Broadband 2021 Legislation

Heather Morton 2/11/2021

Data streaming into globe in a laptop

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 2021 legislative session, 38 states and Puerto Rico have pending legislation addressing 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. Three states enacted legislation or adopted resolutions: Arizona, Arkansas and Wyoming.

 

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

 

 

Broadband 2021 Legislation

State:

Bill Number:

Bill Summary:

Issue Area:

Alabama

None

 

 

Alaska

None

 

 

Arizona

HB 2036
Signed by governor 2/5/21, Chapter 3

Requires that, as part of a pole attachment agreement between an electric cooperative and an affiliate for broadband service, there is parity in the fees the electric cooperative charges the affiliate and any unaffiliated video service or telecommunications provider when both are attached to the same pole.

Infrastructure and Rural and Underserved

Arizona

HB 2108

Proscribes the requirement of an annual fee for telecommunications corporations.

Infrastructure

Arizona

HB 2156

Appropriates $5 million from the state General Fund in each of the fiscal years 2022, 2023 and 2024 to the Arizona Commerce Authority to provide broadband grants.

Funding

Arizona

HB 2596

Authorizes the installation of telecommunication facilities within the right-of-way of a highway by ADOT or a provider with permission from ADOT.

Infrastructure

Arizona

HB 2747

Establishes the broadband and fiber optic services study committee. On or before Dec. 31, 2021, the committee shall submit a report regarding the committee's findings and recommendations to provide affordable and adequate broadband and fiber optic services in this state to the speaker of the house of representatives and provide a copy of this report to the secretary of state.

Governance and Rural and Underserved

Arizona

HB 2808

Appropriates $10 million in onetime funding in fiscal year 2021-2022 to the Arizona Commerce Authority to provide rural broadband grants.

Funding and Rural and Underserved

Arizona

SB 1137
Substituted by HB 2036 1/28/21

Requires an electric cooperative nonprofit membership corporation to equally charge pole attachment fees to an unaffiliated video service provider or unaffiliated telecommunications provider and its affiliate for broadband service, if the providers are jointly attached to the same pole.

Infrastructure and Rural and Underserved

Arkansas

SB 74
Signed by governor 2/4/21, Act 67

Amends the telecommunications regulatory reform act of 2013; allows a government entity to purchase from a private provider and provide voice, data, broadband, video, or wireless telecommunications services.

 

California

AB 14

This bill authorizes local educational agencies to report to the Department of Education their pupils’ estimated needs for computing devices and internet connectivity adequate for at-home learning. The bill requires the department, in consultation with the Public Utilities Commission, to compile that information and to annually post that compiled information on the department’s internet website. This bill authorizes the board of supervisors of a county to acquire, construct, improve, maintain, or operate broadband internet access service, and any other communications service necessary to obtain federal or state support for the acquisition, construction, improvement, maintenance, or operation of broadband internet access service, and requires a board that does so to take certain actions regarding the accessing of content on the internet by end users of that service. This bill requires the governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development, known as “GO-Biz,”, on or before June 30, 2022, to develop recommendations and a model for streamlined local land use approval and construction permit processes for projects related to broadband infrastructure deployment and connectivity and to adopt, and post on its internet website, the recommendations and model, as specified. This bill requires the commission, in approving California Advanced Services Fund (CASF) infrastructure projects that provide last-mile broadband access to unserved and unserved households, to prioritize projects in unserved areas, as defined, where internet connectivity is available only at speeds at or below 6 megabits per second (Mbps) downstream and one Mbps upstream or areas with no internet connectivity, with a goal of achieving at least 100 Mbps downstream, and to further prioritize projects based on other specified attributes. Upon the achievement of the goal of providing broadband access to 98% of California households in each consortia region, the bill requires the commission to prioritize only middle-mile infrastructure, as provided. The bill authorizes moneys appropriated for purposes of CASF program to be used to match or leverage federal moneys for internet infrastructure and adoption, as specified. The bill requires the commission to maximize investments in new, robust, and scalable infrastructure and use CASF moneys to leverage federal and non-CASF moneys by undertaking specified activities. The bill deletes the commission’s authorization to collect $330 million for deposit into the CASF beginning Jan. 1, 2018, and continuing through the 2022 calendar year, deletes the requirement that specified amounts of the surcharge revenues be deposited into those accounts, and instead authorizes the commission to collect the surcharge in an amount not to exceed an unspecified percentage of an end user’s intrastate telecommunications service costs to fund the accounts within the CASF. The bill revises, among other things, the eligibility criteria for grants awarded from the Broadband Infrastructure Grant Account, as specified. The bill authorizes the additional uses of moneys in the Rural and Urban Regional Broadband Consortia Grant Account to, among other uses, promote adoption of free, low-cost, income-qualified, or affordable home internet service offers. This bill requires that the CASF program promote remote learning and telehealth, in addition to economic growth, job creation, and the substantial social benefits of advanced information and communications technologies. The bill repeals the requirement that moneys in the Broadband Public Housing Account not awarded by Dec. 31, 2020, be transferred back to the Broadband Infrastructure Grant Account and requires that moneys in that account be available for grants and loans for network deployment in eligible publicly support communities, as specified. The bill authorizes the commission to require a performance metric plan to improve the administration of grants awarded from the Broadband Adoption Account. Existing law 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 180 days. Existing law prohibits the commission from approving funding for a project to deploy broadband to a delineated unserved area if the existing facility-based broadband provider demonstrates to the commission, in response to the commission’s annual offer, that it will deploy broadband or upgrade existing broadband service throughout the project area. This bill repeals that requirement and prohibition. This bill authorizes the commission, upon determining, in consultation with the state treasurer, that doing so would be lawful, to issue bonds secured by CASF surcharge revenues in an aggregate amount up to $1 billion for broadband deployment and adoption and provide that such bonds do not constitute a debt or liability of the state or of any political subdivision thereof, other than the commission. The bill establishes the Broadband Bond Financing and Securitization Account within the CASF and, if the commission issues bonds, deposits the moneys received by the commission from the CASF surcharge into the account for purposes of funding costs related to broadband bond financing and securities. The bill requires each local government agency or nonprofit organization allocated moneys from this account to file specified reports with the commission. Existing law requires the commission to conduct interim and final financial and performance audits of the implementation and effectiveness of the CASF for specified purposes and to report the interim findings to the Legislature by April 1, 2020, and to report the final findings by April 1, 2023. Existing law repeals this requirement on Jan. 1, 2027. This bill instead requires the commission, on or before April 1, 2023, and annually thereafter, to conduct a financial audit and a performance audit of the implementation and effectiveness of the CASF for those purposes and to report those findings to the Legislature. The bill requires the commission to submit that report in perpetuity. Existing law requires the commission, until April 1, 2023, to annually provide a report to the Legislature that includes certain information, including the remaining unserved areas in the state, the status of the CASF balance, and the projected amount to be collected in each year. This bill requires the commission to submit that report in perpetuity. This bill authorizes the commission to require each internet service provider, as defined, to report specified information regarding each free, low-cost, income-qualified, or affordable internet service plan advertised by the provider. Existing law requires the commission to require interconnected Voice over Internet Protocol service providers to collect and remit surcharges on their California intrastate revenues in support of the public purpose program funds. Existing law authorizes those providers to use certain methodologies to identify their intrastate revenues subject to the surcharge. This bill repeals that authorization to use those methodologies.

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

California

AB 34

This bill declares the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation that would enact the Broadband for All Act of 2022, to become operative only if approved by the voters at the Nov. 8, 2022, statewide general election, to authorize the issuance of state general obligation bonds to fund increased access to broadband services to rural, urban, suburban, and tribal unserved and underserved communities.

Funding and Rural and Underserved

California

AB 41

This bill states the intent of the Legislature to enact future legislation that will improve California’s “Dig Once” policy and expedite the deployment of broadband infrastructure in communities that are currently unserved and underserved.

Dig Once, Infrastructure and Rural and Underserved

California

AB 537

This bill declares the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation that would accelerate the completion of broadband projects, so that high-speed internet projects can be quickly constructed to benefit local communities and would provide related findings and declarations.

High Speed and Infrastructure

California

SB 4

This bill requires the governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development, known as “GO-Biz,” to coordinate with other relevant state and local agencies and national organizations to explore ways to facilitate streamlining of local land use approvals and construction permit processes for projects related to broadband infrastructure deployment and connectivity. This bill requires the commission, in approving California Advanced Services Fund (CASF) infrastructure projects, to instead prioritize projects in unserved areas, as defined, where internet connectivity is available only at speeds at or below 10 megabits per second (Mbps) downstream and one Mbps upstream or areas with no internet connectivity, with a goal of achieving at least 100 Mbps downstream. This bill authorizes moneys appropriated for purposes of CASF program to be used to match or leverage federal moneys for internet infrastructure and adoption, as specified. The bill requires the commission to maximize investments in new, robust, and scalable infrastructure and use CASF moneys to leverage federal and non-CASF moneys by undertaking specified activities. The bill deletes the commission’s authorization to collect $330 million for deposit into the CASF beginning Jan. 1, 2018, and continuing through the 2022 calendar year, thereby authorizing the commission to collect an unspecified amount for an unspecified duration to fund the accounts within the CASF and deletes the requirement that specified amounts of those surcharge revenues be deposited into those accounts. The bill requires the commission to ensure that each service supplier, as defined, remits to the commission revenues from a monthly surcharge not to exceed $0.23 per month per access line for deposit into the CASF. The bill deletes the prohibitions on the commission approving projects in areas that the existing facility-based broadband provider demonstrates it will deploy broadband or upgrade existing broadband service to that area and publicly disclosing information relating to the provider’s plans for future broadband deployment. The bill revises, among other things, the eligibility criteria for grants awarded from the Broadband Infrastructure Grant Account and the Broadband Public Housing Account, as specified. This bill requires the commission to establish the Broadband Bond Financing and Securitization Account within the CASF and deposit the moneys received by the commission from the CASF surcharge into the account for purposes of funding costs related to broadband bond financing and securities. The bill requires each local government agency or nonprofit organization allocated moneys from this account to file specified reports with the commission. Existing law requires the commission to conduct interim and final financial and performance audits of the implementation and effectiveness of the CASF for specified purposes and to report the interim findings to the Legislature by April 1, 2020, and to report the final findings by April 1, 2023. Existing law repeals this requirement on Jan. 1, 2027. This bill instead requires the commission, on or before April 1, 2023, and biennially thereafter, to conduct a fiscal and performance audit of the implementation and effectiveness of the CASF for those purposes and to report those findings to the Legislature. The bill requires the commission to submit that report in perpetuity. Existing law requires the commission, until April 1, 2023, to annually provide a report to the Legislature that includes certain information, including the remaining unserved areas in the state, the status of the CASF balance, and the projected amount to be collected in each year. This bill requires the commission to submit that report in perpetuity.

Funding, Governance, Infrastructure

California

SB 28

This bill, the Rural Broadband and Digital Infrastructure Video Competition Reform Act of 2021 (Reform Act), requires the Department of Technology, in collaboration with other state agencies, to compile an inventory of state-owned resources, as defined, that may be available for use in the deployment of broadband networks in rural, unserved, and underserved communities, except as specified. The bill requires the department to collaborate on the development of a standardized agreement to enable those state-owned resources to be leased or licensed for that purpose. The bill requires the department to post the inventory and agreement on the department’s internet website, update them as necessary, and provide technical assistance related to them to state departments and agencies. Existing law, the Digital Infrastructure and Video Competition Act of 2006 (Act of 2006), establishes a procedure for the issuance of state franchises for the provision of video service, defined to include cable service and open-video systems, administered by the Public Utilities Commission. The act authorizes the commission to suspend or revoke a franchise if its holder fails to comply with the act’s provisions and does not preclude the state from changing the terms of a franchise. The act prohibits a franchise holder from discriminating against or denying access to low-income subscribers, requires certain franchise holders to meet specified deployment standards, and authorizes the commission and a court to impose fines and to revoke a franchise for violations of those provisions. The act requires a franchise holder to annually report to the commission regarding the availability of and subscription to broadband and video service. This bill prohibits a franchise holder from discriminating against or denying access to service to any group of potential residential subscribers, regardless of their income, and authorizes the commission to suspend or revoke a franchise for a violation of this prohibition. The bill requires a franchise holder to meet specified milestones to deploy broadband service to rural, unserved, and underserved areas. The bill requires a franchise holder to notify the Public Utilities Commission if the holder accepts a state or federal grant for a project to increase broadband service to those areas and requires the holder to deliver the intended results by meeting the grant’s required milestones. For these broadband deployment requirements, the bill authorizes the commission, after an investigation and public hearing, to remove from the holder’s franchise the grant of authority to provide service in the rural, unserved, or underserved area applicable to the violation and authorizes the local franchising entity to grant a local franchise for that service area. The bill requires the commission to audit franchise holders for compliance with the Act of 2006 as amended by the Reform Act. The bill requires franchise holders to submit information requested by the commission regarding that compliance.

Governance, Infrastructure and Rural and Underserved

California

SB 275

Under existing law, the Public Utilities Commission has regulatory authority over public utilities, including telephone corporations. The Moore Universal Telephone Service Act established the Universal Lifeline Telephone Service program in order to provide low-income households with access to affordable basic residential telephone service. Existing law requires the commission, as soon as practicable, in a proceeding or multiple proceedings, to consider ways to ensure that advanced telecommunications services are made available as ubiquitously and economically as possible, in a timely fashion, to California’s citizens, institutions, and businesses and provides that the proceeding or proceedings should be completed within one year of commencement. This bill makes a nonsubstantive change to the provisions requiring the commission to consider ways to ensure the availability of advanced telecommunications services.

Governance and Rural and Underserved

California

SB 378

Under existing law, the Public Utilities Commission has jurisdiction over public utilities, including electrical corporations. The commission’s existing Electric Tariff Rule 20 establishes policies for the undergrounding of electric facilities and includes, among other programs, the Rule 20A undergrounding program, which requires electrical corporations to convert overhead electric facilities to underground facilities when doing so is in the public interest for specified reasons. This bill authorizes a provider of fiber facilities to determine the method of the installation of fiber. The bill prohibits a local agency, as defined, from prohibiting, or unreasonably discriminating in favor of or against the use of, aerial installations, open trenching or boring, or microtrenching, but authorizes a local agency to prohibit aerial deployment of fiber where no aboveground utilities exist due to Electric Tariff Rule 20 or other existing underground requirements. This bill requires a local agency to allow fiber to be installed in the same fashion as the existing aboveground utilities where aboveground utilities are present. The bill provides that this provision controls over any undergrounding ordinance adopted by the local agency that requires all utilities to bury existing overhead facilities pursuant the Overhead Conversion Program established by the commission pursuant to Electric Tariff Rule 20. The bill requires a local agency to allow microtrenching for the installation of underground fiber if the installation in the microtrench is limited to fiber. 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.

Infrastructure

Colorado

None

 

 

Connecticut

HB 5254

Requires that the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority initiate a docket and adopt regulations to amend the process of attaching equipment to public utility poles, including 5G mobile telephone wiring and fiber wires for high-speed broadband internet infrastructure.

Infrastructure

Connecticut

HB 5635

Grants each telecommunications company the ability to offer such company's services in any municipality within the state, and to prevent a cap on internet data plans or fees for a customer using more data than such customer's allocated internet data plan.

 

Connecticut

HB 5835

Prevents telecommunications companies from increasing fees charged to such companies' customers during a global pandemic.

Consumer Relations

Connecticut

HB 6152

Requires telecommunications companies to provide notice, and provide receipt of said notice, about any intended work on a property to all owners and abutting residents of such property.

Consumer Relations

Connecticut

HB 6156

Prevents telecommunications companies from instituting a cumulative internet data usage cap on any residential customer.

Consumer Relations

Connecticut

HB 6157

Requires the regulation of all residential internet service, by the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority, as a public utility in the state, including a requirement that all rate increases must be approved by the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority.

Governance

Connecticut

HB 6166

Identifies internet connectivity as a basic human need and eligible for funding under existing programs.

 

Connecticut

SB 68

Creates a task force to examine broadband internet in the state of Connecticut and make recommendations to the General Assembly regarding high-speed internet access, provider selection and market competition to improve service quality.

Governance and High Speed

Connecticut

SB 258

Requires internet service providers to expand internet service coverage areas into areas without existing internet service coverage for affordable rates.

Rural and Underserved

Delaware

None

 

 

District of Columbia

None

 

 

Florida

HB 753

Provides for transfer of funds from State Transportation Trust Fund to State Economic Enhancement & Economic Development Trust Fund; requires DOT to consult with Florida Office of Broadband to ensure projects are consistent with strategic plan; revises duties of Florida Office of Broadband; creates Florida Broadband Opportunity Program in DEO; provides requirements for grant awards; authorizes grant applications to be challenged; provides priority for receiving grants; provides limit on amount of individual grants.

Funding, Governance and Rural and Underserved

Florida

HB 3029

Provides an appropriation for the Jefferson County Broadband System.

Funding

Florida

SB 1016

Revises legislative findings to include digital devices and home-based internet connectivity in infrastructure as necessary for a high-quality digital learning environment; requires each school district to adopt a digital learning plan; requires school districts to submit plans to the Department of Education by a certain date in a format prescribed by the department; requires the department to develop one or more state term contracts for a specified purpose, etc.

Education and Schools and Rural and Underserved

Georgia

SB 65

Amends Title 46 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to public utilities and public transportation, so as to provide for the funding of the deployment of certain communications services throughout this state; changes and provides for certain definitions; changes 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; provides for certain powers and duties of the Public Service Commission so as to fund contributions and distributions; provides for limitations and sunset provisions; provides for administration of the fund; and provides for related matters.

Funding, Governance and Rural and Underserved

Guam

None

 

 

Hawaii

HB 83

Requires the public utilities commission to ensure consumers are provided with access to information services, including internet services, that are available at just, reasonable, and nondiscriminatory uncapped rates.

Governance and Rural and Underserved

Hawaii

HB 615
SB 909

Requires the department of business, economic development, and tourism to develop a plan to ensure that all communities in the state having schools receiving federal Title I education funds have high-speed broadband internet access.

Education and Schools and High Speed

Hawaii

HB 810

Establishes and appropriates funds for a broadband infrastructure grant program to be administered by the department of business, economic development, and tourism.

Funding, Infrastructure and Rural and Underserved

Hawaii

HB 913
SB 1067

Establishes the Hawaii broadband and digital equity office within the department of business, economic development, and tourism.

Goverance

Hawaii

HB 1191
SB 917

Establishes the broadband infrastructure grant program to award grants to applicants to extend deployment of infrastructure used to provide broadband service to unserved areas of the state. Amends the Hawaii technology loan revolving fund to change it to the Hawaii broadband infrastructure fund, including the types of funds deposited into the fund. Authorizes the issuance of general obligation bonds for the broadband infrastructure grant program.

Funding, Infrastructure and Rural and Underserved

Hawaii

HB 1251
SB 947

Establishes the Hawaii broadband and digital equity office within the governor's office. Appropriates funds for the establishment and staffing for the Hawaii broadband and digital equity office.

Governance

Hawaii

HB 1337

Establishes the online early learning program within the Executive office on early learning. Appropriates monies. The office shall require the service provider to submit a quarterly report to the Early Learning Board containing the following: (1) The number of families volunteering to participate in the program; (2) The number of families selected to participate in the program; (3) The number of families requesting a computer or home internet service; (4) The number of families that are provided a computer or home internet service; (5) The participating families' frequency of using the instructional software provided by the program; (6) Parental feedback on the program; and (7) Student performance on prekindergarten and kindergarten readiness assessment.

Education and Schools

Hawaii

HB 1387
SB 910

Requires the Hawaii Public Housing Authority to establish a pilot program to ensure that all housing units in the Kuhio Park Terrace and Puuwai Momi public housing complexes are provided with sufficient internet speeds and connection quality. Appropriates moneys.

Rural and Underserved

Hawaii

SB 850

Creates a task force jointly convened by the department of transportation and department of business, economic development, and tourism to provide equitable broadband access for historically marginalized, unserved, and underserved rural communities. Requires the task force to apply for federal moneys for broadband access. Requires the departments' report to include the findings of the task force and an accounting of amounts received from the CARES Act and Emergency Coronavirus Relief Act of 2020 and grants disbursed by the state for broadband infrastructure for rural communities.

Funding, Governance and Rural and Underserved

Hawaii

SB 1296

Establishes a broadband infrastructure grant program to be administered by the department of business, economic development, and tourism. Makes an appropriation.

Funding, Infrastructure and Rural and Underserved

Hawaii

SB 1390

Establishes a three-year broadband infrastructure task force to develop and support projects and partnerships to build and sustain the state's broadband infrastructure. Appropriates funds.

Governance

Idaho

None

 

 

Illinois

HB 122

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, medical alert system, or water services 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 within the meaning of the Act.

Consumer Relations

Indiana

HB 1069

Provides that a communications service provider (provider) shall notify the Indiana utility regulatory commission (IURC) of a service outage that: (1) prevents the provider from providing service to at least 25 customers in a contiguous geographical area; and (2) is sustained or consistent over a period of seven or more consecutive days. Requires the provider to: (1) notify the IURC regarding the service outage not later than eight days after the start of the service outage; and (2) provide the IURC with updates regarding the service outage at least once every 24 hours until the service outage ends. Requires the IURC to publish the provider's notification on the IURC's Internet web site. Provides that, within 45 days after the start of the service outage, the IURC may hold one or more public meetings regarding the service outage and requires the provider to: (1) provide notice of the public meeting to the provider's customers affected by the service outage; and (2) present a root cause analysis of the service outage at the public meeting. Allows the IURC to revoke the certificate of territorial authority of a provider that fails to comply with these provisions.

Consumer Relations and Governance

Indiana

HB 1413

Provides that eligible rural employers qualify for loans under the rural broadband fund. Provides that the office of community and rural affairs (office) shall establish procedures for awarding grants to eligible rural employers. Specifies that the office shall act on an application not later than 30 days after receipt of an eligible rural employer's application.

Funding, Governance and Rural and Underserved

Indiana

HB 1414

Allows a county or municipality to use Barrett Law assessments to fund projects for the deployment of broadband infrastructure in areas in which there is not at least one provider of terrestrial broadband internet service.

Funding and Rural and Underserved

Indiana

HB 1426

Changes the criteria for eligibility of broadband grants for rural areas.

Funding and Rural and Underserved

Indiana

HB 1449

Provides that a project to extend broadband service is eligible for a rural broadband grant if the project will extend terrestrial Internet service providing speeds of at least 100 megabits per second downstream (rather than 25 megabits per second downstream, under current law) and at least 10 megabits per second upstream (rather than three megabits per second upstream, under current law). Assigns the highest priority for rural broadband grants to projects that extend broadband service to areas in which Internet service is unavailable or in which the only available connections to the Internet are at speeds of less than 25 megabits per second downstream (rather than 10 megabits per second downstream, under current law) and less than three megabits per second upstream. Provides a preference for awarding rural broadband grants to projects for which a local unit of government has committed to providing funding. Requires the office of rural and community affairs to publish on the office's internet web site a map illustrating the availability, by census block, of eligible broadband service in Indiana not later than Dec. 31, 2021.

Funding, High Speed and Rural and Underserved

Indiana

HB 1500

Provides that fiber optic cable is exempt from property taxation for an eligible business.

Taxes

Indiana

HB 1522

Requires the office of technology (office) to produce a map illustrating the Indiana census blocks in which broadband service, defined relative to the broadband speed benchmark set forth by the Federal Communications Commission, is available to property owners within the census block. Requires the office to consider broadband service to not be available to property owners within a census block if eligible broadband service is available for purchase at less than 80% of the residential and commercial addresses within the census block. Provides that the office shall provide information collected for purposes of the map to the office of community and rural affairs for purposes of the rural broadband grant program. Provides for the confidentiality of information collected by the office from private entities for purposes of the map. Provides that a communications service provider that does not provide information regarding the communications service provider's broadband service within a census block for purposes of the map may not challenge: (1) the office's determination regarding whether broadband service is available within the census block; or (2) an application for a rural broadband grant for an eligible broadband project in an area containing the census block.

Mapping

Indiana

SB 2
Passed Senate 2/2/21

Establishes a definition of "virtual instruction" for purposes of determining a school corporation's basic tuition support using the 2021 spring count of average daily membership (ADM). Requires, not later than Aug. 1, 2021, and not later than Aug. 1, 2022, each governing body of a school corporation and the equivalent for each charter school to submit to the department of education (department) a report that includes certain information regarding instruction during the 2020-2021 school year and the 2021-2022 school year. Requires the department to do the following: (1) Conduct, in collaboration with the state board of education (state board), a learning loss study regarding students in kindergarten through grade 10. (2) Prepare a report regarding the 2020-2021 school year and a report regarding the 2021-2022 school year that includes the submitted information and the study by the department. (3) Not later than Dec. 1, 2021, and not later than Dec. 1, 2022, submit the applicable reports to the governor, state board, and legislative council. Urges the legislative council to assign to an appropriate study committee for the 2022 interim and the 2023 interim the task of studying the information in the reports.

Education and Schools and Rural and Underserved

Indiana

SB 230

Establishes the rural school ILEARN administration pilot program (program). Provides that the state board of education (state board), in consultation with the department of education (department), may approve not more than 20 rural elementary schools to participate in the program. Requires the department to review the correlation between a student's lack of access to the Internet or computer technology and the online administration of the statewide assessment and, on or before Nov. 1, 2023, submit its findings to the legislative council and publish the findings on its internet web site. Provides that the program expires July 1, 2031.

Education and Schools and Rural and Underserved

Indiana

SB 264
Passed Senate 2/2/21

Urges the legislative council to assign to the interim study committee on energy, utilities, and telecommunications (committee) the topic of the 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. Provides that if a study is assigned to the committee: (1) the committee must consider certain specified issues; and (2) an electric utility may submit to the committee, not later than July 1, 2021, a study concerning the feasibility of making available broadband capacity infrastructure for use by broadband service providers in providing broadband service in unserved or underserved areas in the electric utility's assigned service area.

Infrastructure and Rural and Underserved

Indiana

SB 272

Imposes limitations on fees, terms, and conditions that may be imposed by a person or entity for access to: (1) tracks, conduits, subways, or poles; or (2) other equipment on, over, or under a street or highway; owned or controlled by the person or entity. Specifies that providers of cable service are communications service providers regulated under certificates of territorial authority issued by the Indiana utility regulatory commission.

Infrastructure

Indiana

SB 352

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, 2021, 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. Prohibits the department of transportation (department) from requiring a private entity to agree, as a condition of the department leasing a right-of-way to the private entity, that fixtures constructed or installed by the private entity in or under the right-of-way are or become, without additional consideration, property of the department or of the state. Provides that the department may, in consultation with the office and with the office of technology, establish and implement a long-term policy with regard to the use, by public or private entities, of the rights-of-way of interstates and state-owned roads for the deployment of broadband service throughout the state. Provides that, to the extent permitted under federal law, rules, or regulations, the department shall transfer any net revenue produced by: (1) the lease of rights-of-way; or (2) fees charged for access to rights-of-way; under the policy to the rural broadband fund.

Funding and Rural and Underserved

Indiana

SB 377

Establishes the Indiana broadband expansion fund for deposit and distribution of federal broadband funding. Provides that the office of community and rural development (office) administers the fund. Requires the office to establish a public broadband portal through which an individual may report: (1) that: (A) internet connectivity; or (B) broadband internet connectivity at speeds of least 25 megabits per second downstream and at least three megabits per second upstream (broadband internet); is unavailable at the individual's address; or (2) that internet connectivity or broadband internet connectivity is available at the individual's address, but the individual is unable to afford the service. Establishes the Indiana broadband connectivity program (connectivity program), under which a broadband internet provider may: (1) register with the connectivity program; (2) receive twice monthly listings of addresses submitted through the public broadband portal as addresses at which internet connectivity or broadband internet connectivity is unavailable; (3) report to the office any address included in a listing received by the provider at which connectivity to the provider's broadband internet service is already available; and (4) bid for an award of a grant for purposes of extending connectivity to the provider's broadband internet service to an address at which broadband internet connectivity is unavailable. Requires the office to provide broadband internet connectivity information to an individual whose address: (1) is included in a listing of addresses submitted through the public broadband portal as an address at which internet connectivity or broadband internet connectivity is unavailable; and (2) is reported by a broadband internet provider as an address at which the provider already provides broadband internet connectivity. Requires the office to provide to the general assembly an annual report containing specified data regarding the connectivity program. Establishes the Indiana broadband adoption program (adoption program), under which the office may provide financial assistance to an individual who reports through the public broadband portal that: (1) internet connectivity or broadband internet connectivity is available at the individual's address; but (2) the individual is unable to afford the service; in the form of one or more $50 vouchers that can be used by the individual to pay for internet service provided by a broadband internet provider that has registered with the connectivity program. Provides that the office shall determine eligibility of an applicant for financial assistance through the adoption program, but provides automatic eligibility for an individual: (1) who is receiving, or whose household includes an individual who is receiving, benefits through: (A) the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program; (B) the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP); or (C) the Medicaid program; or (2) whose household includes a child who is eligible for free or reduced price lunch. Requires the office to: (1) conduct an outreach program to promote adoption of broadband internet service; and (2) establish a digital literacy program. Provides that a county that achieves broadband internet connectivity for 90% or more of the county's residents before Jan. 1, 2026, may: (1) be certified by the office as 21st Century Connected; and (2) receive $100,000 for provision of financial assistance to residents of the county under the adoption program. Requires the office to provide to the general assembly an annual report containing specified data regarding the adoption program. Requires the office to maintain a geographic information system (GIS) or similar data base that contains spatial data regarding the availability of broadband internet service in Indiana. Requires the office to evaluate the broadband internet coverage map created by the Federal Communications Commission under the Broadband Deployment Accuracy and Technological Availability Act (FCC map) and: (1) if the FCC map: (A) provides address level broadband internet coverage information; or (B) provides a greater level of detail than the office's broadband internet coverage map; use the FCC map to update the office's broadband internet coverage map; or (2) if the FCC map does not: (A) provide address level broadband internet coverage information; or (B) provide a greater level of detail than the office's broadband internet coverage map; develop, report to the general assembly, and begin implementing, not later than July 1, 2022, a plan to create a map of Indiana broadband internet coverage that allows for determination of broadband internet availability at individual Indiana addresses. Appropriates $100 million to the Indiana broadband expansion fund and requires the office to distribute the appropriation proportionally to the rural broadband fund, the connectivity program, and the adoption program.

Digital Literacy, Funding, Governance, Mapping and Rural and Underserved

Iowa

None

 

 

Kansas

None

 

 

Kentucky

HB 348

Repeals and reenacts KRS 246.010 to alphabetize the definitions and add definitions for "broadband" or "broadband service," "broadband deployment fund," "broadband deployment project area," "census block," "shapefile," "underserved area," and "unserved area"; amends KRS 246.030 to add the Office of Innovation to the Department of Agriculture; creates a new section of KRS Chapter 246 establishing the Office of Innovation and providing the duties and responsibilities of the office; creates a new section of KRS Chapter 246 establishing the broadband deployment fund in the Office of Innovation; repeals KRS 224A.1121 and reenacts as a new section KRS Chapter 246, amending all references of the Kentucky Infrastructure Authority to the Office of Innovation, and authorizing the Department of Agriculture to promulgate administrative regulations for the broadband deployment fund program; amends KRS 224A.011 to delete all definitions related to the broadband deployment fund program; amends KRS 224A.110 to delete all references to the broadband deployment fund program; amends KRS 224A.112 to delete all references to the broadband deployment fund program; amends KRS 154.15-020 to require the Kentucky Communications Network Authority to obtain written permission from the Office of Innovation before applying for federal funds; amends KRS 18A.115 to exempt Office of Innovation employees from classified service under KRS 18A.005 to 18A.200

Funding, Governance and Rural and Underserved

Kentucky

HB 417

Creates a new section of KRS Chapter 139 to define terms; provides for a refund of sales and use 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 2022 through 2025; amends KRS 131.190 to authorize the report from the Department of Revenue; make technical changes.

Taxes

Louisiana

None

 

 

Maine

LD 80

This bill requires that 33% of sales and use tax revenue collected by the state tax assessor from marketplace facilitators, with respect to marketplace-facilitated sales, after required transfers to other funds be transferred to the ConnectMaine Authority to further deployment of high-speed internet and broadband infrastructure to unserved and underserved areas of the state.

Funding and Rural and Underserved

Maine

LD 83

This bill clarifies the meaning of "unserved area" within the state's broadband service laws by providing that the criteria established by the ConnectMaine Authority by rule to define that term must include any geographic area where broadband service is not available or where the speeds available are less than 100 megabits per second for downloads and less than 100 megabits per second for uploads.

Rural and Underserved

Maryland

HB 43

Alters the uses of the Rural Broadband Assistance Fund; establishes the Office of Broadband in the Department of Information Technology to assist local jurisdictions in improving access to high-speed internet; requires the Office to coordinate with certain executive branch agencies and stakeholders; establishes the Joint Committee on Broadband to ensure that local jurisdictions in the state are able to expand access to high-speed internet and make recommendations for new laws, programs, and services needed to support the expansion; etc.

Funding, Governance and High Speed

Maryland

HB 97
SB 66

Establishes the Office of Digital Inclusion in the Department of Housing and Community Development to ensure that every resident of the state is supported by high-quality broadband internet service at an affordable price, and has the tools necessary to use and take advantage of the internet; requires the governor to appoint the director of the Office; requires the Office to develop, by July 1, 2022, a statewide plan to ensure all state residents have the ability to connect to reliable broadband internet by Dec. 31, 2029; etc.

Governance, Mapping and Rural and Underserved

Maryland

HB 1328
SB 824

Declares certain findings and the intent of the General Assembly; renames the Rural Broadband Assistance Fund to be the Maryland Digital Connectivity Fund; alters the purpose of the Fund to include expansion of affordable broadband services; provides that the Fund consists of certain fees; alters the use of the Fund to include providing certain financial assistance to authorities to expand high-speed internet access in certain areas of the state; authorizes a county or municipal corporation to adopt certain policies; etc.

Funding, Infrastructure, High Speed and Rural and Underserved

Massachusetts

None

 

 

Michigan

SB 46

The bill amends the General Property Tax Act to exempt from the collection of taxes under the Act eligible broadband equipment that resolved lack of broadband service by delivering high-speed internet access at speeds of at least 25 megabits per second (Mbps) downstream and three Mbps upstream, beginning Dec. 31, 2020.

Taxes

Minnesota

HF 1
SF 474

Provides assistance for housing, the Minnesota family investment program, food, and broadband; appropriates and transfers money.

Funding and Rural and Underserved

Minnesota

HF 12
SF 491

Amends certain eviction procedures during and after a public health emergency; allows for expungement of certain eviction actions filed during and after a public health emergency; prevents home foreclosure during and after a public health emergency; appropriates money for emergency housing assistance grants during the peacetime emergency related to COVID-19. Includes internet in emergency housing assistance grants.

Rural and Underserved

Minnesota

HF 14
SF 22

Transfers money for deposit in the broadband grant program.

Funding and Rural and Underserved

Minnesota

HF 686

Allows existing easements held by rural electric cooperatives to be used to provide broadband service.

Infrastructure and Rural and Underserved

Minnesota

SF 241

Establishes a funding program for distance learning equipment; requires a report; appropriates money.

Education and Schools and Rural and Underserved

Minnesota

SF 351

Provides distance learning aid for families; appropriates money.

Education and Schools, Funding and Rural and Underserved

Mississippi

HB 86
Died in committee 2/2/21

Provides for certain participation of investor owned electric utilities in the expansion of broadband services in the state of Mississippi; 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"; and 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.

Infrastructure and Rural and Underserved

Mississippi

HB 165
Died in committee 2/2/21

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; requires school districts to issue and publicize requests for proposals within 45 days of the needs assessment's conclusion which specifies the criteria to be included in proposals submitted for the installation and service of wireless systems; requires school districts to submit their strategic plan of development and implementation to the state department of education, which shall determine whether the wireless classroom module proposed is functional according to the guidelines established by the department for the approval or disapproval of proposed wireless technology infrastructure; prescribes the criteria and ability of a school district's wireless capability required to be demonstrated to the state department of education for eligibility to receive state funds for wireless technology infrastructure serving grades k-12; and for related purposes.

Education and Schools, Infrastructure and Rural and Underserved

Mississippi

HB 322

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 $15 million of state general obligation bonds to provide funds for the "rural counties and municipalities cellular and broadband fund"; and for related purposes.

Funding, Governance and Rural and Underserved

Mississippi

HB 505
Passed House 2/9/21

Creates the Mississippi broadband accessibility act; provides legislative findings; provides definitions for the act; requires the director of Mississippi public utilities staff to establish and administer the broadband accessibility grant program for the purpose of promoting the deployment and adoption of broadband internet access services to unserved areas; provides that the program shall be administered pursuant to policies developed by the public utilities staff, subject to the requirements of the act, which shall provide for the awarding of grants to non-governmental entities that are cooperatives, corporations, limited liability companies, partnerships, or other private business entities that provide broadband services; and for related purposes.

Funding, Governance and Rural and Underserved

Mississippi

HB 942
Passed House 2/9/21

Amends §77-3-2 to declare that it is the policy of the state of Mississippi to support deployment of existing and emerging technologies to foster reliable and resilient service and customer access to enhanced services; provides that the public service commission is authorized and empowered to enter into contracts with federal agencies, including, but not limited to, the U.S. department of commerce, the federal communications commission and the national telecommunications information agency, or state agencies, for the purposes only of providing services for the collection of data for mapping of broadband availability; 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 rate-regulated 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.

Infrastructure, Mapping and Rural and Underserved

Mississippi

HB 1134
Died in committee 2/2/21

Amends §77-17-15 to revise the broadband enabling act to require electric cooperatives to annually file certain documents with the public service commission and the state auditor; brings forward §§77-17-3 through 77-17-13 for purposes of possible amendment; and for related purposes.

Infrastructure and Rural and Underserved

Mississippi

SB 2531
Died in committee 2/2/21

Creates the "T Initiative of 2021"; provides that the department of education shall develop and implement a program to provide additional resources to students for virtual learning; to provide that the department shall provide schools with access to high-speed broadband internet in rural critical internet shortage areas; implements a program to track and monitor student's progress during the COVID-19 pandemic; provides that the department of education shall assist schools in providing tutoring for students in virtual learning; and for related purposes.

Education and Schools, High Speed and Rural and Underserved

Mississippi

SB 2532
Died in committee 2/2/21

Creates the expand Mississippi connectivity for education act; provides that the department of education shall develop a program with the goal to increase internet connectivity to students and schools; provides that the department shall identify schools and school districts that lack basic internet connectivity; provides that the department shall provide funds to those schools and school districts that are rated as having critical connectivity problems before allocating other funds; and for related purposes.

Education and Schools, Funding and Rural and Underserved

Mississippi

SB 2559
Passed Senate 2/3/21

Authorizes the public service commission to enter into contracts and agreements with federal agencies including, but not limited to, the U.S. department of commerce, the federal communications commission or the national telecommunications information agency, for the purposes of providing services for the collection of data and mapping of broadband availability; and for related purposes.

Mapping

Mississippi

SB 2798
Passed Senate 2/3/21

Provides for certain participation of rate-regulated electric utilities in the expansion of broadband services in the state of Mississippi; amends §77-3-2 to declare the policy of this state 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," "broad and 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 in which certain utilities are authorized to undertake, and to authorize rate-regulated electric utilities to grant permission to broadband operators or broadband service providers to use the electric delivery system; creates a new section to provide competitive safeguards when a rate-regulated electric utility grants permission to a broadband operator or broadband service provider to use any part of the utility's electric delivery system; and for related purposes.

Infrastructure and Rural and Underserved

Missouri

HB 321

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 to provide broadband services using the corporation's infrastructure; and (5) Enter into contracts, leases, licenses or other agreements concerning broadband operations or services with broadband affiliates, customers, or third parties 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. The bill also specifies that any cause of action for inverse condemnation or trespass brought against certain utility companies shall be commenced within two years after the cause of action shall have accrued, and no statute of limitations shall extend the period for commencing the action. If the plaintiff prevails in a cause of action for inverse condemnation, then the damage or taking shall be deemed permanent, the injury to the plaintiff shall not be deemed to continue, accumulate or accrue, and the damages shall be fixed and determined as of the date the cause of action accrued. In a cause of action for trespass, a defendant shall be entitled to a determination by the court as to whether the use by defendant or its assignees, alleged by plaintiff to be an expanded use or to exceed the scope of defendant's easement rights, is a public use. No cause of action for trespass or inverse condemnation may be brought as an action on behalf of a class. In a cause of action for trespass or inverse condemnation, the following shall not be admissible in evidence for purposes of determining plaintiffs damages or any other purposes: (1) Profits, fees, or revenue derived by the defendant from uses of the easement; and (2) The rental value of the real property or of the easement, including the rental value of an assembled utility corridor of any type.

Infrastructure and Rural and Underserved

Missouri

HB 580

This bill requires the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to submit an annual report to the General Assembly

beginning on June 30, 2022. The report will indicate the number of elementary and secondary students 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 and Schools and Rural and Underserved

Missouri

HB 735

This bill authorizes two or more political subdivisions, upon a vote of eligible voters, to form a broadband infrastructure improvement district for the delivery of broadband internet service to their residents. A district has the 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. The bill also establishes the composition and operation of the District Governing Board. Additional political subdivisions may join a district upon application to the Governing Board. If the Board offers admission to the district, it must specify all terms and conditions upon which admission is predicated. A political subdivision may withdraw from a district in the same manner.

Municipal

Missouri

HB 774

This bill requires the Department of Economic Development to implement a program to increase high-speed internet access in underserved areas of the state. The Department may use discretion in choosing the method of the program but must provide high-speed internet to as many residents who do not have high-speed internet access as quickly as possible, with preference given to those who have no internet access. The Department may provide the high-speed internet access itself or contract with an entity to do so.

Governance, High Speed and Rural and Underserved

Missouri

SB 108

This bill 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 the 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, user fees, or a sales tax, not to exceed 1%. The act also sets forth the composition and operation of the district governing board.

Municipal and Taxes

Missouri

SB 184

This bill creates the Electrical Corporation Broadband Authorization Act, which allows electrical corporations to operate and use broadband infrastructure, as set forth in the bill, in order to provide broadband services, as such term is defined in the bill. The bill 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 bill also creates several definitions relating to broadband. As described in the bill, 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 bill allows an electrical corporation to condemn land for the purpose of constructing broadband infrastructure.

Infrastructure and Rural and Underserved

Montana

HB 181

Temporarily redirects and statutorily appropriates technology funding to e-rate broadband matching funds.

Education and Schools and Rural and Underserved

Montana

SB 51

Concerns exempting certain fiber optic, coaxial cable from property taxation; relates to appropriations; relates to local revenue; relates to state revenue; relates to taxation; relates to taxation of property.

Taxes

Nebraska

LB 338

Provides powers and duties for the Public Service Commission regarding redirection of funding for broadband services.

Funding, Governance and Rural and Underserved

Nebraska

LB 388

Adopts the Nebraska Broadband Bridge Act.

Funding, Governance and Rural and Underserved

Nebraska

LB 398

Changes provisions relating to broadband speeds and services.

Funding, Governance, High Speed and Rural and Underserved

Nebraska

LB 455

Adopts the Broadband Pole Attachment Act.

Governance and Infrastructure

Nebraska

LB 456

Adopts the Nebraska Enhancing Broadband Act.

Funding and Rural and Underserved

Nebraska

LB 460

Authorizes leasing of dark fiber and eliminate certain Powers of the Public Service Commission.

Governance and Infrastructure

Nebraska

LB 498

Requires the Public Service Commission to implement a broadband service testing and mapping program.

Mapping

Nebraska

LB 520

Provides for applications for the collocation of certain wireless facilities.

Infrastructure

Nebraska

LB 600

Provides and changes powers and duties of public power districts and electric cooperatives regarding broadband facilities and infrastructure.

Infrastructure and Rural and Underserved

Nebraska

LB 604

Adopts the Nebraska Accelerated Broadband Deployment Grant Program Act and change telecommunications provisions.

Funding and Rural and Underserved

Nebraska

LB 656

Authorizes municipalities to provide broadband and internet services.

Municipal

Nevada

None

 

 

New Hampshire

HB 153

This bill establishes a committee to study universal internet access for New Hampshire.

Governance and Rural and Underserved

New Hampshire

HB 308

This bill provides for payment of pole replacement costs when necessary to accommodate the provisioning of broadband internet services.

Infrastructure

New Hampshire

HB 477

This bill establishes consumer protection provisions for customers of internet service providers for service outages and less than advertised download speeds.

Consumer Relations

New Hampshire

SB 85

This bill establishes the broadband matching grant initiative and fund in the office of strategic initiatives.

Funding, Governance and High Speed

New Hampshire

SB 88

This bill adopts legislation relative to: I. The creation of communications district planning committees. II. Public utility regulation of utility pole attachments. III. The issuance of bonds for financing broadband infrastructure.

Funding, Governance, Infrastructure and Municipal

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
Passed Senate 7/30/20

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
To Assembly for concurrence 1/28/21
SB 2864

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 and Schools and Rural and Underserved

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.

Consumer Relations

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.

Consumer Relations

New Jersey

AB 2584

Requires certain community access television companies to provide internet service at public libraries with business customer class internet 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
SB 2900

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

Municipal

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 and Schools, Funding and Rural and Underserved

New Jersey

AB 4415
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 and Schools, Funding and Rural and Underserved

New Jersey

AB 4627
SB 2947

Establishes Digital Divide Solutions Grant Program in the Department of Education to assist public schools in purchase of online instruction equipment.

Education and Schools, Funding and Rural and Underserved

New Jersey

AB 4662
SB 2899

Establishes Safe Remote Learning Program in the Department of Education to support provision of remote instruction facilities by public schools.

Education and Schools and Rural and Underserved

New Jersey

AB 4789
SB 3123

Establishes Safe and Equitable Remote Learning Program in the Department of Education to support provision of mobile broadband internet access service and remote learning safe havens by certain school districts.

Education and Schools and Rural and Underserved

New Jersey

AB 4808
Passed Assembly 10/29/20
SB 3086

Establishes office in Board of Public Utilities to assist in provision and expansion of broadband internet service in state to address inequities in accessing broadband service.

Governance and Rural and Underserved

New Jersey

AB 5156
SB 3299

Appropriates $50 million to the Board of Public Utilities from federal funds for reimbursing broadband telecommunications service providers for broadband infrastructure expansion to rural areas in state.

Funding and Rural and Underserved

New Jersey

AB 5352
SB 3410

Prohibits internet service providers from increasing service rates during public health emergency or state of emergency; requires internet service providers to notify subscribers six months in advance of service rate increase.

Consumer Relations

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

AR 92
Adopted 10/29/20
SR 98

Urges Congress to pass Community Broadband Act.

Municipal

New Mexico

HB 10

Enacts the Connect New Mexico Act; creates the broadband development division of the department of information technology; establishes duties; establishes the broadband development division as the coordinator of state broadband programs; provides for planning; establishes the Connect New Mexico fund; provides for grants; requires reports; raises the levels of disbursement for broadband from the state rural universal service fund; requires that the planning and actions of state agencies and public educational institutions in relation to broadband infrastructure be in accord with the broadband development plan established pursuant to the Connect New Mexico Act; makes an appropriation.

Education and Schools, Funding, Governance and Rural and Underserved

New Mexico

HB 86

Makes an appropriation to the Indian Affairs department for library, internet access and educational resource center projects for Indian nations, tribes and pueblos.

Funding and Rural and Underserved

New Mexico

HB 169

Amends the local economic development act; includes construction or upgrades to facilitate the use of water-efficient or clean energy technologies or to meet or exceed green building certification standards in the definition of "economic development project"; includes an entity that develops water or broadband infrastructure in the definition of "qualifying entity."

Infrastructure

New Mexico

HB 233

Requires the public education department to assist school districts in providing internet access to teachers statewide; provides requirements to receive funds; provides exceptions.

Education and Schools, Funding and Rural and Underserved

New Mexico

SB 24

Requires the adoption of rules to reduce and promote the parity of regulation for the telecommunications industry and encourage a broadband-focused competitive telecommunications market; prohibits individual contracts for telecommunications services to be offered on materially different terms to similarly situated customers without certain permissions; changes a measure for the calculation of a presumption of effective competition for regulated telecommunication services; replaces the application process for individual service contracting with a two-year requirement to retain such contracts on file; adds information to be included in the triennial reporting by the public regulation commission; repeals §63-9A-2.

Governance

New Mexico

SB 93

Enacts the broadband access and expansion act; establishes the office of broadband access and expansion; provides powers and duties; makes an appropriation.

Governance

New Mexico

SB 144

Includes hardware necessary to establish broadband connectivity among students, teachers and educational resources in the definition of "education technology infrastructure" in the public school capital outlay act; and requires the public school capital outlay council to establish guidelines to fund education technology infrastructure to ensure that those expenditures are in accord with the development of a statewide education technology infrastructure network.

Education and Schools, Funding and Rural and Underserved

New Mexico

SB 204

Amends the rural telecommunications act of New Mexico to make access to the state rural universal service fund for telecommunications carriers established after enactment of that act comparable to the access for telecommunications carriers established prior to enactment of that act; provides definitions.

Funding and Rural and Underserved

New Mexico

SB 366

Requires the evaluation of high altitude and satellite technologies; provides for the recommendation of a preferred technology; provides for leases and contracts for broadband platforms and the provision of services; makes an appropriation.

Infrastructure

New York

AB 712

Provides that all equipment used for the transmission and switching of radio signals for the provision of commercial mobile radio service or mobile internet access service no longer constitutes real property subject to the real property tax law.

Taxes

New York

AB 1239
SB 4666

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.

Municipal

New York

AB 2219

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 2330
SB 4186

Directs the public service commission to study the feasibility and the costs of burying all or most of the electrical, telephone and internet transmission lines in New York state and to publish and deliver a report of its findings to the governor and the legislature, and requires new electrical, telephone and internet transmission lines to be buried underground.

Infrastructure

New York

AB 2396

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 3006
SB 2506

Includes transportation to provide students with internet access as aidable transportation.

Education and Schools and Rural and Underserved

New York

AB 3044

Provides a discount to consumers who have a contract for service with a gas corporation, electric corporation, gas and electric corporation, water corporation, steam corporation, telegraph corporation, telephone corporation, cable television company, internet service provider or a municipality rendering equivalent utility services for failure to provide contracted services for a period of at least 24 hours.

Consumer Relations

New York

AB 3280
SB 3450

Establishes community broadband districts for the purpose of expanding broadband services.

Municipal

New York

AB 3472

Enacts the "omnibus telecommunications reform act"; 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.

Funding, Governance, Rural and Underserved and Taxes

New York

AB 3567
SB 3127

Prohibits landlords from including additional services in a tenant's base rent; provides that additional services include cable television, internet services, and garage usage.

 

New York

AB 3742
SB 1586

Requires the New York city housing authority to provide adequate and reliable internet service for all housing authority residents.

Rural and Underserved

New York

AB 3910
SB 46

Provides regulatory control of internet service providers by the public service commission, requires internet neutrality and relates to the placement of equipment on utility poles.

Governance and Infrastructure

New York

AB 3912
SB 3593

Provides internet access to all individuals receiving temporary housing assistance; provides that 100% of the cost for the expense incurred for local social services districts to provide such internet access shall be reimbursed by the state.

Rural and Underserved

New York

AB 4197
SB 1863

Relates to fees associated with agreements between municipalities and fiber optic utility companies; no fees shall be assessed for such agreements.

Infrastructure

New York

AB 4373
SB 2659

Relates to reducing the cost of expanding broadband access.

Infrastructure

New York

AB 5180
SB 3184

Enacts the "E-Let's Expand Access to Remote Now (E-LEARN) Act" to ensure all children have access to the delivery of technology through high-quality broadband internet connectivity in support of the constitutional education obligations of the state; imposes assessments on telecommunications providers; creates a state fund to accomplish objectives.

Education and Schools, Funding and Rural and Underserved

New York

SB 594

Relates to internet access and communications for municipalities.

Municipal

New York

SB 929

Provides a reimbursement to small businesses and residential consumers of certain utilities for failure to provide contracted services; requires the Long Island power authority to do the same.

Consumer Relations

New York

SB 1058

Relates to communications union districts; allows two or more municipalities to submit to voters a proposition to enter into an agreement to operate a communications plant and deliver communications services to such municipalities.

Municipal

New York

SB 1631

Requires highway projects that receive state funding to include the installation of broadband conduits suitable for fiber optic cables or wireless facilities that support broadband services and provides for access to such conduits on a competitively neutral and nondiscriminatory basis, for a charge not to exceed a cost-based rate.

Dig Once and Infrastructure

New York

SB 2088

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 3141

Authorizes broadband franchises in cities with a population of one million or more.

Infrastructure

New York

SB 3308

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.

Municipal

New York

SB 3364

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

Rural and Underserved

New York

SB 4017

Requires free internet service in households with students who live at or below the poverty level; directs broadband companies to install and/or upgrade broadband services in educational facilities.

Education and Schools and Rural and Underserved

New York

SB 4061

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

North Carolina

None

 

 

North Dakota

SB 2176

Provides an appropriation for a distance learning family reimbursement program

Education and Schools, Funding and Rural and Underserved

N. Mariana Islands

Not available

 

 

Ohio

HB 2

Amends §§133.13 and 727.01 and enacts §§122.40, 122.401, 122.403, 122.404, 122.406, 122.407, 122.408, 122.4010, 122.4013, 122.4015, 122.4016, 122.4017, 122.4018, 122.4019, 122.4020, 122.4021, 122.4023, 122.4024, 122.4025, 122.4030, 122.4031, 122.4033, 122.4034, 122.4035, 122.4036, 122.4037, 122.4040, 122.4041, 122.4043, 122.4044, 122.4045, 122.4046, 122.4050, 122.4051, 122.4053, 122.4055, 122.4060, 122.4061, 122.4063, 122.4070, 122.4071, 122.4073, 122.4075, 122.4076, 122.4077, 188.01, 188.02, 188.05, 188.08, 188.11, 188.14, 188.17, 188.20, 188.23, 188.27, 188.30, 303.251, 505.881, 4926.01, 4926.03, 4926.06, 4926.09, 4926.12, 4926.15, 4926.18, 4926.21, 4926.24, 4926.27, 4926.30, 4926.33, 4926.36, 4926.39, 4926.42, 4926.43, 4926.45, 4926.48, 4926.51, 4926.54, 4926.57, and 4926.60 of the Revised Code regarding broadband expansion, including access to electric cooperative easements and facilities, and makes an appropriation.

Funding, Infrastructure and Rural and Underserved

Ohio

SB 8

Amends §§133.13 and 727.01 and enacts §§122.40, 122.401, 122.403, 122.404, 122.406, 122.407, 122.408, 122.4010, 122.4013, 122.4015, 122.4016, 122.4017, 122.4018, 122.4019, 122.4020, 122.4021, 122.4023, 122.4024, 122.4025, 122.4030, 122.4031, 122.4033, 122.4034, 122.4035, 122.4036, 122.4037, 122.4040, 122.4041, 122.4043, 122.4044, 122.4045, 122.4046, 122.4050, 122.4051, 122.4053, 122.4055, 122.4060, 122.4061, 122.4063, 122.4070, 122.4071, 122.4073, 122.4075, 122.4076, 122.4077, 188.01, 188.02, 188.05, 188.08, 188.11, 188.14, 188.17, 188.20, 188.23, 188.27, 188.30, 303.251, 505.881, 4926.01, 4926.03, 4926.06, 4926.09, 4926.12, 4926.15, 4926.18, 4926.21, 4926.24, 4926.27, 4926.30, 4926.33, 4926.36, 4926.39, 4926.42, 4926.43, 4926.45, 4926.48, 4926.51, 4926.54, 4926.57, and 4926.60 of the Revised Code regarding broadband expansion, including access to electric cooperative easements and facilities, and makes an appropriation.

Funding, Infrastructure and Rural and Underserved

Oklahoma

HB 1049

Relates to motor vehicles; requires the Department of Public Safety to provide internet services with adequate speeds to motor license agents.

Infrastructure

Oklahoma

HB 1122

Relates to telecommunications; 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.

Infrastructure and Rural and Underserved

Oklahoma

HB 1124

Relates to rural broadband; requires the Corporation Commission promulgate rules and procedures for establishment of the State Broadband Deployment Grant Program; requires development of competitive grant program to award funding to expand broadband access; requires Commission to look at other state's best practices to facilitate framework of Program; creates the State Broadband Deployment Grant Program Revolving Fund; provides for codification; provides an effective date.

Funding, Governance and Rural and Underserved

Oklahoma

HB 1127

Relates to the Rural Broadband Expansion Council; makes an appropriation; specifies amount; states purpose; declares an emergency.

Governance and Mapping

Oklahoma

HB 1129

Relates to broadband; creates the Broadband Low Income Assistance Program Act; provides for noncodification.

Rural and Underserved

Oklahoma

HB 1635

Relates to revenue and taxation; provides income tax credit for certain qualified broadband telecommunications infrastructure; specifies amount of tax credit; prohibits reduction of tax liability to less than zero; authorizes carryover; provides for codification; provides an effective date.

Taxes

Oklahoma

HB 1923

Relates to telecommunications; creates the Rural Broadband Access Policy Act of 2021; provides for noncodification; provides an effective date.

Rural and Underserved

Oklahoma

HB 2210

Relates to broadband; creates the Broadband Efficiency Act; provides for noncodification; provides an effective date.

 

Oklahoma

HB 2212

Relates to broadband; creates the Broadband Reform Act of 2021; provides for noncodification; provides an effective date.

 

Oklahoma

HB 2297

Relates to revenue and taxation; relates to the Ad Valorem Tax Code; modifies definitions; provides definition of fixed wireless broadband internet service provider; provides an effective date.

Taxes

Oklahoma

HB 2445

Relates to rural internet; creates the Rural Internet Reform Act; provides for noncodification; provides an effective date.

Rural and Underserve

Oklahoma

SB 708

Relates to telecommunications; 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; states requirement of certain contract with cooperative; requires payment by rural electric cooperatives for certain relocations; provides for codification; provides an effective date.

Infrastructure and Rural and Underserved

Oklahoma

SB 802

Relates to the Rural Broadband Expansion Council; relates to the Rural Broadband Expansion Council; increases membership; adds certain tribal leader; updates statutory references; declares an emergency.

Governance and Rural and Underserved

Oregon

HB 2410

Prohibits public bodies from contracting with broadband internet access service providers that do not offer a low-income rate program that meets the minimum standards established by the Public Utility Commission by rule

Rural and Underserved

Oregon

HB 2411

Requires notifications and process for allowing interested telecommunications providers to coordinate with the Department of Transportation to include installation of underground infrastructure for provision of broadband as part of certain projects included in the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program.

Dig Once and Infrastructure

Oregon

HB 2507

Decouples the Oregon Telephone Assistance Program from funding offered by the Federal Communications Commission.

Rural and Underserved

Oregon

HB 2603

Requires owners or operators of undersea fiber optic telecommunication cables to obtain financial assurances and create a plan for removal of cable. Directs the Department of State Lands to study permitting processes for undersea fiber optic telecommunication cables and report results of the study to interim committees of the Legislative Assembly related to environment no later than Sept. 15, 2022.

Infrastructure

Oregon

HB 2613

Sets forth certain requirements related to the permitting and siting of broadband infrastructure.

Dig Once and Infrastructure

Oregon

HB 2654

Authorizes an electric utility to use or allow for the use of an electric easement in the provision of broadband services. Provides process for a property owner to bring action for damages if the use in the provision of broadband services results in expanded use of the easement.

Infrastructure and Rural and Underserved

Oregon

HB 2726

Direct the Public Utility Commission to study laws related to rural broadband and provide results to interim committees of Legislative Assembly no later than Sept. 15, 2022.

Governance and Rural and Underserved

Oregon

HB 2790

Appropriates moneys from the General Fund to the Oregon Department of Administrative Services for distribution to Curry County for the purpose of installing a fiber optic telecommunication line to Cape Blanco Airport.

Infrastructure

Oregon

SB 290

Directs the Oregon Business Development Department to study rural broadband access in this state. Requires the department to submit a report on findings to an interim committee of the Legislative Assembly by Sept. 15, 2022.

Governance and Rural and Underserved

Oregon

SB 615

Establishes the Low Income Broadband Bill Payment Assistance Fund. Directs the Oregon Business Development Department to establish by rule a program, to be administered by the Oregon Broadband Office, for providing broadband bill payment assistance to low income households.

Funding and Rural and Underserved

Pennsylvania

HB 86

Provides for online instruction.

Education and Schools and Rural and Underserved

Pennsylvania

HB 166

Relates to alternative form of regulation of telecommunications services; provides for network modernization plans.

Infrastructure and Municipal

Puerto Rico

HB 327

Establishes the primary jurisdiction of the Telecommunications Bureau over consumer claims before telecommunications companies that provide Internet service, particularly those related to controversies over the speed of service.

Governance

Puerto Rico

SR 17

Orders the Senate to study efforts of the Department of Education and the Puerto Rico Telecommunications Bureau to ensure that the communities and public schools of several municipalities regarding access the E-Rate Program.

Education and Schools and Rural and Underserved

Rhode Island

HB 5148

This bill establishes the 11-member broadband council to create a plan to increase the use of broadband service in the state. A broadband coordinator is to be designated in Commerce RI to access federal funds and coordinate with the council.

Governance

A. Samoa

Not available

 

 

South Carolina

HB 3146

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 certain project areas are ineligible, to provide for application requirements, to provide for certain application priorities, to provide for certain matching funds requirements, and to provide reporting requirements; and designates the existing provisions of chapter 7, title 59 as article 1, "general provisions".

Funding and Rural and Underserved

South Carolina

HB 3196

Retitles article 23, chapter 9, title 58, relating to government-owned communications service providers as "local government-owned communications service providers"; adds §58-9-2640 so as to prohibit certain practices by local agencies providing communications services, including broadband services, and to provide exceptions; amends §58-9-2600, relating to the purpose of article 23, chapter 9, title 58, so as to define the article's modified purpose; amends §58-9-2610, relating to definitions applicable to government-owned communications service providers, so as to make conforming changes and add certain definitions; amends §58-9-2620, relating to government-owned communications service providers' duties and restrictions; cost and rate computations; and accounting requirements, so as to, among other things, authorize local agencies, as defined in this act, to participate in telecommunications ventures in order to provide broadband services to unserved areas within the agencies' geographical or territorial boundaries; amends §58-9-2630, relating to tax collections and payments by government-owned communications service providers, so as to make conforming changes; amends §58-9-2650, relating to liability insurance rates, so as to make conforming changes; amends §58-9-3010, relating to definitions applicable to article 25, chapter 9, title 58, so as to make conforming changes to a cross reference; and repeals §§58-9-2660 and 58-9-2670 relating to petitions to designate unserved areas, and exemptions for government-owned communications service providers receiving funding for comprehensive community infrastructure projects.

Municipal

South Carolina

SB 60

Adds §59-1-500, to require the general assembly, in the annual general appropriations act, to appropriate funds to install, maintain, and provide wireless local area networks in every K-12 school in this state and thereafter to appropriate funds to install, maintain, and provide wireless local area networks in every school bus in this state, to require each district to adopt a plan to make school buses available to students on non-school days, and to require each district to issue a report detailing the use of the funds appropriated.

Education and Schools and Rural and Underserved

South Carolina

SB 519

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 1259

Creates the rural access infrastructure fund, to provide for the use and distribution of the fund and makes an appropriation.

Funding and Infrastructure

South Dakota

SB 34

Makes an appropriation to expand rural access to broadband services.

Funding and Rural and Underserved

Tennessee

HB 28

Authorizes municipal electric plants, electric cooperatives, and telephone cooperatives to provide broadband internet service on their own or by joint venture in geographical areas outside their service areas if the areas are located in a distressed county; requires broadband internet service be provided in state parks located in distressed counties.

Infrastructure and Rural and Underserved

Tennessee

HB 623
SB 565

Authorizes municipalities operating an electric plant to provide telecommunication services, including fiber-to-the-premises, in geographical areas both within and outside of the electric plant's service area.

Infrastructure and Rural and Underserved

Tennessee

HB 624
SB 185

Specifies that the Tennessee public utility commission shall deem an applicant to have satisfied all requirements necessary for approval of a state-issued certificate of franchise authority if the applicant has provided fiber-to-the-premises to at least 1,000 customers for a period of at least one year prior to the application.

Infrastructure and Rural and Underserved

Tennessee

HB 748
SB 556

Requires the department of economic and community development to transmit any report made on the status of grants under the broadband accessibility grant program no later than Dec. 31 in the applicable year; adds the legislative librarian as a recipient of such report.

Funding, Governance and Rural and Underserved

Tennessee

HB 804
SB 904

Adds to projects under the authority of industrial development corporations certain facilities or expenditures paid or incurred for a system, plant, or equipment for the provision of certain telecommunications services; authorizes a municipality to provide aid or assistance for such projects.

Infrastructure and Rural and Underserved

Tennessee

HB 817
SB 978

Authorizes a municipal electric plant to provide telephone, telegraph, telecommunications services, or other like systems, plants, or equipment within the corporate or county limits of another municipality without needing to obtain consent; increases the minimum download and upload speeds required for an entity to be awarded a broadband accessibility grant.

Funding, Infrastructure and Rural and Underserved

Tennessee

HB 821
SB 580

Authorizes a municipal energy authority whose principal office is located within a county with a population of 25,000 or less that has also been designated as a tier 3 or a tier 4 enhancement county to provide cable or internet service within the portion of the county that is outside of the authority’s electric system service area if the authority obtains the consent of each telephone cooperative, electric cooperative, and municipal or other governmental electric system in whose territory the authority will provide those services.

Infrastructure and Rural and Underserved

Tennessee

HB 885
SB 377

Provides a $400 supplement to families receiving temporary assistance for three months to offset expenses related to purchasing personal protective equipment, job loss, internet costs associated with virtual education and job searches, and other pandemic-related expenses.

Rural and Underserved

Tennessee

SB 1006

Increases from 10 Mbps / 1 Mbps to 25 Mbps / 3 Mbps, the minimum download and upload speeds that are to be promoted by grants awarded under the broadband accessibility grant program, with priority given to projects that serve locations without access to those speeds.

Funding, High Speed and Rural and Underserved

Texas

HB 425

Relates to the use of the universal service fund for the provision of broadband service in underserved rural areas.

Funding and Rural and Underserved

Texas

HB 1206
SB 241

Relates to permissible uses of the instructional materials and technology allotment.

Education and Schools, Funding and Rural and Underserved

Texas

HB 1446
SB 506

Relates to the expansion of broadband services to certain areas.

Funding, Governance, Mapping and Rural and Underserved

Texas

HB 1511

Relates to the creation of the connectivity office within the office of the governor.

Governance

Texas

HB 1715
SB 632

Relates to provision of broadband infrastructure and connectivity by the Lower Colorado River Authority.

Infrastructure

Texas

SB 154

Relates to the creation of the broadband office within the Public Utility Commission of the state and the establishment of a broadband service investment grant program.

Funding and Governance

Texas

SB 200

Relates to the exclusion of internet access service from sales and use taxes.

Taxes

Texas

SB 258

Relates to a remote education and distance learning allotment under the Foundation School Program.

Education and Schools, Funding and Rural and Underserved

Texas

SB 507

Relates to an accommodation process authorizing the use of state highway rights-of-way by broadband-only providers.

Infrastructure

Texas

SB 618

Relates to the creation of the State Telecommunications Infrastructure Board.

Governance and Infrastructure

Utah

HB 304

This bill implements measures to increase broadband infrastructure, digital access, and digital equity. This bill: defines terms; creates the Digital Equity Program (program) within the State Library Division (division); describes the program objectives and activities; and grants rulemaking authority to the division to accomplish program objectives.

Digital Literacy, Governance and Rural and Underserved

Vermont

HB 194

This bill proposes to: (1) enact measures to support and accelerate the broadband deployment objectives of communications union districts (CUDs); and (2) create an Office of Broadband.

Governance and Municipal

Vermont

SB 64

This bill proposes to create a property tax exemption for new broadband infrastructure constructed by an electric cooperative.

 

Infrastructure, Rural and Underserved and Taxes

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 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

HB 1923
Passed House 1/22/21

Expands an existing pilot program under which Dominion Energy and Appalachian Power are authorized to provide or make available broadband capacity to internet service providers in areas of the commonwealth that are unserved by broadband to include municipal internet service providers. The current program is restricted to nongovernmental internet service providers.

Infrastructure and Rural and Underserved

Virginia

HB 2214

Requires the commonwealth broadband chief advisor to develop and maintain a map of private broadband provider service territories, including accurate average broadband speeds in such territories. The map shall be updated yearly and be made available to the public.

Governance and Mapping

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 1225
Passed Senate 2/2/21

Authorizes school boards to appropriate funds for the purposes of promoting, facilitating, and encouraging the expansion and operation of broadband services for educational purposes. The bill authorizes school boards to partner with private broadband service providers to promote, implement, and subsidize broadband for educational purposes to the households of students who would qualify for (i) a child nutrition program or (ii) any other program recognized or adopted by the local school board as a measuring standard to identify at-risk students.

Education and Schools, Funding and Rural and Underserved

Virginia

SB 1334
Passed Senate 1/29/21

Expands the existing broadband pilot program to allow for the participation of municipalities and government-owned broadband authorities in order to provide broadband service to unserved areas of the Commonwealth.

Municipal and Rural and Underserved

Virginia

SB 1434

Provides that if a school board requires students to engage in virtual learning for any reason, whether full time or part time, and a computer and Internet service to connect to the curriculum is required, the school board must provide appropriate technology devices to every student enrolled in the school system so they may access the learning platform. The bill requires school boards to provide adequate Internet service to a student's household at no cost if the student's household income is below 125% of the federal poverty guidelines.

Education and Schools and Rural and Underserved

Virginia

SB 1462
Passed Senate 2/5/21

Requires the Department of Social Services to establish a pilot program to provide a fixed reimbursement for the costs of broadband services to households currently participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. The bill has an expiration date of July 1, 2024. The provisions of the bill are contingent on funding in a general appropriation act.

Funding and Rural and Underserved

U.S. Virgin Islands

None

 

 

Washington

HB 1064
Passed House 2/5/21

Adds questions about internet service to the seller disclosure statement for residential property

Consumer Relations and High Speed

Washington

HB 1246

Authorizes an additional 0.05% local sales and use tax, credited against the state portion of the sales and use tax, to be imposed by a rural county public facilities district to support the development of rural high speed internet infrastructure.

High Speed and Taxes

Washington

HB 1263

Requires the Department of Commerce (Department) to establish a competitive grant program to award funding to eligible public and private entities located in rural counties for public facilities. Requires the Department to prioritize applications according to specified factors. Establishes additional procedures for applications requesting funding for broadband infrastructure, including a process for existing entities providing broadband service in the proposed project area to object to the proposed broadband project. Requires the Department to report on the rural infrastructure grant program to the Office of Financial Management and the Legislature. Modifies provisions related to the System Improvement Team, including removing the Team expiration date and adding a Team reporting requirement to the Legislature.

Funding, Infrastructure and Rural and Underserved

Washington

HB 1336

Authorizes public utility districts, port districts, second-class cities, towns, and counties to provide retail telecommunications services.

Infrastructure and Rural and Underserved

Washington

HB 1457

Makes it the policy of the state that limited access highway rights-of-way be used to accommodate the deployment of broadband facilities as a critical part of the state's infrastructure.

Requires the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) to adopt and maintain an agency policy to proactively provide broadband facility owners with information about planned highway projects to facilitate broadband installation cooperation. Requires the Joint Transportation Committee to oversee a consultant study to provide recommendations related to the WSDOT's role in broadband service expansion efforts, subject to appropriations.

Dig Once and Infrastructure

Washington

HB 1460

Establishes the following programs: Senior Call-Check Service and Notification Program; Washington Lifeline Program; Universal Teleconnect Service Program; Digital Equity Opportunity Grant Program; and Digital Equity Planning Grant Program. Modifies the existing Universal Communications Services Account to create a Universal Services Account for receipt of revenues and expenditures of programs under the Act.

Establishes a monthly $0.25 telephone and voice over Internet protocol tax on all switched access lines in the state. Establishes a monthly $0.25 internet access tax imposed on all internet access service subscriptions in the state.

 

Rural and Underserved and Taxes

Washington

SB 5110

Removes the wireless service tower height requirement to qualify for a categorical exemption. Mandates local governments to allow applicants to file a single set of documents for multiple microcell sites if certain requirements are met. Reduces the review timeframe of certain right-of-way lease applications and applications to occupy a right-of-way for wireline facilities. Removes exceptions for placing a moratorium on the processing of applications or use of any facilities for personal wireless services. Modifies provisions related to the classification of a telecommunications company. Modifies and expands the applicability of the charge for an easement granted for local public utility lines owned by a nongovernmental entity. Modifies provisions regulating public utility district authority to combine utility functions and account for wholesale and retail telecommunication services. Creates a business and occupation tax credit for a person providing broadband services in unserved areas.

Infrastructure and Taxes

Washington

SB 5357

Creates the Broadband Investment Acceleration Program in the Statewide Broadband Office. Appropriates $200 million in state bond proceeds to the Department of Commerce for the program.

Funding

Washington

SB 5383

Authorizes a public utility district to provide retail telecommunication services in an unserved area under certain conditions.

Infrastructure and Rural and Underserved

Washington

SB 5439

Directs the Statewide Broadband Office to create a registration system for broadband providers applying for permits so other transportation or broadband projects in the area can be notified for coordination purposes. Requires the Department of Transportation (WSDOT) to provide broadband providers 60 days notice before construction projects so installation opportunities can be coordinated, and if no opportunities can be identified, allows (WSDOT) to proactively install conduit.

Dig Once and Infrastructure

West Virginia

HB 2002

Repeals §31G-1-6, §31G-1-9, and §31G-1-12 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended; amends and reenacts §17-2E-2, §17-2E-3, §17-2E-5, §17-2E-6, §17-2E-7, §17-2E-8, and §17-2E-9 of said code; amends and reenacts §24D-1-1, §24D-1-2, §24D-1-9, §24D-1-15, §24D-1-16, §24D-1-21, and §24D-1-26 of said code; amends and reenacts §31G-1-2 and §31G-1-4 of said code; amends and reenacts §31G-4-1 and §31G-4-2 of said code; amends said code by adding thereto two new sections, designated §17-2E-10 and §17-2E-11; amends said code by adding thereto a new article, designated §31G-1A-1, §31G-1A-2, §31G-1A-3, §31G-1A-4, §31G-1A-5, §31G-1A-6, §31G-1A-7, §31G-1A-8, §31G-1A-9, and §31G-1A-10; amends said code by adding thereto a new section, designated §31G-3-3; and amends said code by adding thereto a new article, designated §31G-6-1, §31G-6-2, and §31G-6-3 of said code, all relating to providing statutory framework to support, encourage, and expedite the expansion of broadband throughout the state of West Virginia; modifies the definition of “telecommunications carrier”; establishes requirements for agreements between the Division of Highways and an entity seeking to install telecommunications facilities; provides for in-kind contribution as a required term of agreement; establishes process for Division of Highways to approve or deny application; requires the Division of Highways provide a consolidated checklist or flow chart of all state or federal regulatory requirements; provides that the provisions of this article shall apply to all installations of any kind which necessitate disturbance of ground for a length of 1,000 feet or greater in a right-of-way owned or controlled by the Division of Highways; requires notice to the Office of Broadband of a telecommunication entity’s intent to seek construction in division’s right-of-way; provides the Office of Broadband is responsible for ensuring compliance with certain terms and will provide the Division of Highways and the applicant with certification of such compliance; allows a utility to apply to share trench with telecommunications carrier; provides the Office of Broadband the authority to issue certificates of compliance to the Division of Highways and applicant; requires Office of Broadband create, seek approval for, and update a formula or matrix to determine fair market value and in kind compensation for carriers use of rights-of-way or telecommunications facilities owned by the Division of Highways; provides Division of Highways the authority to allow carriers the use of excess telecommunications facilities; allows Division of Highways to transfer or assign ownership of in-kind compensation or excess telecommunications facilities to another state agency upon approval by governor; requires that telecommunications facilities who share trench share responsibility of compensating Division of Highways; allows Division of Highways to require a carrier bear joint and several liability; requires agreements to provide that two or more carriers sharing obligations must allow Division of Highways to review or audit those agreements; provides rulemaking authority to Division of Highways; establishes additional requirements for Division of Highways related to broadband installation, permitting, pathways, access, and contractor requirements; adds broadband telecommunications to Chapter on cable television and cable television system act for certain purposes; defines “broadband” or “broadband service” and “broadband operator”; establishes requirements for broadband operators related to installation and construction; requires broadband operators to indemnify the state for installation, operation, and maintenance; establishes requirements for broadband operator related to easement; provides requirements for broadband operators to restore interrupted service; requires broadband operator to credit subscribers for interruptions in service of more than 24 hours; establishes that broadband providers may not deny access based upon certain factors; provides that broadband service is not a utility or subject to utility regulation; defines “applicable codes” “unserved area” and “underserved”; defines powers and duties of Broadband Enhancement Council; provides the Broadband Enhancement Council and Office of Broadband coordinate on bringing broadband service to unserved and underserved areas; provides Broadband Enhancement Council publicly report to the secretary of Commerce on or before Dec. 1 annually; creates the Office of Broadband within the Economic Development Office and under the Department of Commerce; creates the position of, and requirements for, the director of the Office of Broadband; establishes the powers and duties of the Office of Broadband; requires the Office of Broadband report annually to the Joint Committee on Government and Finance; requires the Office of Broadband to map broadband in the state and establish an interactive public map; requires certain executive agencies to cooperate and provide information to the Office of Broadband regarding AREA maps; requires Office of Broadband Report to the Joint Committee on Technology regarding AREA maps at specified times; allows Office of Broadband to retain outside expert consultants; provides authority to Office of Broadband to educate public on broadband service issues; allows Office of Broadband to establish a voluntary data collection program; provides that information collected in program not subject to the Freedom of Information Act; establishes, by Office of Broadband, requirements of data collection program to be submitted to the Legislature; requires the Office of Broadband to create guidelines for voluntary donation of rights away and similar structures to facilitate broadband development; allows Office of Broadband to create guidelines and recommend to legislature an easement program to facilitate broadband service; allows Office of Broadband to seek funding and grants; establishes process to protect proprietary business information provided to the Office of Broadband; excludes proprietary business information from production under the Freedom of Information Act; provides criminal penalties for unauthorized disclosure of confidential and proprietary information; provides rulemaking authority to the Office of Broadband; establishes requirements for counites, municipalities, and political subdivisions regarding installation of conduit; defines “applicable codes”; provides for preemption of West Virginia Code and Code of State Rules and ordinances relating to installation of certain broadband equipment; provides for scheme of construction of language of private agreements relating to exterior installation of antennas and related equipment; provides for preemption of West Virginia Code and Code of State Rules and ordinances relating to pole attachment of certain broadband equipment; provides for scheme of construction of language of private agreements relating to pole attachment; and requires broadband operators receiving public funds to testify, upon request, under oath before the Legislature.

Consumer Relations, Dig Once, Governance, Infrastructure, Mapping and Rural and Underserved

Wisconsin

None

 

 

Wyoming

HB 14

Relates to rights-of-way; specifies requirements and procedures for rights-of-way along public ways; requires an application for a blanket easement for rights-of-way on public roads on federal lands in the state for broadband infrastructure development; provides for a working group for rights-of-way on public roads on federal lands; provides for an effective date.

Infrastructure

Wyoming

HB 15
Signed by governor 2/9/21,

Amends leasing provisions for department of transportation communications facilities for the provision of broadband and telecommunications services; specifies disposition of lease proceeds from communications facilities; and provides definitions.

Infrastructure

Wyoming

SF 76

Relates to the broadband development program; creates requirements for providing funding for middle-mile broadband projects; defines terms; amends minimum speed requirements for projects funded under the program; specifies eligible applicants for funding; amends rulemaking authority and requirements for the program; amends application contents; amends procedures for the challenge process; specifies additional funding priorities.

Funding, High Speed and Infrastructure

 

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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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