and operation of broadband services within the existing electric easement shall be deemed as a matter of law to be permitted uses within the scope of every easement for the location and use of electricity facilities. The measure also limits the damages that a landowner may be awarded in any trespass action against a public utility or a broadband service provider or any of its employees, agents, officers, attorneys, directors, representatives, or contractors arising from the installation, maintenance, or operation of any utility poles, wires, conduit, or other infrastructure or fiber optic cabling to the lesser of actual damages or $2,000 per tract of land.

Dig Once, Infrastructure and Rural and Underserved

Virginia

SB 919
Passed Senate 2/4/20

Establishes a sales and use tax exemption for broadband providers that purchase technology for improving existing broadband infrastructure. The provisions of the bill are contingent on funding in a general appropriation act.

Infrastructure and Taxes

Virginia

SB 1053
Passed by indefinitely 1/28/20

Authorizes the Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission to distribute funds from the Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Fund to tobacco-dependent communities in an equitable manner throughout the Middle Peninsula, Northern Neck, Southside, and Southwest regions of the Commonwealth in order to expand access to broadband internet in those areas.

Funding and Rural and Underserved

U.S. Virgin Islands

None

 

 

Washington

HB 2414

Establishes and sets forth requirements for the Digital Equity Opportunity Grant Program under the Department of Commerce (Department). Creates a Digital Equity Planning Grant Program to fund the development of a Digital Equity Plan. Provides that the Department may convene a statewide action team on broadband access and adoption. Requires the Statewide Broadband Office to prepare a report on the comparative availability and adoption of broadband across the state by July 1, 2021.

Funding and Rural and Underserved

West Virginia

HB 2028
Passed House 2/19/20

Provides for the purpose of expansion of internet service to underserved areas of the state at a lower construction cost, prior to a public service district beginning construction of a water or sewer line on any state rights-of-way, the public service district shall notify the municipality if the construction is within a municipality’s limits, or the county commission if the construction will occur outside any municipality. When the location and construction activity is suitable, the public service district shall allow that local government unit to install a fiber optics cable or conduit suitable for future installation of fiber optic cable. The local governmental unit shall pay for the costs of installation of the cable or conduit and shall own and control its use.

Dig Once and Infrastructure

West Virginia

HB 4015
Signed by governor 3/25/20, Act 36

Amends and reenacts §31G-1-3 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended; and amends said code by adding thereto a new article, designated §31G-5-1, §31G-5-2, 2 §31G-5-3, and §31G-5-4, all relating to telecommunications and broadband; limits the consecutive terms of the public members of the Broadband Enhancement Council; limits the consecutive terms of the chair and vice-chair of the Broadband Enhancement Council; enacts the Vertical Real Estate Management and Availability Act; requires the Department of Administration to coordinate with the governor to seek proposals to manage state-owned vertical real estate; establishes how the vertical real estate is to be managed; defines “vertical real estate” as any structure that is suitable for the mounting of communications equipment and associated ground facilities; provides for a distribution of funds from leasing state-owned vertical real estate; and sets forth certain exceptions to the availability for management of state-owned vertical real estate.

Governance and Infrastructure

West Virginia

HB 4403

Adds a new section, designated §46A-6-111, relating to establishing limitations on billing practices of internet providers relating to customer outages; and establishes civil penalties.

 

West Virginia

HB 4619
Signed by governor 3/25/20, Act 37

Adds a new section, designated §24-2-1o; amends and reenacts §31G-4-5 of said code; and to amend said code by adding thereto a new section, designated §31G-4-5a, all relating to broadband enhancement; excepts certain middle-mile fiber broadband infrastructure from consideration as a public utility; makes legislative findings; defines terms; establishes the Middle-Mile Fiber Broadband Infrastructure Expansion Program; authorizes certain electric utilities to participate in said program; sets forth powers and duties of the Public Service Commission in reviewing and considering written plans and amendments thereto submitted pursuant to said program; requires certain electric utilities to file written plans and application with the Public Service Commission upon a determination by the Broadband Enhancement Council that a proposed project is feasible; establishes that such a written plan and application is in lieu of a proceeding pursuant to §24-2-11; sets forth the required contents of said written plan and application; requires that an electric utility publish in certain publication areas the anticipated monthly and yearly electric rate increase, if any, and actual rates under the proposal, as a Class I legal advertisement in compliance with the provisions of §59-3-1, et seq. of this code; requires that a public hearing be held within 90 days of the publication of said notice; sets forth instances when no such public hearing is necessary; requiring that the Public Service Commission issue a final order within 150 days of the application filing date; sets forth instances when the Public Service Commission must approve such a written plan; authorizes an electric utility to implement such a plan upon approval by the Public Service Commission; sets forth project costs that an electric utility is entitled to recover as part of the implementation of an approved project; authorizes an electric utility to make certain accounting accruals; provides that electric utilities shall control the scope, scheduling and execution of a project; authorizes an electric utility to reestablish electric service and assure safety of its workers prior to restoration of middle-mile fiber broadband service; authorizes electric utilities to use contractors chosen by the electric utility to construct, install, operate, maintain and repair middle-mile fiber assets; provides an electric utility with sole control of the location and method of attachment and connection of certain middle-mile fiber infrastructure; requires electric utilities to manage and document the entities that lease middle-mile fiber assets for last-mile operations; allows an electric utility to own, manage, or control certain broadband capacity, fiber strands, equipment and electronics; allows an electric utility to lease certain broadband capacity, fiber strands, equipment and electronics to certain internet service providers and other third parties; allows an electric utility to provide access points that are outside the electric utility’s power supply zone to allow connection between the electric utility’s broadband capacity system or fiber strands and non-governmental Internet service provider’s or other third party’s system; removing certain references to underserved areas of the state from feasibility studies of proposed broadband projects; and authorizes certain electric cooperatives to utilize their distribution system, poles, or rights of way to provide for critical infrastructure.

Governance, Infrastructure and Rural and Underserved

West Virginia

SB 753

Amends and reenacts §24-2-1 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended; and amends said code by adding thereto a new section, designated §24-2-1o, all relating to authorizing the Public Service Commission to approve plans proposed by electric utilities to install middle-mile broadband fiber and provide expedited cost recovery.

Governance, Infrastructure and Rural and Underserved

Wisconsin

AB 344
Signed by governor 3/3/20, Act 128

Revises provisions relating to a telephone company tax exemption for property used to provide broadband service.

Infrastructure and Taxes

Wisconsin

AB 955
Failed to pass pursuant to Senate Joint Resolution 1 4/1/20

Prioritizes certain farm projects under the broadband expansion grant program.

Funding, Governance, Infrastructure and Rural and Underserved

Wisconsin

AB 959
Failed to pass pursuant to Senate Joint Resolution 1 4/1/20

Concerns the Public Service Commission's authority to obtain information about internet service availability, broadband expansion grants; makes an appropriation.

Funding, Governance, Infrastructure, Mapping, and Rural and Underserved

Wisconsin

SB 59
Failed to pass pursuant to Senate Joint Resolution 1 4/1/20

Relates to state finances and appropriations, constituting the executive budget act of the legislature.

Municipal and Rural and Underserved

Wisconsin

SB 321
Failed to pass pursuant to Senate Joint Resolution 1 4/1/20

Relates to telephone company tax exemption for property used to provide broadband service.

Infrastructure and Taxes

Wisconsin

SB 834
Failed to pass pursuant to Senate Joint Resolution 1 4/1/20

Prioritizes certain farm projects under the broadband expansion grant program.

Funding, Governance, Infrastructure, and Rural and Underserved

Wisconsin

SB 835
Failed to pass pursuant to Senate Joint Resolution 1 4/1/20

Concerns installation of empty conduit lines as part of a digging project in a right of way and offers of service from fiber optic cable broadband lines installed in rights of way.

Dig Once and Infrastructure

Wisconsin

SB 836
Failed to pass pursuant to Senate Joint Resolution 1 4/1/20

Concerns broadband expansion grants for cities, villages, towns, and counties and telecommunications related construction projects of cities, villages, and towns.

Funding, Governance and Municipal

Wisconsin

SB 837
Failed to pass pursuant to Senate Joint Resolution 1 4/1/20

Concerns advertising broadband and other internet speeds; provides a standardized broadband label.

 

Wisconsin

SB 838
Failed to pass pursuant to Senate Joint Resolution 1 4/1/20

Concerns requirements for broadband expansion grants; makes an appropriation.

Funding, Governance and Infrastructure

Wisconsin

SB 839
Failed to pass pursuant to Senate Joint Resolution 1 4/1/20

Concerns the Public Service Commission's authority to obtain information about internet service availability, broadband expansion grants; makes an appropriation.

Funding, Governance, Infrastructure, Mapping, and Rural and Underserved

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Heather Morton is a program principal in Fiscal Affairs. She covers financial services, alcohol production and sales, and telecommunications issues for NCSL.

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