Broadband 2022 Legislation

Heather Morton 4/27/2022

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 2022 legislative session, 41 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico have pending and enacted 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. Sixteen jurisdictions enacted legislation or adopted resolutions: Alabama, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Kentucky, Maine, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Utah, Virginia, Washington and West Virginia.

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Broadband 2022 Legislation

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Alabama

HB 189

Under the Connect Alabama Act of 2021, the minimum service threshold for internet is defined as the minimum speed necessary to meet certain federal requirements. This bill increases the minimum service threshold for internet under the act to at least 100 megabits per second downstream and 20 megabits per second upstream. This bill authorizes the Alabama Digital Expansion Division chief to enter into nondisclosure agreements to protect provider-specific information unless release of the information is expressly authorized by the service provider. Under existing law, the Alabama Digital Expansion Division is required to use 70% of funds received by the Connect Alabama Fund to extend last-mile infrastructure in unserved areas. This bill allows for all funds received by the Connect Alabama Fund to be used to extend last-mile infrastructure in unserved areas and for middle mile and line extension programs. This bill also allows for the program funds to be modified annually by a recommendation from the Alabama Digital Expansion Division and approval by the Alabama Digital Expansion Authority.

Funding, High-Speed, Infrastructure, Rural and Underserved

Alabama

HB 255
Adopted 3/10/22, Act 117

Proposes an amendment to the Constitution of Alabama of 1901 to authorize the state, a county, or a municipality to grant certain monies to public or private entities for broadband infrastructure.

Funding

Alabama

HB 298

Under existing law, the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs administers a broadband accessibility grant program to award grants to non-governmental entities that provide broadband services. This bill increases the minimum service threshold for high-speed broadband services from 25 to 100 megabits per second of download speed and from three to 100 megabits per second of upload speed. This bill allows governmental entities to participate in the grant program and requires an entity to have contributed its statewide broadband service availability information to the Alabama broadband mapping program over the past year to qualify for a grant. This bill also requires any federal or other funds expended by ADECA's grant program to be distributed according to the statewide connectivity plan. Under existing law, grants awarded by ADECA or unserved areas may not exceed the lesser of 35% of the project costs or $1.5 million. This bill increases the amount authorized to be awarded by providing grants awarded in unserved areas may not exceed the lesser of 80% of the project costs or $5 million. This bill provides additional criteria for the preference of awarding of grants to organizations incorporated, headquartered, or with a principal place of business in Alabama and to projects that include services that offer certain programs. This bill revises the window for applying for a grant and would provide exceptions to this timeframe. This bill removes the requirement for ADECA to publish grant applications online and allows persons to object to the eligibility of the project. This bill also provides for a one-year extension of the requirement that a funded project be completed within two years in certain circumstances.

Funding, High-Speed, Rural and Underserved

Alabama

HB 2, Special Session

This bill proposes an amendment to the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, to authorize the state, a county, or a municipality to grant to public or private entities federal award funds or any other source of funding designated for broadband infrastructure by state law for providing or expanding broadband infrastructure.

Funding

Alabama

SB 123
Signed by governor 3/10/22, Act 125

Relates to the Connect Alabama Act of 2021; amends §§41-23-271, 41-23-273, and 41-23-274, Code of Alabama 1975; and specifies the minimum service threshold; authorizes the Alabama Digital Expansion Division chief to enter nondisclosure agreements; and revises the expenditure of the Connect Alabama Fund and allow for annual revision of the program funds.

Funding, Governance, High-Speed and Infrastructure

Alabama

SB 124
Signed by governor 3/15/22, Act 138

Relates to the Alabama Broadband Accessibility Act; amends §§41-23-211, 41-23-212, 41-23-213, and 41-23-214, Code of Alabama 1975; increases the minimum threshold speeds for broadband service grants; includes references to the Alabama broadband mapping program and state-wide connectivity plan; to revise criteria and eligibility for the awarding of grants; to revise the window for grant applications; revises the grant application procedures; and to allow for a project extension in certain circumstances.

Digital Literacy, Funding, Governance, High-Speed, Mapping and Rural and Underserved

Alabama

SB 125
Passed Senate 2/10/22

Proposes an amendment to the Constitution of Alabama of 1901; authorizes the state, a county, or a municipality to grant certain monies to public or private entities for broadband infrastructure.

Funding

Alabama

SB 3, Special Session

This bill proposes an amendment to the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, to authorize the state, a county, or a municipality to grant to public or private entities federal award funds or any other source of funding designated for broadband infrastructure by state law for providing or expanding broadband infrastructure.

Funding

Alaska

HB 363

Establishes the office of broadband; creates the broadband parity adjustment fund and establishes the Statewide Broadband Advisory Board.

Funding and Governance

Alaska

HB 370

Relates to broadband; relates to the Alaska Energy Authority; relates to the Regulatory Commission of Alaska.

Governance

Alaska

SB 234

Establishes the office of broadband; creates the broadband parity adjustment fund and establishes the Statewide Broadband Advisory Board

Funding and Governance

Alaska

SJR 13
Passed House 5/3/21

Supports broadband deployment in the state; recognizes the benefits of broadband; urges facilitation of broadband deployment; urges engagement with stakeholders; urges the U.S. Congress to include broadband in 2021 federal infrastructure legislation; and urges the Alaska delegation in Congress to advocate for flexible broadband funding parameters.

Funding and Governance

Arizona

HB 2678
Passed House 2/23/22

Establishes the State Broadband Office with the Arizona Commerce Authority. Permits the chief executive office to employ office staff to: a) coordinate the implementation of local, state and federal broadband programs; b) coordinate and execute federal broadband grant applications; c) provide guidance in navigating regulatory and permitting processes for broadband infrastructure projects; d) provide guidance on broadband policies and practices; e) solicit feedback from stakeholders to develop long-term broadband policy priorities; and f) work with partners, agencies and telecommunication providers to develop plans to improve internet connectivity and resiliency. Requires the office to publish and maintain a state broadband plan that elaborates Arizona's broadband goals. Permits the office to develop rules and guidelines to implement its duties

Governance

Arizona

HB 2702

Provides that Corporation Commission shall oversee broadband service and voice over internet protocol service.

Governance

Arkansas

None

 

 

California

AB 34
Died pursuant to Art. IV, Sec. 10(c) of the Constitution 2/2/22

This bill enacts the Broadband for All Act of 2022, which, if approved by the voters, authorizes the issuance of bonds in the amount of $10 billion pursuant to the State General Obligation Bond Law to support the 2022 Broadband for All Program that would be administered by the department of technology for purposes of providing financial assistance for projects to deploy broadband infrastructure and broadband internet access services. The bill provides for the submission of the bond act to the voters at the Nov. 8, 2022, statewide general election.

Funding and Rural and Underserved

California

AB 1100
Passed Assembly 5/28/21

The bill, following a state or local disaster for which the governor has issued a declaration of emergency, requires the Public Utilities Commission, within 12 months of the declaration of the emergency, to collect specified information from telecommunications service providers relating to the provider’s efforts to restore, repair, or replace communications infrastructure that was damaged as a result of the disaster. The bill requires that the information collected from telecommunications service providers by the commission be broken down by each disaster and be submitted annually in a report by the commission to the appropriate policy committees of the Legislature and posted in a conspicuous area on the commission’s internet website. The bill additionally requires the president of the commission to annually present a summary of the information to the appropriate policy committees of the Legislature. The bill authorizes the commission to require a telecommunications service provider to collect and forward to the commission any relevant information required to be collected by the commission and to make this information public, unless making the information public would present a security threat to the public, a threat to the property of the telecommunications service provider, or a threat to the employees of the telecommunications service provider. The bill requires a telecommunications service provider to identify any information the disclosure of which might present a security threat to the public, a threat to the property of the telecommunications service provider, or a threat to the employees of the telecommunications service provider, when submitting information to the commission.

Governance and Infrastructure

California

AB 1166
Died pursuant to Art. IV, Sec. 10(c) of the Constitution 2/3/22

Existing law requires that a collocation or siting application for a wireless telecommunications facility be deemed approved if a city or county fails to approve or disapprove the application within the reasonable time periods specified in applicable FCC decisions, as defined, all required public notices have been provided regarding the application, and the applicant has provided a notice to the city or county that the reasonable time period has lapsed. This bill requires that the reasonable time periods described above be determined pursuant to specified FCC rules, as defined, instead of applicable FCC decisions. The bill requires the time period for a city or county to approve or disapprove a collocation or siting application to commence when the applicant takes the first procedural step that the city or county requires as part of its applicable regulatory review process.

Infrastructure

California

AB 1176
Died pursuant to Art. IV, Sec. 10(c) of the Constitution 2/3/22

This bill establishes the California Connect Fund in the State Treasury, subject to the conditions and restrictions applicable to the existing universal service funds described above. The bill, until Jan. 1, 2031, requires the commission to develop, implement, and administer the California Connect Program to ensure that high-speed broadband service is available to every household in the state at affordable rates. The bill requires the commission, on or before Jan. 1, 2023, to adopt rules to implement the program, including rules that establish eligibility criteria for the program and the amount of, and requirements for, subsidies under the program. The bill requires the commission to perform outreach to increase program participation, to coordinate with relevant state agencies and departments to increase program participation and increase the efficacy of enrollment, and to collect data on existing affordable internet service plans that may meet program criteria. The bill requires the commission to annually report to the Legislature on the status of the program, including its success and any recommendations for modifications to the program, as provided. Existing law, the Emergency Telephone Users Surcharge Act, imposes a surcharge on each telecommunications access line for each month or part thereof for which a service user subscribes with a service supplier in an amount determined by the Office of Emergency Services, as specified. This bill requires the commission to ensure that each service supplier remits to the commission revenues from a monthly surcharge not to exceed $0.23 per month per access line for deposit into the California Connect Fund.

Funding and Rural and Underserved

California

AB 1342
Died at desk 2/1/22

Under existing law, the Public Utilities Commission has regulatory authority over public utilities. Existing law includes legislative findings that public utilities have dedicated a portion of their utility pole support structures to cable television corporations for pole attachments and declares that the provision by public utilities of surplus space and excess capacity for pole attachments is a public utility service delivered by public utilities to cable television corporations and is in the interests of the people of California. Under existing law, whenever a public utility and a cable television corporation or association of cable television corporations are unable to agree upon the terms, conditions, or annual compensation for pole attachments or the terms, conditions, or costs of rearrangements, the commission is required to establish and enforce the rates, terms, and conditions for pole attachments and rearrangements so as to ensure a public utility the recovery of specified funds. This bill makes nonsubstantive changes to those provisions.

Infrastructure

California

AB 1349
Died on Inactive File 2/1/22

This bill expressly includes nonprofit religious organizations as being within the nonprofit organizations that are eligible applicants for moneys from the Broadband Adoption Account.

Funding and Rural and Underserved

California

AB 1425
Passed Assembly 6/3/21

This bill, beginning Jan. 1, 2022, transfers $25 million to the Broadband Public Housing Account for providing grants to finance projects to connect a broadband network that offers free broadband services to residents of publicly subsidized multiunit housing complexes and other low-income communities. The bill establishes that the goal of the Broadband Public Housing Account is to provide connectivity to all residents of publicly subsidized multiunit housing by 2025 or as soon as practicable thereafter. If the collection of the surcharge for the CASF program is extended beyond the 2022 calendar year, the bill transfers annually $25 million to the Broadband Public Housing Account until the goal of the fund is achieved or until the collection of the surcharge is terminated, whichever occurs earlier.

Funding and Rural and Underserved

California

AB 1426
Passed Assembly 5/6/22

Under existing law, the Public Utilities Commission has regulatory authority over public utilities, including telephone corporations. Existing law requires the commission to develop, implement, and administer the California Advanced Services Fund (CASF) program to encourage deployment of high-quality advanced communications services to all Californians that will promote economic growth, job creation, and the substantial social benefits of advanced information and communications technologies. Existing law establishes four accounts, including the Broadband Infrastructure Grant Account, within the CASF. Existing law prohibits the commission from approving funding from the Broadband Infrastructure Grant Account for a project to deploy broadband to a delineated unserved area if the existing facility-based broadband provider demonstrates that it will deploy broadband or upgrade existing broadband service throughout the project area. This bill deletes the prohibition 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.

Funding and Governance

California

AB 1433
Died pursuant to Art. IV, Sec. 10(c) of the Constitution 2/3/22

This bill establishes the Rapid Digital Upskilling for Displaced Workers Grant Program, to be administered by the board. The bill requires the board to award grants to five counties for Rapid Digital Upskilling for Displaced Workers training programs to provide specified skills to individuals to empower them for careers in growth industries, as prescribed. The bill establishes eligible uses of training program funds and requirements for grant applications and grant awards. The bill requires the board to prepare and submit to the Legislature, by March 1, 2023, a report regarding the uses and outcomes of funds appropriated for purposes of the bill, to include, at a minimum, prescribed information relating to program participation and effectiveness. The bill defines terms for its purposes. The bill makes implementation of the grant program contingent on appropriation by the Legislature of funds for the purposes of the bill.

Digital Literacy

California

AB 1483
Died pursuant to Art. IV, Sec. 10(c) of the Constitution 2/3/22

Existing law establishes the California Broadband Council with duties that include, but are not limited to, ensuring that all relevant state agencies are made aware of actions necessary to fully implement recommendations in the 2008 Broadband Task Force Report. Executive Order N-73-20, among other things, directed the council to create a new State Broadband Action Plan by Dec. 31, 2020, which resulted in the adoption of the 2020 Broadband for All Action Plan. This bill requires the council to ensure that all relevant state agencies are made aware of actions necessary to fully implement recommendations in the 2020 Broadband for All Action Plan, instead of the 2008 Broadband Task Force Report.

Governance

California

AB 1557
Died pursuant to Art. IV, Sec. 10(c) of the Constitution 2/3/22

This bill requires a public utility that receives a request for pole attachment from a cable television corporation to notify the cable television corporation, as soon as possible, but by no later than 10 days after receipt of the request, of any additional information needed to respond to the request. The bill requires the public utility to notify the cable television corporation, as soon as possible, but by no later than 45 days after receipt of the request, if the attachment request is accepted or denied. If the request is denied, the bill requires the public utility to state all of the reasons for the denial and the remedy to gain access to the pole for attachment. If the request is accepted, the bill requires the public utility to include a cost estimate, based on actual cost, for any necessary make-ready work required to accommodate the requested attachment. If the public utility determines that a pole replacement is necessary, the bill authorizes the public utility and the cable television corporation to negotiate terms and conditions for the requested attachment and if the public utility is an electrical corporation, authorizes the electrical corporation to recover the cost of the pole replacement in a general rate case or, if applicable, a wildfire mitigation plan approval proceeding.

Infrastructure

California

AB 1934

This bill, upon an appropriation by the Legislature for this purpose, requires the Office of Emergency Services to establish a grant program on or before Jan. 1, 2024, to provide fairs with grant funding for purposes of building and upgrading broadband communication infrastructure on fairgrounds. The bill requires the office to establish standards to determine how fairs receive grant funding based on the fairgrounds’ need for broadband capabilities in order to service an emergency response operation. The bill also authorizes the office to prioritize the order of grant disbursements based on specified criteria, including the frequency in which fairgrounds are used as an emergency staging area, evacuation center, community resilience center, or other relevant emergency response site. The bill requires the office to consult with the Department of Technology and the Department of Food and Agriculture to coordinate the statewide deployment of broadband communication infrastructure on fairgrounds. For purposes of the grant program, the bill defines “fair” to mean a district agricultural association, the California Exposition and State Fair, a county fair, or a citrus fruit fair.

Funding and Rural and Underserved

California

AB 2252

This bill, following a state or local disaster for which the governor has issued a declaration of emergency, require the Public Utilities Commission, within 12 months of the declaration of the emergency, to collect specified information from broadband service providers relating to the provider’s efforts to restore, repair, or replace broadband infrastructure that was damaged as a result of the disaster, as specified. The bill requires that the information collected from broadband service providers by the commission be broken down by each disaster, submitted annually in a report by the commission to the appropriate policy committees of the Legislature, and posted in a conspicuous area on the commission’s internet website. The bill authorizes the commission to make that information public, consistent with the commission’s procedures.

Governance and Infrastructure

California

AB 2255

Existing law establishes the segments of postsecondary education in this state as the University of California, the California State University, the California Community Colleges, private postsecondary educational institutions, and independent institutions of higher education. Existing law establishes various programs that provide financial aid to students attending institutions in each of the segments. Existing law establishes the Student Aid Commission as the primary state agency for administering state-authorized student financial aid programs available to students attending all segments of postsecondary education. This bill establishes the Affordable Broadband Service Program for California Dreamers. The bill requires the program to be developed and administered by the Student Aid Commission, in consultation with the Public Utilities Commission, to provide affordable broadband service to eligible students, as defined. The bill makes an unspecified appropriation from the General Fund to the Student Aid Commission for purposes of the program.

Education and Schools and Rural and Underserved

California

AB 2256
Passed Assembly 4/21/22

Existing law establishes, within the Department of Technology, the Office of Broadband and Digital Literacy. Existing law requires the department to provide oversight and policy input for the statewide open-access middle-mile broadband network. Existing law requires the department to establish a broadband advisory committee to oversee the construction and establishment of the statewide open-access middle-mile broadband network. Existing law requires that committee to be comprised of various representatives, including a representative of the department, the Department of Finance, and two ex officio members of the Assembly. This bill additionally includes a local government official, appointed by the Speaker of the Assembly, as a member of the committee.

Governance

California

AB 2284

Existing law requires the adopted course of study for grades 1 to 6, inclusive, to include instruction in specified areas of study, including social sciences, health, and English, as provided. Existing law requires the adopted course of study for grades 7 to 12, inclusive, to offer courses in specified areas of study, including social sciences and English, as provided. Existing law requires the State Department of Education, on or before July 1, 2019, to make available to school districts on its internet website a list of resources and instructional materials on media literacy, including media literacy professional development programs for teachers. This bill, subject to an appropriation for its purposes, requires the superintendent of Public Instruction to allocate funding to school districts, county offices of education, charter schools, and the state special schools, as specified, for the purchase of standards-aligned instructional materials in media literacy and digital literacy, as defined, for kindergarten and grades 1 to 12, inclusive, and for professional development in that content, as provided.

Digital Literacy and Education and Schools

California

AB 2641

Existing law vests the Public Utilities Commission with regulatory authority over public utilities, including telephone corporations. Existing law requires the commission to develop, implement, and administer the California Advanced Services Fund to encourage deployment of high-quality advanced communications services to all Californians. Existing law provides that the goal of the Broadband Infrastructure Grant Account is to, no later than Dec. 31, 2032, approve funding for infrastructure projects that will provide broadband access to no less than 98% of California households, as provided. The California Emerging Technology Fund (CETF) was established as a nonprofit corporation pursuant to orders from the commission, for the purpose of achieving ubiquitous access to broadband and advanced services in California, particularly in underserved communities, through the use of emerging technologies by 2010. This bill requires the commission to revise the focus of the CETF to focus on closing the digital divide, promoting digital inclusion, and achieving digital equity by assisting nonprofit community-based organizations that provide services to help low-income residents find a pathway out of poverty, including through access to the internet and proficiency in digital literacy skills. The bill requires the commission to require the CETF to prioritize funding to nonprofit community-based organizations that provide one or more specified services and that reach the highest number of low-income residents, as specified.

Digital Literacy, Funding and Rural and Underserved

California

AB 2702

Existing law vests the Public Utilities Commission with regulatory authority over public utilities, including telephone corporations. Existing law requires the commission to develop, implement, and administer the California Advanced Services Fund to encourage deployment of high-quality advanced communications services to all Californians that will promote economic growth, job creation, and the substantial social benefits of advanced information and communications technologies. Existing law provides for the establishment of the Broadband Public Housing Account in the fund, and makes the moneys in the account available to the commission for grants and loans to low-income communities, which includes publicly supported housing developments and other housing developments or mobile home parks with low-income residents, to finance projects to connect their residents to broadband networks that offer free broadband service that meets or exceeds state standards. Existing law requires the commission to annually report to the Legislature specified information relating to the fund. This bill expressly provides that, for purposes of the account, “low-income communities” also includes farmworker housing. The bill establishes that the goal of the account is to provide internet connectivity to all residents of publicly supported housing developments on or before Dec. 31, 2025, and requires the commission to prioritize grants and loans from the account that benefit publicly supported housing developments. The bill requires the commission to simplify and streamline the application processes for the fund, and to enable an owner of a publicly supported housing development to submit a single application to the commission for purposes of applying for grants and loans from the fund for internet connectivity infrastructure, digital literacy training, and broadband adoption, as specified. The bill requires the commission, as part of its above-described annual report to the Legislature, to include an update on the progress made towards the goal of providing internet connectivity to all residents of publicly supported housing developments.

Funding and Rural and Underserved

California

AB 2749

Existing law vests the Public Utilities Commission with regulatory authority over public utilities, including telephone corporations. Existing law requires the commission to develop, implement, and administer the California Advanced Services Fund (CASF) to encourage deployment of high-quality advanced communications services to all Californians that will promote economic growth, job creation, and the substantial social benefits of advanced information and communications technologies. Existing law authorizes the commission to impose a surcharge, until Dec. 31, 2032, to collect up to $150 million per year for deposit into the CASF. Existing law requires the commission to establish specified accounts within the CASF, including the Broadband Infrastructure Grant Account and the Federal Funding Account. Existing law requires the commission, in approving infrastructure projects funded through the Broadband Infrastructure Grant Account, to approve projects that provide last-mile broadband access to households that are unserved by an existing facility-based broadband provider. This bill expands that requirement to require the commission to approve projects that provide last-mile broadband access to areas that include those households. This bill, for purposes of the Broadband Infrastructure Grant Account and the Federal Funding Account, requires the commission to review applications within a specified period, document the basis for denial of an application, and authorizes the amendment and resubmission of denied applications, and requires that any ministerial review process developed by the commission include a streamlined application process and a reimbursement mechanism for predetermined project costs, as specified.

Funding, Infrastructure and Rural and Underserved

California

AB 2750

Existing law establishes the Department of Technology within the Government Operations Agency, which is supervised by the director of Technology. Existing law charges the director and the department with various duties in creating and managing the information technology policy of the state. This bill requires the department, by Jan. 1, 2024, in consultation with the public, the Public Utilities Commission, and the California Broadband Council, to develop a state digital equity plan. The bill requires the plan to include, among other things, the identification of barriers to digital equity faced by specified populations, as provided, and measurable objectives for documenting and promoting digital equity among those populations. The bill requires the department, to the extent practicable, to obtain all available federal funding for purposes of developing and implementing the plan.

Governance

California

AB 2751

This bill, the Affordable Internet and Net Equality Act of 2022, requires the Department of Technology, in coordination with the Public Utilities Commission and the Department of General Services, to develop and establish the Net Equality Program. The bill requires the state and state agencies, except the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection and the Office of Emergency Services, to only do business with an internet service provider offering affordable home internet service to households participating in certain public assistance programs, as specified. The bill defines affordable home internet service to mean internet service costing no more than $40 per month and that meets specified minimum speed requirements. The bill requires these internet service providers to establish a telephone number to sign up eligible households and requires these providers to advertise the availability of affordable home internet service, among other requirements placed on these providers.

Governance and Rural and Underserved

California

AB 2752

Existing law vests the Public Utilities Commission with regulatory authority over public utilities, including telephone corporations. Existing law requires the commission to develop, implement, and administer the California Advanced Services Fund program to encourage deployment of high-quality advanced communications services to all Californians that will promote economic growth, job creation, and the substantial social benefits of advanced information and communications technologies. Existing law requires the commission, in collaboration with relevant state agencies and stakeholders, to maintain and update a statewide, publicly accessible, and interactive map showing the accessibility of broadband service in the state, as provided. This bill requires the commission, in collaboration with relevant state agencies and stakeholders, to additionally include all developed last-mile broadband service connections from the statewide open-access middle-mile broadband network on that interactive map.

Mapping

California

AB 2753

This bill, the Digital Equity Bill of Rights, states that it is the policy of the state, to ensure digital equity for all residents of the state, that residents shall have the right to broadband that meets specific requirements, and that broadband internet subscribers benefit from equal access to broadband internet service. The bill requires the Public Utilities Commission, on or before Jan. 1, 2025, to adopt rules to facilitate equal access to broadband internet service, as specified, and requires that any rules adopted by the commission promote equal access to robust broadband internet service by prohibiting deployment discrimination, as specified. The bill requires the commission to develop model policies and best practices that local governmental entities may use to ensure that broadband internet service providers do not engage in digital discrimination and requires the commission to revise its public complaint process to accept complaints from consumers or other members of the public that relate to digital discrimination.

Governance and Rural and Underserved

California

AB 2905

Existing law establishes, within the Department of Technology, the Office of Broadband and Digital Literacy. Existing law requires the office to oversee the acquisition and management of contracts for the development and construction of, and for the maintenance and operation of, a statewide open-access middle-mile broadband network, as defined, to provide an opportunity for last-mile providers, anchor institutions, and tribal entities to connect to, and interconnect with other networks and other appropriate connections to, the broadband network to facilitate high-speed broadband service, as specified. Existing law requires the office, in consultation with the Department of Finance, to submit annually a report to the budget committees of the Legislature on the broadband network in compliance with specified law. Existing law also generally imposes requirements on a state or local agency that submits a required or requested report to the members of either house of the Legislature, including that the report include a summary of its contents. This bill provides that the report submitted annually to the budget committees of the Legislature shall be subject to the same requirements as a report that is submitted to members of either house of the Legislature generally and shall be submitted in compliance with those provisions.

Governance

California

SB 275
Returned to secretary of Senate pursuant to Joint Rule 56 2/1/22

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 732
Returned to secretary of Senate pursuant to Joint Rule 56 2/1/22

This bill requires the department of education to develop and implement a program for county offices of education, school districts, and charter schools to issue no-cash value vouchers to be distributed to households with eligible pupils, as defined, to be used during the 2021–22 fiscal year to assist those households with the impacts of distant or remote learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The bill repeals these provisions on Jan. 1, 2023. The bill appropriates an unspecified amount to the department for purposes of developing and implementing the program. This bill establishes the Rural Broadband Infrastructure Fund as a continuously appropriated fund in the State Treasury and requires the commission to develop, implement, and administer the Rural Broadband Infrastructure Program to provide high-quality broadband service with speeds of at least 100 megabits per second (Mbps) downstream and 100 Mbps upstream to rural areas that are unserved, as defined, and to the extent moneys remain available, to upgrade broadband service availability in rural areas that are underserved, as defined. The bill appropriates $5 billion to the commission, and additionally appropriates $1 billion per year for five years beginning with the 2023–24 fiscal year, for purposes of developing, implementing, and administering the program.

Education and Schools, Funding and Rural and Underserved

California

SB 740
Returned to secretary of Senate pursuant to Joint Rule 56 2/1/22

This bill continues the date to achieve the goal of the California Advanced Services Fund (CASF) program to no later than Dec. 31, 2032. Existing law authorizes the public utilities commission to collect a sum not to exceed $330 million to implement the CASF program through the imposition of a surcharge that is collected through the 2022 calendar year. This bill extends the collection of the surcharge until the full sum of $330 million is collected. Existing law establishes the Broadband Infrastructure Grant Account in the CASF to provide grants for the deployment of infrastructure capable of delivering access to unserved households, as provided. Existing law requires the commission, in administering that account, 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. The bill expands eligibility for grants from that account to include additional households and requires projects awarded grants from that account to deploy infrastructure capable of providing broadband access at increased speeds, as specified. Under existing law, a local governmental agency is eligible for a grant from that account only if the project is for an unserved household or business, and no other eligible entity applied after the commission has conducted an open application process. This bill repeals that provision.

Funding

California

SB 743
Passed Senate 5/26/21

This bill, upon appropriation by the Legislature, requires the Public Utilities Commission to establish a grant program to fund broadband adoption, digital literacy, and computer equipment for eligible publicly supported communities, low-income mobile home parks, and farmworker housing, as defined. The bill requires the commission to award grants to eligible publicly supported communities, low-income mobile home parks, and farmworker housing for the purpose of providing either or both funding for computer equipment and to establish computer labs, and ongoing funding for broadband service and digital literacy programs.

Digital Literacy, Funding and Rural and Underserved

California

SB 876

This bill appropriates $18 million from the General Fund to the State Department of Education for the 2022–23 fiscal year to establish the Digital Education Equity Program (DEEP), to be administered by the department as a grant program for the purposes of, among other things, supporting the planned implementation of educational technology services by all county offices of education. The bill requires the DEEP to provide technical assistance and teacher professional development to school districts, county offices of education, and charter schools on the implementation of educational technology as set forth in policies of the State Board of Education. The bill requires the department, on or before Jan. 31, 2023, and in consultation with the executive director of the state board, to authorize grants of up to three years in duration, and eligible for renewal, to fund all county offices of education that develop educational technology plans, as provided. The bill requires the DEEP to provide program guidelines and criteria for determining the funding level for county offices of education, as provided. The bill appropriate $3 million from the General Fund to the department for the 2022–23 fiscal year to establish an Office of Educational Technology and Digital Equity with sufficient staff to administer the provisions of the bill. The bill specifies the duties of the department in administering the DEEP, as provided. The bill authorizes the superintendent to provide centralized statewide educational technology services that address locally defined needs, as specified. The bill also requires the superintendent to submit an annual written report to the state board and the Legislature on the services provided, persons served, and funds expended for purposes of the bill, as provided.

Education and Schools and Funding

Colorado

HB 1306
Passed House 4/13/22

Authorizes and amends the process for the broadband deployment board to award money that the state received under the federal American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 for broadband deployment projects.

Funding and Governance

Colorado

SB 83
Signed by governor 4/7/22, Chapter 72

Concerns a broadband provider use of the public rights of way.

Infrastructure

Connecticut

None

 

 

Delaware

None

 

 

District of Columbia

B24-77

Requires the development of a comprehensive, multi-year technology plan for the District of Columbia Public Schools to support quality, equitable education that ensures one-to-one student and teacher device ratios; practical digital literacy training; robust remote and in-school IT support and maintenance; improved technology infrastructure; and sufficient internet access for all to support learning in schools and at home.

Digital Literacy

District of Columbia

B24-200

Amends the Office of the Chief Technology Officer Establishment Act of 1998 to create a Digital Equity Division within the Office of the Chief Technology Officer, requires reporting on District residents’ access to high-speed internet service, and requires that all District residents have a high-speed internet connection.

Governance and High Speed

Florida

HB 1337
Died in committee 3/13/22
SB 1616
Died in committee 3/14/22

Relates to student access to internet connections and technology; creates §1000.09, F.S.; establishes the Digital Inclusion Technology Development Initiative; provides the purpose and goal of the initiative; provides for funding; requires the initiative to submit an annual report by a specified date to the governor, the Legislature, and the commissioner of Education; establishes the Initiative Educational Technology Advisory Council; provides for the meetings, membership, terms of office, and compensation of the council; provides for expiration of the initiative; and provides appropriations.

Education and Schools and Rural and Underserved

Florida

HB 1543
Died on calendar 3/14/22

Relates to broadband infrastructure; amends §288.9961, F.S.; revises the duties of the Florida Office of Broadband to include administering certain reimbursements; creates §288.9964, F.S.; authorizes certain persons to apply to the office for reimbursement of certain pole replacement costs, subject to the availability of funds; defines the term "pole replacement costs"; provides conditions under which pole replacement costs are eligible for reimbursement; provides application requirements; requires the office to annually publish certain information on its website and provide certain information to the governor and Legislature; and requires the Department of Economic Opportunity to adopt rules.

Funding and Infrastructure

Florida

HB 1545
Died on calendar 3/14/22

Relates to the Broadband Pole Replacement Trust Fund; creates §288.9965, F.S.; creates the Broadband Pole Replacement Trust Fund within the Department of Economic Opportunity; provides the purpose of the trust fund; provides that moneys credited to the trust fund shall consist of certain funds; requires that funds in the trust fund be used in a manner consistent with federal law; provides that the balance in the trust fund at the end of a fiscal year remains in the trust fund and is available for carrying out the purposes of the trust fund; provides for future legislative review and termination or re-creation of the trust fund; provides a directive to the Division of Law Revision; provides a contingent effective date.

Funding and Infrastructure

Florida

SB 1726
Died in committee 3/14/22

Relates to broadband; amends §288.9961, F.S.; establishes the Broadband Deployment Task Force within the Department of Economic Opportunity for a specified purpose; requires the department to provide administrative and technical assistance to the task force; provides for the membership and duties of the task force; requires the task force to submit annual reports to the governor and the Legislature by a specified date; provides that certain information provided to the department from broadband service providers retains its confidentiality and exemption from public disclosure requirements; amends §288.9962, F.S.; provides applicability; revises grant application written challenge requirements; establishes positions with the Office of Broadband for a specified purpose; provides an effective date.

Governance

Florida

SB 1800
Died in messages 3/14/22

Relates to broadband infrastructure; amends §288.9961, F.S.; revises the duties of the Florida Office of Broadband to include administering the Broadband Pole Replacement Program; requires the office to submit an annual report to the governor and the Legislature by a specified date; creates §288.9964, F.S.; provides legislative findings; defines terms; establishes the Broadband Pole Replacement Program within the office; provides responsibilities of the office; provides eligibility requirements for reimbursement under the program; provides that reimbursements are subject to the availability of certain funds; provides that certain denied applicants may reapply in certain circumstances; provides requirements for the program application; requires the office to provide certain reimbursements within a certain period of time; authorizes an applicant to request certain information from a pole owner under certain circumstances; requires an applicant to meet certain conditions; requires the office to publish and continually update certain information on its public website; authorizes rulemaking; provides an effective date.

Funding, Governance and Infrastructure

Florida

SB 1802
Died in messages 3/14/22

Relates to the Broadband Pole Replacement Trust Fund; creates §288.9965, F.S.; creates the trust fund within the Department of Economic Opportunity; provides the purpose of the trust fund; provides that moneys credited to the trust fund shall consist of certain funds; requires that certain funds in the trust fund be used in a manner consistent with federal law or grant agreement for use of the funds; provides that the balance in the trust fund at the end of a fiscal year remains in the trust fund and is available for carrying out the purposes of the trust fund; provides for future legislative review and termination or re-creation of the trust fund; provides a contingent effective date.

Funding and Infrastructure

Georgia

HB 608

Amends Title 50 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to state government, so as to provide for planning, deployment, and incentives of broadband services throughout the state; provides for definitions; provides for certain powers, duties, and responsibilities of the OneGeorgia Authority and the Department of Community Affairs relative to funding and contractual awards for the deployment of broadband services to unserved areas and unserved locations within such areas; provides certain criteria and conditions for such awards; establishes a process and procedure for the department to receive and investigate comments and suggestions related to proposed awards; provides for related matters; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

Funding, Governance and Rural and Underserved

Georgia

HR 1274

Creates the House Study Committee on the Internet of Things, connectivity of smart cities and counties, and smart port technology; and for other purposes.

Smart Communities

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

Georgia

SB 542

Amends Title 46 of the O.C.G.A., relating to public utilities and public transportation, so as to limit the "Competitive Emerging Communications Technologies Act of 2006" to wireless service; provides the Public Service Commission with the authority and duty to regulate broadband services and VoIP in this state; enacts the "Broadband Resiliency, Public Safety, and Quality Act"; amends Titles 38, 39, and 46 of the O.C.G.A., relating to military, emergency management, and veterans affairs, minors, and public utilities and public transportation; provides for related matters; repeals conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

Governance

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 809

Establishes the Hawaii broadband office within the Hawaii technology development corporation. Establishes the position of state broadband strategy officer. Renames the broadband assistance advisory council as the broadband advisory council and amends its purpose and membership. Requires the chief executive officer of the Hawaii technology development corporation to convene and chair the broadband advisory council. Appropriates funds.

Governance

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.

Governance

Hawaii

HB 1251
SB 947
Passed Senate 3/9/21

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

HB 1418
SB 2076
To conference committee 4/20/22

Requires the University of Hawaii and the Hawaii broadband and digital equity office to convene a working group to determine the appropriate governance structure to operate, maintain, and oversee broadband assets. Appropriates funds.

Governance

Hawaii

HB 1728
SB 2213

Requires broadband service providers to annually disclose to the Broadband and Digital Equity Office certain broadband data and the street-level locations where it has deployed fiber cable.

Mapping

Hawaii

HB 1782
SB 2173

Allows an electric utility to own, operate, lease, plan, construct, install, maintain, and replace broadband facilities, including middle mile infrastructure, to help facilitate the development of and investment in broadband facilities and services to rural, unserved, underserved, and urban communities throughout the state.

Infrastructure and Rural and Underserved

Hawaii

HB 1892

Requires the department of health to provide to senior and rural residents free wireless broadband internet access in parking lots adjoining department of health buildings in each county. Requires the department of health to assist with the digitizing of vital records. Appropriates moneys.

Rural and Underserved

Hawaii

HB 2397
Passed House 3/8/22

Establishes the Hawaii broadband infrastructure authority. Defines broadband equity within the Hawaii broadband and digital equity office. Appropriates federal funds.

Funding, Governance and Rural and Underserved

Hawaii

HB 2483
SB 2961

Creates a digital divide task force. Requires a report the Legislature.

Governance

Hawaii

HB 2484
SB 2981

Makes an appropriation to expand access to broadband in the state.

Funding and Rural and Underserved

Hawaii

HCR 118
HR 118

Urges the public utilities commission to develop and adopt an efficient, streamlined process for reviewing electric utilities' requests to provide middle mile broadband services in furtherance of the state's efforts to expedite broadband access and equity and promote expeditious broadband deployment to areas of the state that are unserved and underserved.

Infrastructure and Rural and Underserved

Hawaii

SB 246
To conference committee 4/15/21

Establishes a state government realignment commission to periodically review the state executive branch's departments, divisions, and agencies, including functions and services, and submit its findings and recommendations to the legislature. Appropriates American Rescue Plan Act funds for various broadband infrastructure installation and updates throughout the state and requires an annual report regarding these projects.

Education and Schools, Funding, Infrastructure and Rural and Underserved

Hawaii

SB 850
Passed Senate 3/9/21

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 851

Clarifies that certain small wireless facilities and associated modified or replaced utility poles shall be classified as permitted uses and shall not be subject to zoning review or zoning approval if they are deployed in an underserved area or unserved area. Defines "underserved area" and "unserved area."

Infrastructure 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

Hawaii

SB 2184
To conference committee 4/20/22

Establishes a digital learning center within the department of education. Appropriates funds to staff and administer the digital learning center.

Digital Literacy and Education and Schools

Hawaii

SB 2214
To conference committee 4/20/22

Establishes a digital literacy program to be overseen by the board of education and implemented by the state librarian to promote digital literacy through programmatic activities, including making digital technology accessible to individuals with disabilities. Appropriates funds.

Digital Literacy

Hawaii

SB 2479
To conference committee 4/19/22

Requires each public housing project, dwelling unit, and state low-income housing project that is built, renovated, or reconstructed after Jan. 1, 2023, to include all broadband infrastructure necessary for tenants to have access to broadband service.

Infrastructure and Rural and Underserved

Hawaii

SB 2603

Allows the Department of Transportation to: (1) Install and lease telecommunication facilities; (2) Contract for the installation, lease, and management of telecommunication facilities; and (3) Grant longitudinal access to the right-of-way of a highway for the installation, operation, and maintenance of a telecommunication facility under certain conditions. Requires the director of Transportation to adopt certain administrative rules. Authorizes the director of Transportation to offer a broadband service provider use of and access to its spare conduits and related telecommunication facilities under certain conditions. Grants a property owner the right of just compensation from the Department of Transportation or the broadband provider for any decrease in land value due to the expanded use of an existing easement to install or operate a telecommunication facility. Creates the Smart Highway Corridor Special Fund. Exempts the Department of Transportation from rulemaking requirements for one year for the purposes of this Act.

Infrastructure

Hawaii

SB 2886

Requires the Hawaii Broadband and Digital Equity Office to: (1) collect certain data from communications service providers, (2) determine performance standards for broadband service in the state, and (3) publish a publicly available web-based broadband infrastructure and service map that identifies geographic areas based on the data collected. Establishes the criteria for the Hawaii Broadband and Digital Equity Office to consider in determining and designating unserved and underserved areas.

Governance and Mapping

Hawaii

SB 3341

Amends the Hawaii Broadband and Digital Equity Office's duties, including requiring the office to prioritize the access to broadband in rural areas of the state.

Governance

Hawaii

SCR 12
Passed Senate 4/6/22
SR 6
Adopted 4/6/22

Urges the Hawaii broadband and digital equity office to prioritize access to broadband services in rural areas throughout the state.

Governance and Rural and Underserved

Hawaii

SCR 41
To Senate for concurrence 4/25/22
SR 36
Adopted 4/7/22

Requests the Hawaii broadband and digital equity office to conduct a data mapping study to identify geographically underserved and unserved areas in the state that lack quality broadband connectivity.

Mapping

Hawaii

SCR 120
To Senate for concurrence 4/25/22
SR 107
Adopted 4/6/22

Urges the public utilities commission to consider and adopt an efficient, streamlined process to review requests made by electric utilities to provide middle mile broadband services in furtherance of the state's efforts to expedite broadband access and equity, facilitate digital equity, and promote expeditious broadband deployment to unserved and underserved areas.

Infrastructure and Rural and Underserved

Idaho

HB 640
Signed by governor 3/24/22, Chapter 208

Relates to the Idaho broadband dig once and right-of-way act; amends chapter 5, title 40, Idaho code, by the addition of a new §40-515, Idaho code, to provide a short title; amends chapter 5, title 40, Idaho code, by the addition of a new §40-516, Idaho code, to provide legislative intent regarding a dig once policy; amends chapter 5, title 40, Idaho code, by the addition of a new §40-517, Idaho code, to define terms; amends chapter 5, title 40, Idaho code, by the addition of a new §40-518, Idaho code, to establish provisions regarding a dig once policy and project identification; amending chapter 5, title 40, Idaho code, by the addition of a new §40-519, Idaho code, to provide that broadband providers acting in accordance with the dig once policy shall not be assessed fair market value; amends chapter 5, title 40, Idaho code, by the addition of a new §40-520, Idaho code, to establish provisions regarding rights-of-way for broadband; and declaring an emergency and provides an effective date.

Dig Once and Infrastructure

Illinois

HB 4282

Amends the Public Utilities Act. Provides that every telecommunications carrier with more than 10,000 customers and every Incumbent Local Exchange Carrier (rather than every Incumbent Local Exchange Carrier) shall offer or provide advanced telecommunications services to not less than 90% of its customers by Dec. 31, 2023 (rather than 80% of its customers by Jan. 1, 2005). Removes provisions authorizing the Illinois Commerce Commission to grant a full or partial waiver of specified requirements. Provides that if the holder of a state-issued authorization is using telecommunications facilities to provide cable or video service and has more than one million telecommunications access lines in this state, the holder shall provide access to its cable or video service to a number of households equal to at least 90% (rather than 35%) of the households in the holder's telecommunications service area in the state by Dec. 31, 2023 (rather than within three years after the date a holder receives a state-issued authorization from the Commission). Provides that the holder of a state-issued authorization shall provide wireline broadband service capable of supporting, in at least one direction, a speed in excess of 1,000 megabits per second (rather than 200 kilobits per second), to the network demarcation point at the subscriber's premises, to a number of households equal to 90% of the households in the holder's telecommunications service area by Dec. 31, 2023 (rather than Dec. 31, 2008). Removes provisions concerning investigations into or complaint alleging that the holder of a state-issued authorization has failed to meet specified requirements. Makes changes to definitions. Amends the Broadband Advisory Council Act to make conforming changes.

High-Speed, Infrastructure and Rural and Underserved

Illinois

HB 4758

Creates the Illinois Broadband Deployment, Equity, Access, and Affordability Act of 2022. Provides that access to affordable, reliable, high-speed broadband service is essential to full participation in modern life in the state and throughout the United States. Defines terms. Provides that the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity shall establish and implement a statewide broadband service grant program. Provides that the Department shall use money from the grant program only for the exclusive purpose of awarding grants to applicants for projects that are limited to the construction and deployment of broadband service into unserved areas in the state and for the Department's cost to administer the program. Provides that the Department shall not award grant money to a governmental entity or educational institution. Provides that the Department shall not, as a condition of an award of grant money, impose an open network architecture requirement, rate regulation, or other term or condition of service that differs from the applicant's terms or conditions of service in its other service areas. Includes provisions providing for the criteria for determining the award of funds, the information an applicant must provide for an application for a grant, the priority by which the Department shall follow in granting awards, and when the Department shall not award a grant to an applicant. Provides that when a grant is awarded, the Department shall provide notice on its website of each application receiving a grant. Provides that the Department shall require an applicant awarded a grant to submit a semi-annual report from the time the applicant receives the grant to three years after completion of the project. Makes a conforming change in the Freedom of Information Act.

Funding and Rural and Underserved

Illinois

HB 4995

Amends the Eliminate the Digital Divide Law. Makes a technical change in a section concerning legislative findings.

Rural and Underserved

Illinois

HB 5144

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

Governance

Illinois

SB 2247

Amends the Illinois Procurement Code. Provides that the Code does not apply to the leasing of state-owned facilities by a wireless carrier. Amends the Illinois Income Tax Act. Creates credit for the cost of equipment and materials used in the business of providing broadband services in a county in the state with a population of fewer than 40,000 people or a township in the state with a population density of less than 50 households per square mile in a county with a population of less than 300,000 people. Provides that the credit does not apply to equipment and materials placed in service after Dec. 31, 2026. Amends the Use Tax Act, the Service Use Tax Act, the Service Occupation Tax Act, and the Retailers' Occupation Tax Act to exempt equipment and materials used to provide broadband services in a county in the state with a population of fewer than 40,000 people or a township in the state with a population density of less than 50 households per square mile in a county with a population of less than 300,000 people.

Taxes

Illinois

SB 3683

Creates the Illinois Broadband Deployment, Equity, Access, and Affordability Act of 2022. Provides that access to affordable, reliable, high-speed broadband service is essential to full participation in modern life in the state and throughout the United States. Defines terms. Provides that the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity shall establish and implement a statewide broadband service grant program. Provides that the Department shall use money from the grant program only for the exclusive purpose of awarding grants to applicants for projects that are limited to the construction and deployment of broadband service into unserved areas in the state and for the Department's cost to administer the program. Provides that the Department shall not award grant money to a governmental entity or educational institution. Provides that the Department shall not, as a condition of an award of grant money, impose an open network architecture requirement, rate regulation, or other term or condition of service that differs from the applicant's terms or conditions of service in its other service areas. Includes provisions providing for the criteria for determining the award of funds, the information an applicant must provide for an application for a grant, the priority by which the Department shall follow in granting awards, and when the Department shall not award a grant to an applicant. Provides that when a grant is awarded, the Department shall provide notice on its website of each application receiving a grant. Provides that the Department shall require an applicant awarded a grant to submit a semi-annual report from the time the applicant receives the grant to three years after completion of the project. Makes a conforming change in the Freedom of Information Act.

Funding, Governance and Rural and Underserved

Illinois

SB 3710

Amends the Illinois Procurement Code. Provides that the Code does not apply to the leasing of State-owned facilities by a wireless carrier, a cable operator, a holder, or a provider of broadband services. Amends the Illinois Income Tax Act. Creates credit for the cost of equipment and materials used in the business of providing broadband services in a county in the State with a population of fewer than 40,000 people or a township in the State with a population density of less than 50 households per square mile in a county with a population of less than 300,000 people. Amends the Use Tax Act, the Service Use Tax Act, the Service Occupation Tax Act, and the Retailers' Occupation Tax Act to exempt equipment and materials used to provide broadband services in a county in the state with a population of fewer than 40,000 people or a township in the state with a population density of less than 50 households per square mile in a county with a population of less than 300,000 people.

Taxes

Illinois

SB 3902
Passed both chambers 4/1/22

Amends the School Code. Resolves conflicts with versions of provisions concerning prerequisites to receiving a high school diploma from Public Acts 101-654 (§§50-5 and 60-5), 102-366, and 102-551. Provides for pupils entering the ninth grade in the 2022-2023 school year and 2023-2024 school year, one year of a course that includes intensive instruction in computer literacy, which may be English, social studies, or any other subject and which may be counted toward the fulfillment of other graduation requirements.

Digital Literacy

Indiana

HB 1211
Vetoed by governor 3/15/22

Provides that not later than Oct. 1, 2022, the department of administration (department), on behalf of the office of technology (office), shall issue a request for information for purposes of exploring how blockchain technology could be used by a state agency to: (1) achieve greater cost efficiency and cost effectiveness; and (2) improve consumer convenience, experience, data security, and data privacy. Requires the office to compile a report concerning the request for information and submit the report to the legislative council in an electronic format not later than March 31, 2023. Defines "blockchain technology" and "distributed ledger technology". Requires an agency to submit an emergency rule to the attorney general for review and approval before the emergency rule may take effect. Provides that emergency rules may not be effective for a period that exceeds 180 days. Provides that certain emergency rules expire not more than two years after the rule takes effect. Requires an agency adopting an administrative rule to submit an economic impact statement and an explanation of any penalty, fine, or other similar negative impact included in the proposed rule to the publisher of the Indiana Administrative Code (publisher). Requires the publisher to provide a copy of the materials concerning a proposed rule or pending readoption to the members of the appropriate standing committee, the governor, and the office of management and budget. Provides that administrative rules expire on July 1 of the fourth year after the year in which the rule takes effect (instead of Jan. 1 of the seventh year after the year in which the rule takes effect). Requires an agency intending to readopt an administrative rule to provide to the publisher, not later than Jan. 1 of the third year after the year in which the rule most recently took effect: (1) notice of; and (2) information concerning; the pending readoption. Requires that all broadband infrastructure projects that are funded in whole or in part by a grant or loan from the regional economic acceleration and development initiative (READI) fund must satisfy the criteria and requirements as described in the rural broadband program. Makes corresponding changes.

Dig Once and Infrastructure

Iowa

HF 586
Passed House 3/23/21

Relating to the development and utilization of high-speed electronic transmission mediums. Adds certification program for Broadband forward and telecommuter forward.

Infrastructure

Iowa

HF 789

Relates to matters under the purview of the economic development authority, including tax credit programs, statewide tourism, incentives for manufacturers to invest in smart technologies, and an energy infrastructure revolving loan program, and making appropriations.

Smart Communities

Iowa

HF 2324

This bill creates a satellite internet grant program under the office of the chief information officer to provide broadband connection to Iowans with limited or nonexistent internet connectivity. The bill defines “initial hardware costs” to mean manufacturing and equipment costs generated from accessing a satellite. The bill defines “satellite” to mean an electronic infrastructure orbiting the earth at atmospheric altitudes between 200 kilometers and 2,000 kilometers that facilitates broadband service. The bill provides that a person may apply for grants administered by the office to cover up to the initial hardware costs for satellite interconnection if certain criteria are satisfied. Criteria for awarding a grant include providing broadband service to areas with no broadband, a statement of the initial hardware costs for the satellite project, interconnection facilitating internet service that provides certain minimum download and upload speeds, and other standards and criteria as determined by the office.

Funding and Infrastructure

Iowa

HF 2459

This bill relates to the financing of the construction or repair of works or facilities used to provide telecommunications services. The bill permits joint financing under Code chapter 28F for works or facilities useful for the operation of a telecommunications system or the provision of telecommunications services. The bill provides that the definition of “essential corporate purpose” contained in Code §384.24 shall include the construction, reconstruction, and repair of fiberoptic network conduit and the acquisition of real estate interests needed for such purposes. The bill provides that “fiberoptic network conduit” means as defined in Code §8B.25 to include a pipe, vault, or duct used to enclose fiberoptic cable facilities buried alongside a roadway or surface mounted on a bridge, overpass, or other facility where placement below ground is impossible or impractical but not including electronics or cable. The bill provides in the definition that a city shall comply with 47 U.S.C. §253 regarding removal of barriers to entry and 47 U.S.C. §332 regarding mobile services and shall provide nondiscriminatory access to fiberoptic network conduit owned or leased by the city to provide telecommunications services.

Infrastructure

Iowa

HF 2460

This bill directs the office of the chief information officer and the Iowa economic development authority to jointly conduct a feasibility study relating to internet exchange points. The bill requires the office and the authority to assess a timeline to construct and install an internet exchange point, internet exchange point construction and installation costs, internet exchange point maintenance requirements, internet exchange point maintenance costs, internet exchange point upgrade costs, upgrades recommended to be performed on an internet exchange point, and the optimum number of internet exchange points for the state. The bill requires the office and the authority to submit a report containing their findings and recommendations to the general assembly by Dec. 15, 2022.

Infrastructure

Kansas

HB 2499

The bill provides a refund for state retail sales and compensating use taxes paid on property used or consumed in the provision of video service, internet access service, or telecommunication service. The refund amount would be capped at $40.0 million per calendar year. If total claims for refund exceed $40 million, the amount of tax refunded would be prorated. The provider of video service, internet access service, or telecommunications service would be allowed to claim the refund between Jan. 1st and April 1st for any purchases that were made for the previous calendar year.

Taxes

Kentucky

HB 1
Signed by governor with line-item veto 4/11/22, Act 199

Relates to appropriations measures; provides funding and establishes conditions for the operations, maintenance, support, and functioning of the government and its various officers, cabinets, departments, boards, commissions, institutions, subdivisions, agencies, and other state supported activities. Appropriates funds for the Office for Broadband.

Funding and Governance

Kentucky

HB 294

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

Rural and Underserved

Kentucky

HB 315
Signed by governor with line-item veto 4/11/22, Act 202
Veto overridden 4/13/22

Relates to broadband deployment, making an appropriation therefor, and declaring an emergency.

Funding, Governance and Rural and Underserved

Kentucky

HB 459
To House for concurrence 3/30/22

Amends 2021 Kentucky Acts Chapter 171, §3, to appropriate federal funds from the Coronavirus Capital Projects Fund of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 in the amount of $127 million and federal funds from the State Fiscal Recovery Fund of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 in the amount of $123 million in fiscal year 2021-2022 to the broadband deployment fund; repeals 2021 Kentucky Acts Chapter 194, §17.

Funding

Kentucky

HB 492

Creates a new section of KRS Chapter 224A to establish the Rural Infrastructure Improvement Program; defines terms; establishes the rural infrastructure improvement fund; provides that money deposited to the credit of the fund shall only be used by the Kentucky Infrastructure Authority to provide reimbursements to qualified applicants for eligible utility pole replacement costs necessary for the deployment of broadband infrastructure; sets maximum reimbursement amounts; requires the Kentucky Infrastructure Authority to receive, review, and approve applications for eligible pole replacement reimbursement; requires the Kentucky Infrastructure Authority to promulgate administrative regulations necessary for the administration of the program; requires that no later than 60 days of receiving moneys into the rural infrastructure improvement fund, the Kentucky Infrastructure Authority must publish the application form for requesting reimbursement from the fund; provides for eligibility requirements and terms and conditions of receiving reimbursement from the fund; requires the Kentucky Infrastructure Authority to maintain statistics on its website relating to applications received, amounts reimbursed, and money remaining in the fund; requires the auditor of Public Accounts to audit the fund no later than one year after it receives moneys; no later than one year after the exhaustion of the money in the fund, requires the Kentucky Infrastructure Authority to file a report with the Legislative Research Commission identifying and examining the deployment of broadband infrastructure facilitated by the eligible pole reimbursements awarded; appropriates $56 million to the fund from the State Fiscal Recovery Fund of the American Rescue Plan Act

Funding, Infrastructure and Rural and Underserved

Kentucky

HB 631

Amends KRS 156.690 to insert gender-neutral language into a program to assist and encourage each certified teacher to purchase a computer for his or her own personal use.

Education and Schools

Kentucky

SB 168

Amends KRS 278.5464 to provide certain restrictions on a provider who challenges the service within a broadband area by another provider but does not document full coverage of the unserved or underserved area within one year.

Mapping

Louisiana

HB 542

Enacts R.S. 45:1206, relative to the Public Service Commission; grants authority to regulate internet and internet service providers; provides for definitions; and provides for related matters.

Governance

Louisiana

HB 1000

Enacts R.S. 51:1206, relative to the public service commission; provides for excavations by communications operators or excavators; provides for notice requirements for excavations; provides for definitions; provides for enforcement; and provides for related matters.

Infrastructure

Louisiana

HB 1038

Amends and reenacts R.S. 51:2370.2(introductory paragraph) and (5), 2370.4(A)(8) and (C)(1), and 2370.13, relative to broadband; provides for the GUMBO grant program; provides for definitions; provides for description of service; provides for protest; adjusts the administrative fee; makes technical changes; and provides for related matters.

Funding

Louisiana

SB 312

Amends and reenacts R.S. 12:430.1(D), relative to broadband services; provides relative to electric cooperatives; provides for certain fees and charges; makes technical changes; provides relative to terms, conditions, processes, procedures, and rates; and provides for related matters.

Infrastructure and Rural and Underserved

Louisiana

SB 455

Amends and reenacts R.S. 51:1362 through 1364, relative to internet; provides for broadband connectivity; provides for development and implementation of a plan to provide access to broadband internet; and provides for related matters.

Governance

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 1107
Signed by governor 4/18/22, Resolve Chapter 161

Directs the Maine Connectivity Authority, established in the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 35-A, §9404 and referred to in this resolve as "the authority," to encourage and support regional partnerships among appropriate entities to identify and implement strategies to bring high-speed broadband to unserved areas of the state. The strategies must involve approaches and models that recognize and address population densities and the high cost of providing service to low-density areas; ensure the inclusion of services to all individuals and communities, including the most disadvantaged populations, within the area, commonly referred to as “digital inclusion”; and ensure the capacity of relevant communities to undertake a comprehensive approach to bringing broadband to the area. The strategies must involve consideration of requirements to receive available funding for expanding high-speed broadband connectivity as well as the critical nature of providing the connectivity in a time frame that meets the needs of the area.

Governance

Maine

LD 1235

The funds provided by this bond issue, in the amount of $100 million, will be used to provide funding for a world-class affordable high-speed internet infrastructure that will reach 98% of homes and businesses in the state within five years.

Funding

Maine

LD 1894
Signed by governor 4/15/22, Chapter 616

Supports municipal broadband infrastructure through incentives and competition.

Municipal

Maine

LD 1406, Special Session
Passed Senate 4/25/22

Encourages relocation to rural Maine; creates a refundable tax credit of a certain amount per year up to a total of five years for a person who moves from outside a rural area to a residence within a rural area, defined as Aroostook County, Somerset County, Piscataquis County and Washington County; provides that a person may receive a tax credit of up to a certain amount per year as reimbursement for Internet connectivity costs.

Taxes

Maryland

None

 

 

Massachusetts

HB 105

Requires public schools to prioritize replacement of wireless broadband and telecommunications connectivity in favor of hard-wired access.

Education and Schools and Infrastructure

Massachusetts

HB 112

Relates to hard-wiring state offices and investing in hard-wired communications.

Infrastructure

Massachusetts

HB 115

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

Education and Schools

Massachusetts

HB 120

Relates to internet speed during the Coronavirus 2019 outbreak.

High-Speed

Massachusetts

HB 121

Establishes a special commission to study and report on the feasibility of establishing community broadband networks to allow municipalities to offer their own competitive broadband internet services.

Municipal

Massachusetts

HB 128

Relates to the state of the advanced telecommunications broadband industry.

Governance

Massachusetts

HB 130

Establishes a comprehensive statewide policy concerning streaming entertainment services and the recovery of municipal costs for the management and maintenance of digital infrastructure.

Infrastructure

Massachusetts

HB 131

Relates to establishing within the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development a digital equity broadband adoption program.

Rural and Underserved

Massachusetts

HB 137

Provides for an investigation by the Department of Public Health of broadband internet access and its relation to the public health objectives.

Rural and Underserved

Massachusetts

HB 139

Relates to protecting internet access during the Coronavirus 2019 pandemic.

Consumer Relations

Massachusetts

HB 141

Relates to regulating broadband internet rate increases, speed and access across the commonwealth.

Consumer Relations and Governance

Massachusetts

HB 143

Relates to the installation of internet services for abutting owners on private ways.

Infrastructure

Massachusetts

HB 541

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

Education and Schools

Massachusetts

HB 637

Relates to the best methods of acquiring technology for students.

Education and Schools and Rural and Underserved

Massachusetts

HB 1101

Relates to telehealth healthcare coverage and digital equity for patients.

Rural and Underserved

Massachusetts

HB 2907

Creates a tax credit for remote learning expenses.

Education and Schools and Taxes

Massachusetts

HB 3256

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

Infrastructure

Massachusetts

HB 3258

Relates to utility poles, wires or attachments and municipal authority in public rights of ways.

Infrastructure

Massachusetts

HB 3952

Relates to internet service outages.

Consumer Relations and Governance

Massachusetts

HB 4178

Establishes a municipal broadband development fund.

Funding, Municipal

Massachusetts

SB 45

Protects internet access during the Coronavirus 2019 pandemic.

Consumer Relations

Massachusetts

SB 49

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

Governance

Massachusetts

SB 52

Removes barriers to internet regulation, competition and affordability.

Consumer Relations and Governance

Massachusetts

SB 56

Ensures accessible and reliable internet service to promote public safety.

Consumer Relations

Massachusetts

SB 57

Creates the Massachusetts digital equity broadband adoption program.

Rural and Underserved

Massachusetts

SB 58

Promotes universal access to broadband internet.

Governance and Rural and Underserved

Massachusetts

SB 231

Prohibits certain termination and cancellation fees; relates to telephone and utility bills.

Consumer Relations

Massachusetts

SB 678

Relates to telehealth and digital equity for patients.

Rural and Underserved

Massachusetts

SB 1938

Increases accountability in the sale of personal data.

Funding and Municipal

Massachusetts

SB 1997

Creates a tax deduction for remote learning.

Education and Schools and Taxes

Massachusetts

SB 2137

Protects broadband access in the Commonwealth.

Consumer Relations

Massachusetts

SB 2195

Relates to WiFi and cellular infrastructure along rail lines.

Infrastructure

Massachusetts

SB 2200

Establishes a comprehensive statewide policy concerning streaming entertainment services and the recovery of municipal costs for the management and maintenance of digital infrastructure.

Infrastructure

Massachusetts

SB 2564

Provides for certain unanticipated obligations of the commonwealth, to provide for an alteration of purpose for current appropriations, and to meet certain requirements of law, the sums set forth in this section are hereby appropriated from the General Fund.

Digital Literacy, Funding and Rural and Underserved

Michigan

HB 4209

Exempts eligible broadband equipment from personal property tax.

Taxes

Michigan

HB 4230

Exempts eligible telecommunications, video, broadband, and similar equipment from sales tax.

Taxes

Michigan

HB 4231

Exempts eligible telecommunications, video, broadband, and similar equipment from use tax.

Taxes

Michigan

HB 4918

Modifies regulation of broadband internet.

Governance

Michigan

HB 4947

Provides funding for broadband innovation grants, infrastructure grants, and last mile broadband grants.

Funding, Infrastructure and Rural and Underserved

Michigan

HB 5032

Modifies broadband expansion act of Michigan.

Municipal

Michigan

HB 5034

Allows coverage of broadband internet expenses to eligible residents.

Rural and Underserved

Michigan

HB 5036

Provides technology, management, and budget department to create resources concerning digital literacy and cyber safety on public website to House Communications and Technology Committee.

Digital Literacy

Michigan

HB 5037

Allows townships to create special assessment districts for communications infrastructure including broadband and high-speed internet.

Municipal

Michigan

HB 5039

Provides funding for comprehensive mapping of broadband internet service in Michigan.

Funding and Mapping

Michigan

HB 5040

Provides funding to purchase mobile hotspots.

Education and Schools, Funding and Rural and Underserved

Michigan

SB 514

Allows townships to create special assessment districts for communications infrastructure including broadband and high-speed internet.

Municipal

Michigan

SB 515

Expands eligibility for connecting state communities grant program.

Funding, High-Speed and Rural and Underserved

Michigan

SB 517

Allows coverage of broadband internet expenses to eligible residents.

Rural and Underserved

Michigan

SB 518

Provides funding to purchase mobile hotspots.

Education and Schools, Funding and Rural and Underserved

Michigan

SB 519

Provides funding for comprehensive mapping of broadband internet service in Michigan.

Funding and Mapping

Michigan

SB 520

Provides technology, management, and budget department to create resources concerning digital literacy and cyber safety on public website.

Digital Literacy

Michigan

SB 621

Provides for tax incentive for internet use for certain individuals

Taxes

Michigan

SB 729

Exempts eligible broadband equipment from personal property tax.

Taxes

Michigan

SB 730

Exempts eligible broadband equipment from certain taxes.

Taxes

Michigan

SB 826

Provides funding for broadband tax credit.

Funding and Taxes

Michigan

SB 970

Creates a county broadband completion grant program.

Funding and Rural and Underserved

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
SF 1304

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

Infrastructure and Rural and Underserved

Minnesota

HF 1885
SF 946

Relates to telecommunications; transfers money for the broadband grant program.

Funding and Rural and Underserved

Minnesota

HF 2165
SF 1186

Relates to broadband; appropriates money to the broadband grant program; amends Minnesota Statutes 2020, §116J.397.

Funding and Rural and Underserved

Minnesota

HF 2194
SF 945

Relates to telecommunications; transfers money for the broadband grant program.

Funding and Rural and Underserved

Minnesota

HF 2364

Relates to consumer protection; requires residential internet service contracts to be prorated; proposes coding for new law in Minnesota Statutes, chapter 325F.

Consumer Relations

Minnesota

HF 3605
SF 3476

Relates to broadband; establishes a program of financial assistance to extend broadband service to unserved areas; establishes a process to allow existing easements to be used for broadband service; amends Minnesota Statutes 2020, §§116J.395, subdivision 8; 116J.396, subdivision 2; proposes coding for new law in Minnesota Statutes, chapter 116J.

Funding, Infrastructure and Rural and Underserved

Minnesota

HF 4375
SF 3617

Relates to broadband; modifies the border-to-border broadband grant program; requires a report; transfers money; amends Minnesota Statutes 2020, §116J.395, subdivision 7.

Funding and Governance

Minnesota

HF 4422
SF 3480

Relates to taxation; sales and use; provides an exemption for fiber and conduit used in broadband and internet access services; appropriates money; amends Minnesota Statutes 2020, §297A.68, by adding a subdivision.

Taxes

Minnesota

HF 4455
SF 4306

Requires the Public Utilities Commission to establish standards for broadband service; requires a report to the commission; proposing coding for new law in Minnesota Statutes, chapter 237.

Governance

Minnesota

HF 4628
SF 4453

Appropriates money from the coronavirus capital projects fund for grants for digital connectivity technology projects and multipurpose community facilities.

Funding

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

Minnesota

SF 1536

Relates to broadband grants; allows broadband grants to be used for fixed wireless broadband and clarifies broadband mapping requirements; amends Minnesota Statutes 2020, §116J.394; 116J.397.

Funding, Infrastructure, Mapping and Rural and Underserved

Mississippi

HB 95
Died in committee 2/23/22

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; to provide 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 815
Died in committee 2/1/22

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, Funding and Infrastructure

Mississippi

HB 1029
Signed by governor 4/14/22

Creates the Broadband Expansion and Accessibility of Mississippi (BEAM) Act; defines terms used in the act; creates the office of broadband expansion and accessibility of Mississippi within the department of finance and administration; designates the office as the state broadband office to review applications for funding broadband infrastructure projects using federal and state funds; provides that the office shall consider certain factors in making its determinations and awards; requires the office to establish and publish on its website its criteria for competitively scoring applications; requires an applicant to provide certain information at a minimum on the application; requires the office to make preliminary determinations, final determinations and awards after certain investigations; requires the office to accept comments and objections concerning each preliminary determination and investigate them as appropriate; and for related purposes.

Governance

Mississippi

HB 1030
Died in committee 2/1/22

Creates the Mississippi broadband expansion act; provides definitions; establishes the Mississippi office of broadband; provides the duties of the office; creates the Mississippi broadband grant program; and for related purposes.

Funding and Governance

Mississippi

HB 1312
Passed House 2/9/22

Brings forward §§37-68-1, 37-68-3 and 37-68-5, Mississippi code of 1972, which are provisions of the "equity in digital learning act," for the purpose of possible amendments; amends §37-68-7, Mississippi code of 1972, to authorize the state department of education to establish and administer the voluntary equity in distance learning grant program for schools choosing to participate for the purpose of purchasing technology devices and hardware to aid in facilitating distance learning and safe classroom or remote instruction; authorizes participating schools to provide, as matching funds, a pro rata share of its total equipment cost, calculated by percentage, based on the total equipment purchase cost for all participating school districts; amends §37-68-9, Mississippi code of 1972, to require the department to conduct a statewide technology needs-assessment survey of school districts to determine the need or desire to update devices and hardware used to facilitate distance learning and safe classroom or remote instruction; to require the department to annually revise the adopted EPL based upon purchasing demands as needed to provide schools with choices in the selection of the electronic devices; amends §37-68-11, Mississippi code of 1972, to provide that a pro rata share of the monies used by a school district for purposes of this act may be allocated from any of the district's available and unobligated ESSER funds, ESSER II funds or ESSER III funds; amends §37-68-13, Mississippi code of 1972, to provide that the legislature may make an initial appropriation of $10 million to the equity in distance learning fund; amends §37-68-15, Mississippi code of 1972, to require the department to submit an annual comprehensive report to the legislation on the use of funds distributed under the grant program by Dec. 31; and for related purposes.

Education and Schools, Funding and Rural and Underserved

Mississippi

HB 1332
Died in committee 2/1/22

Authorizes the board of trustees of state institutions of higher learning, in collaboration with the Mississippi department of information technology services, to establish a program to provide devices and connectivity technology to students lacking such technology whenever an institution of higher learning transitions in-person classes to remote learning due to a public health emergency or other state of emergency; amends §31-7-13, Mississippi code of 1972, to provide that a purchase under the program to fulfill technology needs expeditiously is deemed an emergency purchase for purposes of the procurement and competitive bidding law; brings forward §25-53-191, Mississippi code of 1972, which authorizes the department of information technology services to issue wireless communication devices to state employees, for purposes of possible amendment; and for related purposes.

Education and Schools and Rural and Underserved

Mississippi

HB 1607
To conference committee 3/15/22

Approves the expenditure of special funds for the purpose of defraying the expenses of the Mississippi broadband commission for the fiscal year 2023.

Governance

Mississippi

HB 1678
Died in committee 2/23/22

Creates the Helping Mississippians Afford Broadband Act; makes an appropriation from the coronavirus state fiscal recovery fund to the Mississippi department of information technology services; defines terms as used in the act; requires the department of information technology services, in conjunction with the wireless communication commission, to create a program for the purpose of providing financial assistance to eligible households to purchase broadband services; provides financial assistance to providers in order to reduce broadband costs to households; and for related purposes.

Funding and Rural and Underserved

Mississippi

SB 2127
Died in committee 2/23/22

Makes an appropriation of coronavirus state fiscal recovery funds to Alcorn State University to defray expenses for expanding the university's fiber-optic broadband network for fiscal year 2023; and for related purposes.

Education and Schools, Funding and Infrastructure

Mississippi

SB 2535
Died in committee 2/1/22

Creates the Helping Mississippians Afford Broadband Act; defines terms as used in the act; requires the department of information technology services, in conjunction with the wireless communication commission, to create a program for the purpose of providing financial assistance to eligible households to purchase broadband services; provides subsidies to providers in order to reduce broadband costs to households; provides that funding for subsidy costs shall come from funds available pursuant to the American Rescue Plan Act; and for related purposes.

Funding and Rural and Underserved

Mississippi

SB 2604
Passed Senate 2/9/22

Create the Mississippi Broadband Expansion Act; defines terms used in the act; creates the Mississippi broadband expansion commission for the purpose of reviewing applications for funding broadband infrastructure projects and making recommendations to the legislature of the projects to be funded using federal and state funds; provides for the members of the commission and prescribes powers and duties; provides that the commission shall consider certain factors in making its recommendations; requires the commission to establish and publish on its website its criteria for competitively scoring applications; requires an applicant to provide certain information at a minimum on the application; requires the commission to make preliminary recommendations; requires the commission to accept comments and objections concerning each preliminary recommendation; requires the commission to make its final recommendations to the legislature after considering all comments and objections and investigating them as needed; authorizes the commission to expend funds from the Mississippi broadband expansion fund in the event federal rules or guidelines require funds to be expended before the legislature convenes in Jan. 2023, and requires notification of such expenditures prior to their distribution; amends §31-3-1, Mississippi code of 1972, to exempt from licensing requirements under the state board of contractors certain undertakings by a subcontractor or sub-subcontractor involving the construction in the buildout and expansion of broadband infrastructure; creates new §21-27-79, Mississippi code of 1972, to provide that certain municipally-owned electric utilities shall have the same powers as are granted to an electric cooperative by the Mississippi broadband enabling act; amends §§17-13-5 and 17-17-3, Mississippi code of 1972, to conform to the previous section; and for related purposes.

Governance, Infrastructure and Rural and Underserved

Mississippi

SB 2775
Died in committee 2/1/22

Establishes the "Mississippi Economically Disadvantaged Community (EDC) Infrastructure Grant Program Act of 2022" administered by the Mississippi department of environmental quality and the Mississippi department of health utilizing funds made available under the federal coronavirus state fiscal recovery funds and the federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) blended with community development block grant funds; provides that such grants shall be made available to economically disadvantaged communities and prescribes eligible projects under the grant program; authorizes the department of environmental quality to promulgate grant application regulations and engineering assistance; authorizes the department of environmental quality to administer the grant program and retain administrative costs; creates in the state treasury special funds designated as the "Mississippi Economically Disadvantaged Community (EDC) Infrastructure Grant Program Fund"; amends §§49-2-9 and 41-3-15, Mississippi code of 1972, in conformity; and for related purposes.

Funding and Rural and Underserved

Mississippi

SB 2884
Died in committee 2/1/22

Brings forward §§37-68-1, 37-68-3 and 37-68-5, Mississippi code of 1972, which are provisions of the "equity in digital learning act," for the purpose of possible amendments; amends §37-68-7, Mississippi code of 1972, to authorize the state department of education to establish and administer the voluntary equity in distance learning grant program for schools choosing to participate for the purpose of purchasing technology devices and hardware to aid in facilitating distance learning and safe classroom or remote instruction; requires participating schools to provide, as matching funds, a pro rata share of its total equipment cost, calculated by percentage, based on the total equipment purchase cost for all participating school districts; amends §37-68-9, Mississippi code of 1972, to require the department to conduct a statewide technology needs-assessment survey of school districts to determine the need or desire to update devices and hardware used to facilitate distance learning and safe classroom or remote instruction; requires the department to annually revise the adopted EPL based upon purchasing demands as needed to provide schools with choices in the selection of the electronic devices; amends §37-68-11, Mississippi code of 1972, to provide that a pro rata share of the monies used by a school district for purposes of this act shall be allocated from any of the district's available and unobligated ESSER funds, ESSER II funds or ESSER III funds; amends §37-68-13, Mississippi code of 1972, to provide that the legislature shall make an initial appropriation of $10 million to the equity in distance learning fund; amends §37-68-15, Mississippi code of 1972, to require the department to submit an annual comprehensive report to the legislation on the use of funds distributed under the grant program by Dec. 31; and for related purposes.

Education and Schools, Funding and Rural and Underserved

Missouri

HB 1488

This bill provides that the Department of Economic Development shall not award any grant funding when funds have already been awarded by the Connect America Fund and the Rural Digital Opportunity Funds. Further, the bill provides that federal funds received by the state or political subdivision through the American Recovery Plan or other federal COVID-19 Relief legislation appropriated specifically for the construction of broadband Internet infrastructure shall be in or otherwise serve an "unserved area" or "underserved area" and the project will provide broadband Internet service to customers at certain speeds as provided in the bill. The Office of Broadband Infrastructure shall certify the project prior to a political subdivision receiving authorization. Prior to certifying a project, the Office of Broadband Infrastructure shall notify each internet service provider in the area of the project and such internet service provider may submit a challenge to the proposal as provided in the bill.

Funding

Missouri

HB 2015

This bill creates the "Electrical Corporation Broadband Authorization Act", which allows broadband services providers to use certain electrical corporation broadband infrastructure to provide broadband services. 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. An electrical corporation cannot provide broadband services to end-use customers. An electrical corporation's investment in such broadband infrastructure must 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 does not have jurisdiction over the terms, conditions, charges, contracts, leases, licenses, or other agreements of an electrical corporation for the corporation's broadband operations or provision of broadband services through a broadband services provider. The rates and charges that an electrical corporation assess upon a broadband services provider must be standardized for all such providers. The bill also allows an electrical corporation to condemn land for the purpose of broadband infrastructure services. The bill specifies that any cause of action for inverse condemnation or trespass against certain electric utilities must be started within two years after the cause of action accrued, and no statute of limitations can extend the period for starting the action. If the plaintiff prevails in a cause of action for inverse condemnation, then the damage or taking is deemed permanent, the injury to the plaintiff cannot be deemed to continue, accumulate, or to accrue, and the damages are fixed and determined as of the date the cause of action accrued. In a cause of action for trespass, a defendant is entitled to a determination by the court as to whether the use by the defendant or its assignees, alleged by the plaintiff to be an expanded use that increases the burden of the defendant's easement or to exceed the scope of the defendant's easement rights, is a public use. If the court finds that the use is a public use, and if the plaintiff prevails on the claim for trespass, then certain provisions specified in the bill apply. Damages for prevailing claims of inverse condemnation or trespass are specified in the bill. 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, certain specified evidence is not admissible for purposes of determining plaintiff's damages or any other purposes.

Infrastructure and Rural and Underserved

Missouri

HB 2016

Currently, two or more municipalities can elect to form a broadband infrastructure improvement district to provide broadband internet service to residents. This bill allows any political subdivision of the state to form a broadband infrastructure improvement district. In addition, the board of a district may allow the inclusion of a private entity, as defined in the bill, in the district. The board must specify certain terms and conditions if it grants inclusion of a private entity in the district. A private entity may finance the expansion of internet service if the financing method does not negatively impact the cost of service provided to the residents, customers, or rate-payers.

Municipal

Missouri

HB 2052

This bill establishes the "21st Century Missouri Broadband Deployment Task Force." The membership of the Task Force includes: three members of the House of Representatives with two members appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives and one appointed by the Minority Leader, three members of the Senate with two appointed by the President Pro Tem of the Senate and one appointed by the Minority Leader, and 27 representing various interested parties. The duties of the Task Force are to evaluate the status of broadband deployment in the state, evaluate the deployment process, and make recommendations about how to best increase broadband internet deployment to certain residents. The Task Force will make recommendations for legislation as well as submit a report outlining a summary of Task Force activities to the General Assembly before Sept. 30, 2023. At that time the Task Force will suspend operations and reconvene Sept. 30, 2024, to provide updates and review recommendations to be presented by Sept. 30, 2025.

Governance

Missouri

HB 2298

This bill authorizes the Department of Economic Development to purchase and store fiber optic cable and other broadband equipment to aid in broadband development across the state. The Department will store the cable and other broadband equipment and sell it at cost to broadband providers.

Infrastructure

Missouri

HB 2353

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 2563

This bill authorizes the state broadband office within the Department of Economic Development to engage in site inspections of broadband providers that have received grants or loans for projects from the office.

Funding and Governance

Missouri

HB 2609

This bill specifies that for an application to receive grant moneys from the Broadband Internet Grant Program to expand access to broadband internet service in unserved and underserved areas of the state to be considered, an applicant must provide the Department of Economic Development with data, in a format determined by the Department, of where the applicant currently provides broadband internet service in the state.

Funding, Mapping and Rural and Underserved

Missouri

HB 2638
 

This bill involves broadband development in Missouri. In its main provisions the bill: (1) Establishes the "Broadband Development Council" consisting of 29 members including members from certain state agencies, members of the general public representing certain classifications of broadband users, and three members each from the Senate appointed by the President Pro Tem and the House of Representatives appointed by the Speaker. The public members of the Council will be appointed by the governor and serve terms as specified in the bill. The responsibilities of the Council are specified in the bill and include exploring ways to expand access to broadband services; the potential for increased use of broadband for education, career readiness, workforce preparation and alternative career training; ways to encourage state and municipal agencies to expand service to better serve the public through the use of streaming, Voice over Internet Protocol, teleconferencing, and wireless networking. The Council shall make recommendations to the General Assembly regarding strategies to make broadband available to certain communities and statutory changes needed to enhance broadband access in the state. The Council must submit a report to the General Assembly and the governor on or before Jan. 1 of each year summarizing the actions of the Council the previous year. The bill specifies the powers of the Council. The Council must establish a mapping of broadband services in the state based on analysis of data, demand, and other relevant information and publish an interactive public map that provides certain information based on information received by the Council from specified data sources. Any entity that receives state or federal funds to install infrastructure for broadband services must provide information to the Council concerning the location, type and extent of the infrastructure. Certain confidential information provided to the Council is exempt from disclosure, and the Council is limited to exercising its enumerated powers in the bill with regard to the regulation of broadband technology; (2) Authorizes the attorney general to seek the return of broadband funding from any provider that defaults or breaches agreements to deploy broadband. The Missouri Office of Broadband development may adjudicate such matters consistent with Missouri law. Providers who default in any state must provide notice to the Office, and there shall be a presumption of default in Missouri as specified in the bill; (3) Requires unified high speed wi-fi internet access with adequate bandwidth and connectivity to accommodate users in the Capitol building and grounds; (4) Establishes the "Vertical Real Estate Act", which authorizes political subdivisions to erect towers and other broadband infrastructure as specified in the bill and to join or participate in public-private partnerships to effectuate the construction of vertical real estate and towers; (5) Allows any two or more political subdivisions to form a broadband infrastructure improvement district which shall have power to contract with broadband service providers and expand service using grants, loans, bonds, and user fees. This authority is in addition to municipal authority under §71.1000, RSMo. The formation of a district is subject to local election as specified in the bill, but districts shall not have the power to tax or levy upon property. The requirements for membership and governance of the district governing board are specified in the bill. The board of a district may allow the inclusion of a private entity, as defined in the bill, in the district. The board must specify certain terms and conditions if it grants inclusion of a private entity in the district. A private entity may finance the expansion of internet service if the financing method does not negatively impact the cost of service provided to the residents, customers, or rate-payers; (6) Requires applicants for the Broadband Grant Program, in addition to other required information, to provide a map showing the highest broadband speeds available within the applicant's area of service. The map must include enough detail for the Department of Economic Development to determine the speeds available at individual addresses, but public information will be aggregated and shall not reveal individual names; (7) Modifies the provisions of the grant program to expand broadband internet access in unserved and underserved areas of the state. It also adds a definition for "project" and modifies the definition of "underserved area", which is now defined as a project area without access to wireline or fixed wireless broadband internet service of speeds of the higher of 100 Mbps download and 100 Mbps upload or the minimum speed established by the Federal Communications Commission. The definition of "unserved area" is also modified to mean a project area without access to wireline or fixed wireless broadband Internet services of speeds of at least 25 Mbps download and three Mbps upload. Grants awarded under the program must prioritize projects providing speeds of the higher of 100 Mbps download and 100 Mbps upload that is scalable to higher speeds or the minimum acceptable speed established by the Federal Communications Commission; (8) Requires the Department to implement by rulemaking a program to increase high-speed internet access in unserved and underserved areas. Discretion in implementation is authorized, but priority is place on those with no internet access whatsoever; and (9) Grants the state Office of Broadband Development to engage in site inspections of broadband providers who receive grants or loans for projects. Inspection authority lasts until a project is complete and operational.

Funding, Governance, High-Speed, Infrastructure, Mapping, Municipal and Rural and Underserved

Missouri

HB 2645

This bill requires applicants for the broadband grant program, in addition to other required information, to provide a map showing the highest broadband speeds available within the applicant's area of service. The map must include enough detail to determine the speeds available at individual addresses.

Funding and Mapping

Missouri

HB 2675

This bill modifies the provisions of the grant program to expand broadband internet access in unserved and underserved areas of the state. The bill adds a definition for "project" and modifies the definition of "underserved area", which is now defined as a project area without access to wireline or fixed wireless broadband internet service of speeds of the higher of 100 Mbps download and 100 Mbps upload or the minimum speed established by the Federal Communications Commission. The definition of "unserved area" is also modified to mean a project area without access to wireline or fixed wireless broadband internet services of speeds of at least 25 Mbps download and three Mbps upload. Grants awarded under the program must prioritize projects providing speeds of the higher of 100 Mbps download and 100 Mbps upload that is scalable to higher speeds or the minimum acceptable speed established by the Federal Communications Commission.

Funding, High-Speed and Rural and Underserved

Missouri

HB 2695

This bill specifies that no federal funds received by the state or a political subdivision may be expended for the construction on broadband internet infrastructure unless the project to be constructed is located in an "unserved area" or "underserved area" and the project will provide broadband internet service to customers at specified speeds. The Office of Broadband Development must certify the project prior to a political subdivision receiving authorization. Prior to certifying a project, the Office of Broadband Development must notify each internet service provider in the area of the project and such internet service provider may submit a challenge to the proposal. A broadband internet service provider may submit a written challenge to the application within 45 days and the challenge must contain the specified information. The Department of Economic Development must evaluate each challenge and if the challenge is determined to be valid, the project must not be considered to be in an "unserved area" or "underserved area" and the expenditure by the political subdivision is to be prohibited.

Funding, Governance and Rural and Underserved

Missouri

HB 2726

This bill creates the "Office of Broadband Development" within the Department of Economic Development and such office shall be charged with working to expand and accelerate the deployment of broadband internet access throughout the state and finding solutions to problems encountered by any person or entity while attempting to expand broadband internet access in Missouri.

Governance

Missouri

HB 2737

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.

High-Speed and Rural and Underserved

Missouri

HB 2765

The bill establishes the "Broadband Pole Replacement Program." Under the program, the Department of Economic Development must award pole reimbursements using funds available in the "Broadband Pole Replacement Fund" established in the bill. A pole owner or a provider of qualifying broadband service who pays or incurs the costs of removing and replacing an existing pole in an unserved area for the purpose of accommodating the attachment of an eligible broadband facility may apply to the Department for a reimbursement award. The Department must issue a pole reimbursement for up to 50% of the eligible pole replacement costs incurred or $4,000, whichever is less, and 100% of the documented and reasonable administrative expenses incurred by the applicant in preparing and submitting the reimbursement application, not to exceed 5% of the eligible pole replacement costs in the application. Requirements for an application for reimbursement are specified in the bill. The Department must award pole reimbursements until funds are no longer available. One year after pole reimbursement funds are exhausted, the director of the Department must identify, examine, and report on the deployment of broadband infrastructure and technology facilitated by the pole reimbursements awarded by the Department.

Funding, Infrastructure and Rural and Underserved

Missouri

HB 2817

This bill requires unified high speed wi-fi internet access with adequate bandwidth and connectivity to accommodate users in the Capitol building and grounds.

High-Speed

Missouri

HB 2843

All contracts entered into after Aug. 28, 2022, between an internet service provider and a subscriber, shall include a provision for the internet service provider to automatically reimburse the subscriber for outages that last longer than 24 continuous hours. Outages that exceed such limit require a pro-rata reimbursement to the subscriber in the billing period. The reimbursement may be for credit or refund. The bill requires an internet service provider to keep records of the outages for at least 180 days and make the records available to the subscribers and the attorney general. It is unlawful for an internet service provider to fail to comply with the requirements of the bill and enforcement authority has been conferred upon the attorney general.

Consumer Relations

Missouri

SB 848

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

Infrastructure and Rural and Underserved

Missouri

SB 981

This act modifies provisions of the grant program to expand broadband internet access in unserved and underserved areas of the state. The act adds a definition for "project" and modifies the definition of "underserved area", which is now defined as a project area without access to wireline or fixed wireless broadband internet service of speeds of the higher of 100 Mbps download and 20 Mbps upload or the minimum speed established by the Federal Communications Commission. The definition of "unserved area" is also modified to mean a project area without access to wireline or fixed wireless broadband internet services of speeds of at least 25 Mbps download and three Mbps upload. Grants awarded under the program shall prioritize projects providing speeds of the higher of 100 Mbps download and 20 Mbps upload that is scalable to higher speeds or the minimum acceptable speed established by the Federal Communications Commission.

Funding, High-Speed and Rural and Underserved

Missouri

SB 990

This act creates provisions relating to pole replacements for certain broadband facilities. Where an attaching entity, as such term is defined in the act, attaches facilities to the pole of a municipally owned electric utility or rural electric cooperative, such utility or cooperative shall in no event pass on to the attaching entity the costs of removing and replacing a pole: (i) Designated for replacement based on the pole's noncompliance with an applicable safety standard; (ii) Designated for replacement within two years of the date of its actual replacement for any reason unrelated to the attaching entity's request for attachment; or (iii) That the municipally owned electric utility or rural electric cooperative would have needed to replace at the time of replacement even if a new attachment were not made. The act also establishes the Missouri Broadband Pole Replacement Program. Under the program, the Department of Economic Development shall award pole reimbursements using funds available in the Broadband Pole Replacement Fund created in the act. A pole owner or a provider of qualifying broadband service who pays or incurs the costs of removing and replacing an existing pole in an unserved area for the purpose of accommodating the attachment of an eligible broadband facility may apply to the Department for a reimbursement award. The Department shall issue a pole reimbursement for up to 50% of the eligible pole replacement costs incurred or $4,000, whichever is less, and 100% of the documented and reasonable administrative expenses incurred by the applicant in preparing and submitting the reimbursement application, not to exceed 5% of the eligible pole replacement costs in the application. Requirements for an application for reimbursement are set forth in the act. The Department shall award pole reimbursements until funds are no longer available. One year after pole reimbursement funds are exhausted, the director of the Department shall identify, examine, and report on the deployment of broadband infrastructure and technology facilitated by the pole reimbursements the Department has awarded.

Funding and Infrastructure

Missouri

SB 1074

Under this act, no federal funds received by the state or a political subdivision shall be expended for the construction of broadband internet infrastructure unless the project to be constructed is located in an "unserved area" or "underserved area", and the project will provide broadband internet service to customers at certain speeds as stated in the act. The Office of Broadband Infrastructure shall certify the project prior to a political subdivision receiving authorization. Prior to certifying a project, the Office of Broadband Infrastructure shall notify each internet service provider in the area of the project and such internet service provider may submit a challenge to the proposal as provided in the act. A broadband internet service provider may submit a written challenge to the application within 45 days and the challenge shall contain information as stated in the act. The Department of Economic Development shall evaluate each challenge and if the challenge is determined to be valid, the project shall not be considered to be in an "unserved area" or "underserved area" and the expenditure by the political subdivision shall be prohibited.

Funding, High-Speed, Governance and Rural and Underserved

Missouri

SB 1081

Under this act, for an application to receive grant moneys from the Broadband Internet Grant Program to expand access to broadband internet service in unserved and underserved areas of the state to be considered, an applicant shall provide the Department of Economic Development with data, in a format determined by the Department, of where the applicant currently provides broadband internet service in the state.

Funding and Mapping

Montana

No regular 2022 legislative session

 

 

Nebraska

LB 761

Adopts the Precision Agriculture Infrastructure Grant Act.

Funding and Rural and Underserved

Nebraska

LB 914

Requires the Public Service Commission to create and maintain a broadband map and data repository.

Governance and Mapping

Nebraska

LB 916

Adopts the Rural Municipal Broadband Access Act.

Municipal

Nebraska

LB 1101

Changes provisions relating to the Nebraska Telecommunications Universal Service Fund and the Nebraska Broadband Bridge Act.

High-Speed and Rural and Underserved

Nebraska

LB 1144
Signed by governor 4/19/22

Provides certain jurisdiction for the Public Service Commission; provides for an official state location fabric broadband access map; changes discontinuance of service provisions under the State Telecommunications Regulation Act; provides for an expedited wire crossing permit; defines terms; changes provisions of the State Broadband Bridge Act; adopts the Precision Agriculture Infrastructure Grant Act.

Funding, Governance, Mapping, Infrastructure and Rural and Underserved

Nebraska

LB 1208

Adopts the Broadband Pole Replacement Fund Act and appropriate federal funds.

Funding and Infrastructure

Nebraska

LB 1214
Indefinitely postponed 3/31/22

Changes provisions of the Nebraska Broadband Bridge Act.

Funding and Rural and Underserved

Nebraska

LB 1234
Indefinitely postponed 3/31/22

Provides for an expedited method of authorizing telecommunications wires to cross railroad rights of way.

Infrastructure

Nebraska

LB 1253

Relates to the Department of Economic Development; provides duties relating to the federal Coronavirus Capital Projects Fund.

Funding

Nebraska

LR 401

Allows for an interim study to review the administration of the Broadband Bridge Act.

Funding and Rural and Underserved

Nevada

No regular 2022 legislative session

 

 

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
Failed to pass House 1/6/22

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

Infrastructure

New Hampshire

HB 1500

This bill reduces the rate of the communications services tax for 2022 through 2024 and repeals the tax in 2025.

Taxes

New Hampshire

HB 1644

This bill requires telecommunication antennas be placed at least 1,640 feet from residentially zoned areas, parks, playgrounds, hospitals, nursing homes, day care centers, and schools. This bill also creates a registry for anyone experiencing symptoms of radiation exposure.

 

Infrastructure

New Hampshire

SB 247

This bill authorizes a municipality or county to issue bonds or notes for the financing of broadband infrastructure projects for any location within a municipality.

Funding

New Hampshire

SB 273
Passed Senate 2/3/22

This bill permits all towns to authorize broadband infrastructure bonds at special meetings without court approval.

 

Funding

New Hampshire

SB 395
Passed Senate 2/3/22

This bill allows municipalities and cell phone service providers to apply for broadband matching grant funds to upgrade local cell phone service.

 

Funding

New Hampshire

SB 445
Passed Senate 3/31/22

This bill transfers funding to the broadband matching grant fund and makes various changes to the broadband matching grant initiative's guidelines.

Funding

New Jersey

AB 157
SB 582

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

Funding

New Jersey

AB 158

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

Infrastructure

New Jersey

AB 160

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

Municipal

New Jersey

AB 173

Establishes 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 193

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

High-Speed

New Jersey

AB 366
SB 2188

Establishes Digital Divide Solutions Grant Program in the Department of Education to assist public schools in purchase of connected devices and internet access for students during periods of remote instruction

Education and Schools, Funding and Rural and Underserved

New Jersey

AB 585
SB 2320

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

Education and Schools, Funding and Rural and Underserved

New Jersey

AB 812

Requires the Office of Information Technology to establish Statewide wireless network through public-private partnership agreement.

Rural and Underserved

New Jersey

AB 1768

Requires telecommunications companies to provide prorated refunds for service outages of longer than 72 hours.

Consumer Relations

New Jersey

AB 1782
SB 1227

Provides consumer protections under certain telecommunications service provider contracts.

Consumer Relations

New Jersey

AB 1785

Requires certain CATV 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 1884

Requires telecommunications, cable television, and internet service providers to allow service recipients to terminate service contracts following physician’s referral to long-term care facility.

Consumer Relations

New Jersey

AB 2168

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 3135
SB 1226

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

Rural and Underserved

New Jersey

AB 3280
SB 1982

Establishes office in the Economic Development Authority to assist in provision and expansion of broadband internet service in state to address inequities in accessing broadband service.

Governance

New Jersey

ACR 13

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

Governance and Rural and Underserved

New Jersey

SB 696

Requires telecommunications companies to provide prorated refunds for service outages of longer than 24 hours.

Consumer Relations

New Mexico

HB 120

Amends the Rural Telecommunications Act of New Mexico and the Connect New Mexico act to remove contingent wording from the definition of "statewide broadband plan"; amends the Connect New Mexico Act and the Broadband Access And Expansion Act to align the timing of required various annual reports to be Oct. 1 of each year; adds and removes definitions from the Connect New Mexico Act to align with the definitions in the Broadband Access And Expansion Act; amends the Connect New Mexico Act to provide for the adoption of a preliminary policy establishing a competitive grant program from the Connect New Mexico Fund for one year prior to the adoption of the policy by rule.

Funding, Governance and Rural and Underserved

New Mexico

HJR 1
Adopted 2/16/22

Proposes to amend article 9, §14 of the constitution of New Mexico to allow public investment to provide access to essential household services, including internet, energy, water, wastewater and other similar services as provided by law, upon the enactment of general implementing legislation by a majority vote of the members elected to each house of the legislature.

Rural and Underserved

New Mexico

SB 42

Enacts the Utility Easements for Broadband Act; authorizes the use and sharing of utility easements for the provision of communications service throughout the state; requires notice of use of utility easements to the property owner; provides for optional recording of such notice; establishes claims pursuant to the use of utility easements; allows cost recovery for communications infrastructure projects; provides definitions.

 

Infrastructure

New York

AB 712
SB 5389

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 3044
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

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
Enacting clause stricken 11/17/21
AB 8552
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 4422
SB 36

Directs the public service commission to prohibit the attachment of wireless equipment or any other like attachments to existing utility poles in certain circumstances.

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

AB 6042

Enacts the "Digital Fairness Act."

Digital Literacy

New York

AB 6259

Requires broadband providers to offer high-speed broadband services to qualifying low-income consumers and allows for providers to increase the price of such services if proper notice is given.

Consumer Relations, High Speed and Rural and Underserved

New York

AB 6327

Requires broadband service providers to offer low-income households a discount on their broadband service bill to a maximum standard rate of $50.

Consumer Relations and Rural and Underserved

New York

AB 6347

Requires the public service commission to review broadband and fiber optic services within the state; requires the expansion of broadband and fiber optic services.

Governance, High Speed, Mapping and Rural and Underserved

New York

AB 6390
SB 3141

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

Infrastructure

New York

AB 6441
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

AB 6538
Passed Assembly 2/15/22
SB 6288

Provides that any provider that is owned and operated by a municipality, or is owned and operated by a domestic corporation as such term is defined in subdivision 5 of section 102 of the not-for-profit corporation law and possessing a federal tax exemption designated as 501(c)(3) under the federal internal revenue code shall not be subject to a fee for such use or occupancy, and the development authority of the north country, as defined by title twenty-nine of article eight of the public authorities law, shall not be subject to a fee for such use or occupancy.

Infrastructure

New York

AB 6763
SB 594

Relates to internet access and communications for municipalities.

Municipal

New York

AB 6875

Provides for internet access and access to internet-enabled devices to recipients of public assistance and to adults and children in shelters, domestic violence residence programs, and other adult and children residence facilities.

Rural and Underserved

New York

AB 7089
SB 7455

Directs the public service commission to formulate a process, rules and regulations for the regulation of the charges and fees of internet and cable providers.

Consumer Relations and Governance

New York

AB 7412
SB 5117

Enacts the "NY broadband resiliency, public safety and quality act" to provide for oversight of the resiliency, public safety and quality of broadband and voice over internet protocol service.

Governance

New York

AB 7838
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

AB 7912
SB 5773

Requires certain public utilities, telecommunication carriers and internet or broadband providers operating within the bounds of any county that is required to have a local comprehensive emergency management plan to create a severe weather emergency response plan and to participate with any county they operate within in a biannual disaster drill.

 

New York

AB 8103

Provides public assistance for home internet service payments.

Rural and Underserved

New York

AB 8287
SB 7494

Prohibits fees for the use and occupancy of the state right of way in agreements for the installation, modification, relocation, repair, operation or maintenance of fiber optic facilities.

Infrastructure

New York

AB 8447
SB 7557

Enacts the regional broadband expansion and access program act; relates to the cost of expanding broadband access.

Governance

New York

AB 8756
Substituted 2/14/22
SB 7689
Signed by governor 2/24/22, Chapter 68

Requires the public service commission to initiate a proceeding to examine a process for streamlining actions related to utility pole attachments; requires such commission to invite participation in such proceeding by diverse stakeholders.

Infrastructure

New York

AB 9285
Substituted 3/15/22
SB 7766
Signed by governor 3/18/22, Chapter 156

Relates to fiber-based services being provided to tenants; prevents landlords from: demanding or accepting payment from tenants in exchange for permitting fiber optic service on or within such landlord's property or premises; or discriminating in rental charges or otherwise, between tenants who receive fiber optic service and those who do not.

 

New York

AB 9637

Establishes community literacy programs and the community literacy fund to provide grants to non-profit organizations that assist adults in reading, writing, math, English language proficiency, and problem-solving skills.

Digital Literacy

New York

AB 9894
SB 8472

Provides that the department of transportation shall not require a survey as part of an agreement with any fiber optic utility for use and occupancy of a state right of way for the purposes of installing, modifying, relocating, repairing, operating, or maintaining fiber optic facilities as part of the department's consolidated application, when such use and occupancy of the state right of way is utilizing existing infrastructure, including but not limited to aerial pole attachments and underground conduits.

Infrastructure

New York

AB 9907
SB 8904

Authorizes municipalities to issue and sell bonds or other municipal obligations to provide funds for broadband and related telecommunications infrastructure.

Funding

New York

SB 2088

Requires 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 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 3720

Adjust the limits on fees for the use and occupancy of the state right of way by fiber optic utilities; directs the department of transportation to study the cost of administering utility projects in state highway rights of way.

Infrastructure

New York

SB 3910

Authorizes the commissioner of transportation to enter into an agreement with all entities for use and occupancy of the state right of way for the purposes of installing, modifying, relocating, repairing, operating, or maintaining fiber optic facilities.

Infrastructure

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, High Speed, Mapping and Rural and Underserved

New York

SB 4878

Requires the public service commission to review broadband and fiber optic services within the state; requires the expansion of broadband and fiber optic services.

Infrastructure

New York

SB 5524

Establishes a moratorium prohibiting certain broadband service terminations and disconnections during a state disaster emergency.

Consumer Relations

New York

SB 5525

Requires broadband providers to offer high speed broadband service to certain low-income consumers at a cost of not more than $5 per month.

High Speed and Rural and Underserved

New York

SB 5625

Provides for a refundable tax credit for costs paid for new construction of new broadband networks to residences and small businesses located in rural, unserved areas.

Infrastructure and Taxes

New York

SB 5626

Requires the Empire State Development corporation's broadband program office to assist in the provision and expansion of broadband internet access service and to address inequities in the availability of such service.

Governance and Rural and Underserved

New York

SB 5931

Relates to requiring a digital equity officer be appointed by the director of the office of information technology services to develop, oversee and assist in providing statewide broadband access.

Governance

New York

SB 6275

Relates to establishing arrears resolution programs; requires utility corporations, telephone corporations, water-works corporations, municipal water systems and internet service providers to establish arrears resolution programs for residential and small business customers to pay arrears owed during the COVID-19 state of emergency; requires the public service commission to study arrears owed for broadband services in the state; defines terms.

Consumer Relations

New York

SB 6381

Requires every internet service provider to provide a list of the addresses served by such provider to the public service commission and update such list no less than annually.

Governance and Mapping

New York

SB 8460

Requires the commissioner of transportation to install and maintain fiber optic utility along all highways and thruways in the state for access to fiber optic and broadband services.

Infrastructure

North Carolina

HB 79
Passed House 2/24/21

Requires the state board of education to maintain a digital learning dashboard updated annually by public school units and requires recommendations to the joint legislative education oversight committee based on information on student digital learning access during COVID-19.

Education and Schools and Rural and Underserved

North Carolina

HB 289
Passed House 4/1/21

Appropriates funds to the department of information technology for the preparation of statewide broadband maps and establishes the department as the sole source of broadband mapping for state agencies.

Funding and Mapping

North Carolina

HB 384

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

Infrastructure

North Carolina

HB 815

Facilitates the expansion of broadband service in unserved areas of the state by ensuring timely and nondiscriminatory access to municipal and electric membership cooperative utility poles, ducts, and conduits at just and reasonable rates; authorizes counties to provide grants to broadband service providers; further defines the term "city utility pole"; prohibits certain fees for the collocation of small wireless facilities; and makes related changes.

Funding, Infrastructure and Rural and Underserved

North Carolina

HB 816

Authorizes the design and construction of telecommunications conduit within the state right-of-way.

Infrastructure and Rural and Underserved

North Carolina

HB 947
Passed House 5/26/21

Establishes the completing access to broadband program, creates a process to administer a growing rural economies with access to technology (G.R.E.A.T.) program utilizing federal American Rescue Plan Act funds, and makes various changes to the G.R.E.A.T. program.

Funding and Rural and Underserved

North Carolina

HB 950

Establishes a broadband deployment bid process to connect unserved and underserved households in areas of a county that are within one mile of existing broadband infrastructure.

Rural and Underserved

North Carolina

HB 957

Establishes the rural broadband authority and authorizes formation of broadband membership corporations in order to foster deployment of broadband services to unserved areas of the state to attract investment in local economies, provides for educational and career opportunities, and provides for improved health care.

Governance and Rural and Underserved

North Carolina

SB 517

Appropriates funds to the department of information technology for the preparation of statewide broadband maps and to establish the department as the sole source of broadband mapping for state agencies; relieves regulatory burdens to expedite broadband expansion; allows for use of existing easements for broadband expansion; expands distribution of state surplus computers and computer hardware for nonprofits; allows local government leasing of existing broadband infrastructure; expands funding for G.R.E.A.T. program broadband grants; and provides stopgap internet access for classroom access, health care access, and job creation.

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

North Carolina

SB 523

Establishes the North Carolina broadband assistance program to provide funds to eligible low-income families to help make broadband access more affordable.

Rural and Underserved

North Carolina

SB 547

Fosters infrastructure for broadband expansion and resources in North Carolina by authorizing counties and cities to build and lease facilities and equipment of broadband services to increase adequate broadband services in rural areas of the state where the need for broadband is great due to many factors, including the COVID-19 pandemic.

Municipal and Rural and Underserved

North Carolina

SB 642

Appropriates funds to the technology and data institute to operate a pilot program to expand high-speed internet access to students of low-income families in central North Carolina.

Funding, High Speed and Rural and Underserved

North Carolina

SB 689

Facilitates the expansion of broadband service in unserved areas of the state by ensuring timely and nondiscriminatory access to municipal and electric membership cooperative utility poles, ducts, and conduits at just and reasonable rates; authorizes counties to provide grants to high-speed internet access service providers and to build facilities and equipment of a broadband service and to levy taxes for those purposes; further defines the term "city utility pole"; prohibits certain fees for the collocation of small wireless facilities; and makes related changes.

Funding, High Speed, Infrastructure, Rural and Underserved and Taxes

North Dakota

No regular 2022 legislative session

 

 

N. Mariana Islands

Bills unavailable

 

 

Ohio

SB 8
Passed Senate 2/10/21

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
To conference committee 5/3/21

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 1123

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

Infrastructure 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
Passed House 3/9/21

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 2445

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

Rural and Underserve

Oklahoma

HB 2779
To conference committee 5/4/21

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

Infrastructure and Rural and Underserved

Oklahoma

HB 3082
Passed House 3/24/22

Relates to Ad Valorem Tax Code; relates to definitions and annual assessments; defines terms; provides assessment ratio of broadband service providers.

Taxes

Oklahoma

HB 3175

Relates to technology; creates a new title; enacts the Oklahoma Low Income Broadband Assistance Program Act; defines terms; directs the State Broadband Coordinator's Office to establish an Oklahoma Low Income Broadband Assistance Program; directs the State Broadband Coordinator's Office to coordinate with local administrative agencies to determine eligibility; sets income limitations; directs for payment of monthly credit; excludes eligibility for those enrolled in other programs.

Governance and Rural and Underserved

Oklahoma

HB 3181

Relates to rural broadband; relates to requiring submission of map data by public and private entities; strikes language creating private submission requirements; eliminates language requiring certain evaluations by the Rural Broadband Expansion Council; provides an effective date.

Governance and Mapping

Oklahoma

HB 3182

Relates to technology; enacts the Oklahoma Broadband Act of 2022; provides for noncodification; provides an effective date.

 

Oklahoma

HB 3183

Relates to technology; enacts the Oklahoma Broadband Act of 2022; provides for noncodification; provides an effective date.

 

Oklahoma

HB 3187

Relates to technology; enacts the Oklahoma Broadband Act of 2022; provides for noncodification; provides an effective date

 

Oklahoma

HB 3363
Passed House 3/23/22

Provides for Broadband Governing Board and oversight of Oklahoma Broadband Office; provides for appointment of persons with certain affiliation; provides for compensation and qualifications for executive director; provides for oversight of budget; provides for Broadband Expansion Council duties and responsibilities; provides for State Broadband Grant Program Revolving Fund.

Funding and Governance

Oklahoma

HB 3835
Sent to governor 4/26/22

Defines terms; requires the use of certain pole attachment rate formula; provides certain formula; makes certain exemption; requires certain agreement prior to attaching; exempts certain unauthorized pole attachments; sets certain new attachment rate; states certain contingencies; requires rates not include certain charges; requires certain separate payment; requires certain contracts; exempts certain unauthorized or noncompliant pole attachments; requires the submission of data; provides certain penalties.

Infrastructure

Oklahoma

SB 621

Relates to rural electric cooperatives; establishes maximum rate allowed for utility pole attachments; provides for certain rate increase; establishes responsibility of certain costs; determines maximum rate for certain services; provides limitations on services; provides for codification; provides an effective date.

Infrastructure

Oregon

HB 4092
Signed by governor 3/23/22, Chapter 60

Modifies composition and duties of Broadband Advisory Council; provides telecommunications services in rural Oregon with preference for appointment given to a service provider.

Governance

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

Pennsylvania

HB 956

Relates to emergency coronavirus response; establishes the County Block Grant - Broadband Deployment and Development Program.

Funding and Rural and Underserved

Pennsylvania

HB 1042

Provides for network modernization plan.

High-Speed

Pennsylvania

HB 1075

Establishes the Pennsylvania Broadband Development Authority to provide broadband internet access to unserved and underserved residents; provides for powers and duties of the authority, for financial assistance and for grants.

Funding, Governance and Rural and Underserved

Pennsylvania

HB 1488

Relates to alternative form of regulation of telecommunications services; provides for definitions, for network modernization plans and for additional powers and duties; provides for electric utility easements.

Infrastructure and Rural and Underserved

Pennsylvania

HB 1629

Amends the Capital Facilities Debt Enabling Act, in capital facilities; provides for definitions and for appropriation for and limitation on redevelopment assistance capital projects; provides for administration of broadband capital projects and energy infrastructure capital projects; makes a related repeal.

Funding

Pennsylvania

HB 1742

Amends the Unserved High-Speed Broadband Funding Program Act; provides for appropriation

Funding, Rural and Underserved

Pennsylvania

HB 1766

Provides for Unserved High-Speed Broadband Funding Program; makes an appropriation.

Funding, Rural and Underserved

Pennsylvania

SB 442
Passed Senate 5/25/21

Provides for an inventory of state-owned assets for the development of fixed broadband services in unserved areas; establishes the Broadband Services Restricted Account.

Infrastructure and Rural and Underserved

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

HB 879

Amends Law 213 of 1996, the Telecommunications Law of Puerto Rico of 1996, in order to group and consolidate in this Law, all the provisions related to public policy that prevails in Puerto Rico, with respect to developing and implementing a plan to increase access to telecommunications and internet services for isolated and remote communities in Puerto Rico that currently lack said services.

Rural and Underserved

Puerto Rico

HB 889

Repeals Law 219 of 2004, the Law to Reduce the Digital Divide, since it was constituted in an obsolete and unofficial Law.

Rural and Underserved

Puerto Rico

HR 443

Orders an investigation on the failures that occurred in Puerto Rico's telecommunications system, including the internet in the event of the emergency arising from the explosion at the Monacillos Energy Control Center.

Infrastructure

Puerto Rico

HR 536

Orders the House Committee on Municipal Affairs, Decentralization and Regionalization to study compliance of telecommunications companies with their responsibility to report to the municipalities the inventories of easements, the supervision of said responsibilities, evaluate if the municipalities face any type of difficulty or challenges in the implementation of the municipal ordinances for these purposes and the collection of rights for the use and maintenance of municipal rights of way.

Infrastructure

Puerto Rico

SB 676

Relates to internet service provider; relates to companies to grant their customers an automatic credit on the monthly bill for the time they have had the service interrupted.

Consumer Relations

Puerto Rico

SJR 42
Passed Senate 6/2/21

Orders the Puerto Rico Department of Education to immediately fill all the positions of special education services assistants that remain to be named in order to provide them with electronic devices with internet access so that they can assist their students from a distance.

Education and Schools and Rural and Underserved

Rhode Island

HB 6666

This bill requires all school districts to provide students enrolled in grades kindergarten through twelve (K-12) access to high-speed internet.

 

Education and Schools, Funding and High-Speed

Rhode Island

HB 7083

This bill establishes a 12-member broadband council to create a plan to increase the use of broadband service in the state. A broadband administrator would be designated within the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation to access federal funds and coordinate with the council.

Governance

Rhode Island

SB 2568

This bill establishes a development program to increase and administer the adoption of broadband services for local and statewide entities, both public and private, to be funded by the spending of America Rescue Plan Act funds.

Governance

Rhode Island

SB 2883

This bill establishes a development program to increase and administer the adoption of broadband services for local and statewide entities, both public and private, to be funded by the state appropriations and federal funds. This bill also expands broadband services to unserved and underserved areas of the state.

Governance

A. Samoa

Bills unavailable

 

 

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

HB 3891

Adds §12-6-3810 so as to provide an income tax credit for certain broadband service providers that provide a discount to families with children who require internet access for educational purposes or veterans.

Education and Schools and Taxes

South Carolina

HB 5144
Passed House 4/7/22

Amends §12-37-220, as amended, code of laws of South Carolina, 1976, relating to property tax exemptions, so as to further specify the application of the exemption of property of telephone companies and rural telephone cooperatives.

Taxes

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

SB 55
Signed by governor 3/23/22

Appropriates the sum of $50 million in federal fund expenditure authority to the governor's Office of Economic Development to be used for grants for the continued expansion of broadband in the state of South Dakota.

Funding

Tennessee

HB 28
SB 2503

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
Withdrawn from further consideration 2/24/21
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

HB 1263
SB 1198

Requires department of economic and community development to submit the report on grants distributed under the broadband accessibility grant program to the chairs of the finance, ways and means committees.

Funding and Governance

Tennessee

HB 1461
SB 639

Directs the department to develop partnerships with technology companies, nonprofit organizations, and other public and private community partners to establish programs and seek grants to provide low-cost or free technology training, computers, and job placement services to single parents.

Digital Literacy

Tennessee

HB 1531
SB 1521

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, Municipal and Rural and Underserved

Tennessee

HB 1580
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

Tennessee

HB 2391
SB 2222

Requires certain persons holding a franchise, and certificated providers electing market regulation, to file a map or other information indicating the specific locations where the person or provider offered advanced broadband internet service as of Jan. 1, 2022.

Mapping

Tennessee

HB 2474
SB 2472

Enacts the "Broadband Resiliency, Public Safety, and Quality Act."

Governance

Tennessee

HB 2608
SB 2480
Passed Senate 4/27/22

Enacts the "Tennessee Broadband Investment Maximization Act of 2022."

Infrastructure, Rural and Underserved and Taxes

Tennessee

HJR 102

Requests the Tennessee Congressional delegation to work with the Tennessee Valley Authority to ensure that its policies are not barriers to broadband deployment.

Infrastructure

Texas

No regular 2022 legislative session

 

 

Utah

SB 214
Signed by governor 3/24/22, Chapter 458

This bill creates the Utah Broadband Center Advisory Commission. This bill: defines terms; creates the Utah Broadband Center Advisory Commission (the commission); directs the appointment of members to the commission; directs the commission to: solicit input from stakeholders; make recommendations to the Utah Broadband Center with respect to the development of a strategic plan; and make recommendations to the Utah Broadband Center with respect to the use of funds; requires the Utah Broadband Center to consult with the commission; requires the Utah Broadband Center to report annually to the commission and to the Public Utilities, Energy, and Technology Interim Committee; and sets a repeal date for the commission.

Governance

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

HB 712

This bill relates to broadband grants under the Vermont Community Broadband Fund. It proposes to expand the definition of “eligible provider” to include a municipality that is not part of a communications union district and that contracts with an internet service provider that agrees to provide universal broadband service to all unserved and underserved locations in the municipality.

Funding 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

Vermont

SB 118

This bill proposes to reconstitute the Vermont Telecommunications Authority to coordinate, oversee, and implement a new approach to creative and innovative strategies designed to address the challenges to maintaining a robust, modern telecommunications network in Vermont accessible by all.

Governance

Vermont

SB 167

This bill proposes to modernize state telecommunications policy.

High-Speed

Vermont

SB 255

This bill proposes to regulate the fees charged by communications providers for company-owned equipment leased by a consumer.

Consumer Relations

Virginia

HB 194
Stricken from docket 1/25/22

Authorizes an electric cooperative to petition the State Corporation Commission for approval of one or more rate adjustment clauses for the timely and current recovery of costs from customers of one or more projects for the provision of broadband. The bill provides that a cooperative may recover the costs of the broadband projects in a rate adjustment clause including the construction work in progress and allowance for funds used during construction, planning, and development of associated infrastructure.

Infrastructure and Rural and Underserved

Virginia

HB 249

Directs the Department of Housing and Community Development to adjust criteria regarding eligibility for a Virginia Telecommunications Initiative grant to reflect the provisions established by the United States Treasury's Final Rule regarding the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds established under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.

Funding

Virginia

HB 445
Signed by governor 4/11/22, Chapter 592
SB 446
Signed by governor 4/11/22, Chapter 593

Provides that the Department of Housing and Community Development shall convene a stakeholder advisory group for the purpose of evaluating local and state policies, procedures, or ordinances to facilitate the expansion of high-speed broadband service and associated infrastructure in new residential and commercial development. The stakeholder advisory group shall be composed of representatives from the commercial and residential land development and construction industry, local government, high-speed broadband providers, and other stakeholders as determined by the Department and shall report its findings and recommendations to the Broadband Advisory Council no later than Sept. 30, 2022.

Governance

Virginia

HB 447

Requires each broadband provider operating in the commonwealth to offer an affordable monthly plan for broadband services that (i) does not exceed $50 per month and (ii) meets the faster of either (a) the standards for advanced service as defined by the Federal Communications Commission or (b) a minimum broadband speed level of 50 megabits per second for download speed and 25 megabits per second for upload speed.

Rural and Underserved

Virginia

HB 858

Provides, for taxable years 2022 through 2027, an income tax deduction for 50% of the amount a qualified knowledge worker, defined in the bill, pays for residential high speed internet access or $600, whichever is less. The bill provides a tax credit for qualified knowledge workers for the purchase of a residential electric vehicle charger, in an amount equal to 50% of the former federal tax credit for an electric vehicle charger. The bill also provides an income tax credit for qualified knowledge workers in an amount equal to the sales tax paid for up to $5,000 of certain computer equipment. For the deduction and both credits, the amounts provided are doubled if the qualified knowledge worker resides in a locality that has lost more than 10% of its population since the 2010 census. Qualified knowledge worker is defined in the bill as an individual who establishes new domicile in Virginia and who possesses advanced skills in the field of information technology, including network engineers, software developers, data scientists, and artificial intelligence, machine learning, or quantum computing professionals. The bill provides that no more than $1 million in credits shall be issued in any taxable year and that such credits shall be allocated evenly between distressed and non-distressed localities.

Taxes

Virginia

HB 913

Requires an operator of residential telecommunications or cable television service, after receiving notification of an interruption in service due to the installation of broadband service at a given premises, to restore telecommunications or cable television service, such that a person at the premises can telephone emergency services by dialing 911, within two days of receiving such notification. The bill prohibits an operator from giving false or misleading information to the notification center and requires the State Corporation Commission to investigate certain claims following an informal complaint. The bill requires an operator to indemnify and hold harmless an excavator when the excavator is installing facilities for purposes of broadband service and damages a utility line used for residential telecommunications or cable television and provides that no excavator is liable for any such damage occurring on or after July 1, 2022.

Consumer Relations

Virginia

HB 1054

Prohibits telecommunications electric, gas, water, and wastewater utilities and broadband companies from disconnecting service to a residential customer for nonpayment of bills or fees during a declared state of emergency, emergency, major disaster, disaster, resource shortage, or local emergency, as those terms are defined in the Code. The bill provides that the prohibition lasts for 60 days after the state of emergency, emergency, major disaster, disaster, resource shortage, or local emergency has ended or state or local officials determine that the prohibition need no longer be in place, whichever occurs first. The bill further prohibits electric, gas, water, or wastewater utilities from disconnecting service to a residential customer for nonpayment of bills or fees during the heating period of each year, during the cooling period of each year, when the forecasted temperature low is below 32 degrees Fahrenheit or the forecasted temperature high is to exceed 95 degrees Fahrenheit, and during, as declared by the National Weather Service, a winter storm watch or warning, winter weather advisory, freeze warning, heat advisory, or excessive heat watch or warning. Prior to disconnecting a residential customer for the nonpayment of bills, the utility shall apply any available resources to help reduce the customer's debt or enroll the customer in a repayment plan. Disconnections and reconnections based on a residential customer's nonpayment of bills or fees shall not involve extra fees. Under the bill, the State Corporation Commission is required to report annually on disconnections and reconnections for nonpayment of bills, beginning Dec. 1, 2022, and report monthly certain information as described in the bill, beginning Dec. 15, 2022.

Consumer Relations

Virginia

HB 1155
Signed by governor 4/11/22, Chapter 434
SB 683
Signed by governor 4/11/22, Chapter 435

Makes changes to the sales and use tax exemption for amplification, transmission, and distribution equipment used to provide internet services. Under the bill, the exemption would apply to network equipment used to provide internet service, regardless of whether the provider of such service is also a telephone common carrier or whether such network is also used to provide services other than internet services.

 

Virginia

HB 1265
Signed by governor 4/11/22, Chapter 518
SB 716
Signed by governor 4/11/22, Chapter 519

Directs the Department of Housing and Community Development to develop a plan, to be known as the Commonwealth Digital Affordability and Cost Effectiveness Plan, to access federal funding under the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. The bill requires that the Plan include (i) an overview of options for affordable broadband connectivity in the Commonwealth; (ii) recommendations on how best to leverage federal grants addressing broadband affordability; (iii) best practices for establishing a broadband affordability program, taking into account existing federal funds and programs; and (iv) recommendations for public outreach, with consideration of the report submitted by the Department of Social Services as required in Item 359 L of Chapter 552 of the Acts of Assembly of 2021, Special Session I. The bill requires the Department to report the Plan to the governor and the General Assembly by Dec. 1, 2022.

Governance

Virginia

SB 267
Stricken from docket 1/24/22

Authorizes an electric cooperative to petition the State Corporation Commission for approval of one or more rate adjustment clauses for the timely and current recovery of costs from customers of one or more projects for the provision of broadband. The bill provides that a cooperative may recover the costs of the broadband projects in a rate adjustment clause, including the construction work in progress and allowance for funds used during construction, planning, and development of associated infrastructure.

Infrastructure and Rural and Underserved

Virginia

SB 724
Signed by governor 4/8/22, Chapter 211

Requires, beginning in the 2022 school year and in each school year thereafter through the 2025 school year, each school board to submit an annual report to the Virginia Department of Education and the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development listing each student's 9-1-1 address that does not have broadband access, as defined by the broadband guidelines set out by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development for its Virginia Telecommunication Initiative.

Education and Schools and Rural and Underserved

U.S. Virgin Islands

None

 

 

Washington

HB 1673
Signed by governor 3/30/22, Chapter 201
SB 5580
Indefinitely postponed 2/17/22

Creates a pre-application process for the Broadband Program. An applicant is required to provide the following information on a pre-application: (i) the location and description of the project; (ii) evidence regarding the unserved nature of the community in which the project is to be located; (iii) evidence that proposed infrastructure will be capable of scaling to greater download and upload speeds; (iv) the number of households passed that will gain access to broadband service as a result of the project or whose broadband service will be upgraded as a result of the project; (v) evidence that before submission of the application, the applicant contacted, in writing, all existing broadband service providers near the proposed project area to ask each provider's plan to upgrade broadband service in the project area and any responses from the providers; (vi) the proposed geographic broadband service area and the proposed broadband speeds; (vii) evidence of community support for the project; and (viii) any additional information requested by the Public Works Board.

Funding, Infrastructure and Rural and Underserved

Washington

HB 1702

Concerns broadband connectivity for state.

Infrastructure and Taxes

Washington

HB 1722
SB 5755

Requires cities and counties to allow micro-trenching for the installation of underground fiber, unless the installation would inconvenience the public right-of-way or adversely affect public health, safety, and welfare.

Infrastructure

Washington

HB 1723
Signed by governor 3/31/22, Chapter 265

Relates to closing the digital equity divide by increasing the accessibility and affordability of telecommunications services, devices, and training; provides that the Broadband Office may assist applicants for the Broadband Service Expansion Grant and Loan Program, the Digital Equity Opportunity Program, and the Digital Equity Planning Grant Program with seeking federal funding or matching grants and other grant opportunities for deploying or increasing adoption of broadband services.

Digital Literacy, Education and Schools, Funding, Governance and Rural and Underserved

Washington

SB 5357
Passed House 3/5/21

Creates to Broadband Investment Acceleration Program in the Washington Statewide Broadband Office. Requires the Washington Statewide Broadband Office to develop a project evaluation process to assist in coordination among state broadband infrastructure funders to maximize federal funding opportunities.

Funding and Governance

Washington

SB 5439
Passed Senate 2/26/21

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 provide broadband facility owners with information about planned highway projects. Authorizes the WSDOT to have its contractors install broadband conduit as part of road construction projects if no owners would like to participate in the installation of broadband infrastructure. Authorizes the WSDOT to grant franchises to use a state highway for construction and maintenance of fiber optic facilities. 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

SB 5715
Signed by governor 3/30/22, Chapter 237

Modifies the definition of broadband or broadband service.

High-Speed

West Virginia

HB 4001
Vetoed by governor 3/30/22

Relates to certain provisions relating to broadband; adds certain provisions to the administration of the Broadband Development Fund, including regulating the disposal of grant funded assets; relates to creating the Broadband Carrier Neutral and Open Access Infrastructure Development Fund; provides for the administration of the fund, sources of funding for the fund, and the purposes for expenditures from the fund; authorizes expenditures from the fund from collections.

Funding, Governance and Infrastructure

West Virginia

HB 4478

Transfers the Broadband Enhancement Council from the Department of Commerce to the Department of Economic Development.

Governance

West Virginia

HB 4791

Relates to the affordable broadband access for seniors, low income, and disabled persons due to fixed, minimum, or moderate incomes.

Rural and Underserved

West Virginia

SB 199

Amends and reenacts §5-22A-5 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended; amends said code by adding thereto a new article, designated §5-22B-1, §5-22B-2, §5-22B-3, §5-22B-4, §5-22B-5, §5-22B-6, and §5-22B-7; and amends and reenacts §31G-1-4 of said code, all relating to creating the Multi-Phase Procurement for Broadband Projects Act for public-private partnership broadband projects; and providing that the Design Build Board and the Broadband Enhanced Council shall administer duties of the Multi-Phase Procurement for Broadband Projects Act.

 

Governance

West Virginia

SB 231
Signed by governor 3/28/22, Act 48

Relates to broadband connectivity; defines terms; requires engineering reports on available telecommunication cable space; provides for shared costs for the report; requires notice from pole owner or manager to telecommunication carriers of available space; requires notice to pole owner or manager of intent to use any available space.

Infrastructure

West Virginia

SB 494
Passed Senate 2/21/22

Amends the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by adding thereto a new section, designated §31G-1A-8, relating to creating the Broadband Carrier Neutral and Open Access Infrastructure Development Fund; provides for the administration of the fund, sources of funding for the fund, and the purposes for expenditures from the fund; and authorizes expenditures from the fund from collections and pursuant to legislative appropriations.

Funding and Infrastructure

West Virginia

SB 542
Signed by governor 3/23/22, Act 49

Transfers Broadband Enhancement Council from Department of Commerce to Department of Economic Development.

Governance

West Virginia

SB 667

Amends and reenacts §31G-1A-7 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, relating generally to the broadband development fund; relates to creating the Broadband Middle Mile Fund; provides for the administration of the fund, sources of funding for the fund, and the purposes for expenditures from the fund; authorizes expenditures from the fund from collections and pursuant to legislative appropriations; and requires that any broadband project funded solely by public money be an open access project.

Funding, Infrastructure and Rural and Underserved

Wisconsin

AB 371
Failed to pass pursuant to SJR 1 3/15/22

This bill makes various changes to the broadband expansion grant program. Current law requires the Public Service Commission to administer the broadband expansion grant program, under which PSC designates as “underserved” areas of the state that are served by fewer than two broadband service providers and awards grants to eligible applicants for the purpose of constructing broadband infrastructure in underserved areas. This bill changes the purpose of the grant program to constructing broadband infrastructure in “unserved areas.” Under current law, “unserved areas” are areas not served by an internet service provider (ISP) that is a fixed wireless service or wired service and that provides service at actual speeds of at least 20% of the upload and download speeds for advanced telecommunications capability as designated by the Federal Communications Commission. The bill changes the speed standard for an unserved area to be at least actual download speeds of 100 megabits per second and upload speeds of 20 megabits per second. Current law requires PSC to establish criteria for evaluating applications and awarding grants under the broadband expansion grant program and requires that the criteria give priority to projects meeting various standards, such as including matching funds and involving public-private partnerships. Under the bill, the criteria must require that projects serve unserved areas. The bill specifies that the criteria must prioritize projects with 50% or more matching funds and projects that are capable of offering service with either combined download speeds and upload speeds of 900 megabits per second or greater or download speeds of 450 megabits per second or greater and upload speeds of 450 megabits per second or greater. When evaluating a grant application, the bill requires PSC to consider all federal broadband grant program project areas related to the proposed project. The bill prohibits PSC from awarding grants for projects that do not include at least 40% matching funds or for projects that are not capable of offering download speeds of 100 megabits per second or greater and upload speeds of 20 megabits per second or greater (minimum download and upload speeds). The bill adds a procedure by which an ISP in or near to a project area proposed in an application for a broadband expansion grant may challenge the awarding of that grant. An ISP may challenge the grant if that ISP currently provides or will complete construction to provide broadband service to that area at minimum download and upload speeds or if that ISP commits to completing construction of broadband infrastructure and providing broadband service to that area at minimum download and upload speeds no later than 24 months after the date grants are made for the grant cycle under which the application was submitted. The bill requires PSC to evaluate the challenge and prohibits it from funding the project if it determines as credible the challenging ISP's commitment to provide broadband service that meets the requirements. The bill allows PSC to require the recipient of a broadband expansion grant to submit a project completion final report before any withheld grant funds are disbursed. The bill requires the final report to include the number of customer locations passed, upgraded, or within range and how many actually ordered broadband service as a result of the project, as well as an official certification of speeds. The bill requires PSC to disburse any withheld grant funds to an eligible grantee no later than 30 days after the final report is submitted, and to submit the report to the joint committee on finance and to the appropriate standing committees of the legislature. The bill requires PSC to provide technical assistance and educational tools for broadband expansion grant project development. The bill provides PSC a mechanism for annually collecting from ISP grantees the same broadband availability and speed data they must disclose to the Federal Communications Commission under the federal Broadband Deployment Accuracy and Technological Availability Act (BDATAA) and to use this information to develop and maintain broadband availability maps. However, the bill requires PSC to review the maps created by the FCC under BDATAA and, if they provide sufficient information to facilitate access to broadband service in unserved areas, eliminates the requirement that ISPs annually disclose this information to PSC.

Funding, Governance, High Speed, Mapping and Rural and Underserved

Wisconsin

AB 573
Failed to pass pursuant to SJR 1 3/15/22

This bill requires the Public Service Commission (PSC) to award grants for constructing wireless broadband and cellular service infrastructure. Under the bill, PSC must give priority to projects that expand wireless broadband service or cellular service in areas designated by the Federal Communications Commission as unserved or underserved. Grant recipients must contribute matching funds equal to at least 20% of the grant. The bill requires the governor to allocate $70 million of the funds accepted under the federal American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) for these grants. The bill also requires PSC to establish and maintain a publicly accessible map of fixed, mass market broadband service availability in this state. Under the bill, broadband service providers must disclose the properties they serve to PSC twice per year, and PSC must update the broadband service availability map twice per year. The bill requires the governor to allocate $5 million of the funds accepted under ARPA for this broadband mapping.

Funding, Mapping and Rural and Underserved

Wisconsin

AB 1033
Failed to pass pursuant to SJR 1 3/15/22

Concerns obsolete statutory references; concerns electronic assessment rolls; concerns obsolete tax benefits for the purchase of internet equipment used in the broadband market; concerns board of review provision related to an objector; concerns the sales tax exemption for insulin; concerns and sales tax exemption certificates for farm raised fish and patient health care records.

Taxes

Wisconsin

AB 1186
Failed to pass pursuant to SJR 1 3/15/22

Prioritizes certain farm projects under the broadband expansion grant program.

Funding and Rural and Underserved

Wisconsin

SB 278
Failed to pass pursuant to SJR 1 3/15/22

The bill requires the governor to allocate $500 million of the federal funds received by the state under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 to make broadband expansion grants. Under current law, the Public Service Commission provides grants to eligible applicants for constructing broadband infrastructure in underserved areas. The bill also requires the PSC to submit an annual report to the Joint Committee on Finance related to the broadband expansion grants awarded.

Funding and Governance

Wisconsin

SB 365
Vetoed by governor 4/15/22

This bill makes various changes to the broadband expansion grant program. Current law requires the Public Service Commission to administer the broadband expansion grant program, under which PSC designates as “underserved” areas of the state that are served by fewer than two broadband service providers and awards grants to eligible applicants for the purpose of constructing broadband infrastructure in underserved areas. This bill changes the purpose of the grant program to constructing broadband infrastructure in “unserved areas.” Under current law, “unserved areas” are areas not served by an internet service provider (ISP) that is a fixed wireless service or wired service and that provides service at actual speeds of at least 20% of the upload and download speeds for advanced telecommunications capability as designated by the Federal Communications Commission. The bill changes the speed standard for an unserved area to be at least actual download speeds of 100 megabits per second and upload speeds of 20 megabits per second. Current law requires PSC to establish criteria for evaluating applications and awarding grants under the broadband expansion grant program and requires that the criteria give priority to projects meeting various standards, such as including matching funds and involving public-private partnerships. Under the bill, the criteria must require that projects serve unserved areas. The bill specifies that the criteria must prioritize projects with 50% or more matching funds and projects that are capable of offering service with either combined download speeds and upload speeds of 900 megabits per second or greater or download speeds of 450 megabits per second or greater and upload speeds of 450 megabits per second or greater. When evaluating a grant application, the bill requires PSC to consider all federal broadband grant program project areas related to the proposed project. The bill prohibits PSC from awarding grants for projects that do not include at least 40% matching funds or for projects that are not capable of offering download speeds of 100 megabits per second or greater and upload speeds of 20 megabits per second or greater (minimum download and upload speeds). The bill adds a procedure by which an ISP in or near to a project area proposed in an application for a broadband expansion grant may challenge the awarding of that grant. An ISP may challenge the grant if that ISP currently provides or will complete construction to provide broadband service to that area at minimum download and upload speeds or if that ISP commits to completing construction of broadband infrastructure and providing broadband service to that area at minimum download and upload speeds no later than 24 months after the date grants are made for the grant cycle under which the application was submitted. The bill requires PSC to evaluate the challenge and prohibits it from funding the project if it determines as credible the challenging ISP's commitment to provide broadband service that meets the requirements. The bill allows PSC to require the recipient of a broadband expansion grant to submit a project completion final report before any withheld grant funds are disbursed. The bill requires the final report to include the number of customer locations passed, upgraded, or within range and how many actually ordered broadband service as a result of the project, as well as an official certification of speeds. The bill requires PSC to disburse any withheld grant funds to an eligible grantee no later than 30 days after the final report is submitted, and to submit the report to the joint committee on finance and to the appropriate standing committees of the legislature. The bill requires PSC to provide technical assistance and educational tools for broadband expansion grant project development. The bill provides PSC a mechanism for annually collecting from ISP grantees the same broadband availability and speed data they must disclose to the Federal Communications Commission under the federal Broadband Deployment Accuracy and Technological Availability Act (BDATAA) and to use this information to develop and maintain broadband availability maps. However, the bill requires PSC to review the maps created by the FCC under BDATAA and, if they provide sufficient information to facilitate access to broadband service in unserved areas, eliminates the requirement that ISPs annually disclose this information to PSC.

Funding, Governance, High Speed, Mapping and Rural and Underserved

Wisconsin

SB 565
Failed to pass pursuant to SJR 1 3/15/22

This bill requires the Public Service Commission (PSC) to award grants for constructing wireless broadband and cellular service infrastructure. Under the bill, PSC must give priority to projects that expand wireless broadband service or cellular service in areas designated by the Federal Communications Commission as unserved or underserved. Grant recipients must contribute matching funds equal to at least 20% of the grant. The bill requires the governor to allocate $70 million of the funds accepted under the federal American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) for these grants. The bill also requires PSC to establish and maintain a publicly accessible map of fixed, mass market broadband service availability in this state. Under the bill, broadband service providers must disclose the properties they serve to PSC twice per year, and PSC must update the broadband service availability map twice per year. The bill requires the governor to allocate $5 million of the funds accepted under ARPA for this broadband mapping.

Funding, Mapping, Rural and Underserved

Wisconsin

SB 1095
Failed to pass pursuant to SJR 1 3/15/22

This bill requires the Public Service Commission to require retail electric utilities and cooperatives to survey customers and members about broadband service availability and reimburse the utilities and cooperatives for conducting the surveys. The bill also requires PSC to require internet service providers to disclose to PSC the properties they serve and the average minimum download and upload speeds at which they provide residential and business service to those properties. PSC must use the survey results and information disclosed to improve broadband mapping.

 

Governance and Mapping

Wisconsin

SB 1096
Failed to pass pursuant to SJR 1 3/15/22

This bill allows a city, village, town, or county or the Department of Transportation to require a person who conducts any special work in the right-of-way of the city, village, town, or county or DOT to install empty conduit lines in any part of the right-of-way in which the person is digging. The bill defines “special work” as construction or maintenance of a sidewalk or highway project. The conduit lines that are required to be installed under the bill must be suitable for the installation of fiber cable optic broadband lines. The bill allows a city, village, or town to require conduit line installation without complying with notice, hearing, and cost-benefit analysis requirements that, with certain exceptions, apply to broadband, telecommunications, and video service facilities under current law. The bill also imposes a duty to offer service on an internet service provider that has installed a fiber optic cable broadband line in a right-of-way of the state or a city, village, town, or county. Under the bill, if requested by the owner of a structure that is 300 feet or fewer from the center line of such a right-of-way, the internet service provider must offer to provide to the structure the service that is provided over the line.

 

Dig Once and Infrastructure

Wisconsin

SB 1097
Failed to pass pursuant to SJR 1 3/15/22

This bill makes changes to the broadband expansion grant program that affect cities, villages, towns, and counties (political subdivisions). Under current law, the Public Service Commission administers the program and makes grants to eligible applicants for constructing broadband infrastructure in underserved areas. The bill allows a political subdivision to apply for a grant without submitting the application in partnership with a telecommunications utility or a for-profit or not-for-profit organization, which is required under current law. The bill also allows a political subdivision to use a grant for the following purposes, in addition to constructing broadband infrastructure: 1) planning related to broadband infrastructure construction, including broadband feasibility reports; and 2) defraying no more than 50% of the cost of hiring and employing one broadband director. The bill also eliminates a requirement for a city, village, or town to prepare a report before constructing or operating a facility for providing to the public telecommunications service, cable television or similar video service, or broadband service. With exceptions, current law requires a city, village, or town to hold a hearing before enacting an ordinance or adopting a resolution authorizing it to construct or operate such a facility. In addition, at least 30 days prior to the hearing, the city, village, or town must prepare and make available to the public a report that estimates the total costs and revenues for the facility and includes a cost-benefit analysis of the facility for a period of at least three years. Under the bill, a city, village, or town is not required to prepare that report.

Funding, Municipal and Rural and Underserved

Wisconsin

SB 1098
Failed to pass pursuant to SJR 1 3/15/22

This bill makes changes to the broadband expansion grant program administered by the Public Service Commission. Under current law, PSC makes grants to eligible applicants for constructing broadband infrastructure in underserved areas. The bill defines “broadband infrastructure,” which is not defined under current law, as infrastructure that provides broadband service at the following speeds, whichever is faster: 1) a minimum download speed of 25 megabits per second and a minimum upload speed of three megabits per second or 2) minimum download and upload speeds designated by the Federal Communications Commission under federal law. Under the bill, infrastructure is eligible for a broadband expansion grant only if it satisfies the foregoing definition. The bill requires an applicant for a grant to specify the broadband infrastructure the applicant intends to construct with a grant and also requires a grant recipient to reimburse PSC for the grant if 1) the person fails to complete construction of the infrastructure or 2) the infrastructure that is constructed fails to provide the foregoing minimum download or upload speeds. Any reimbursed amounts are used to make additional grants. In addition, the bill requires grant recipients to submit reports to PSC on the progress of broadband infrastructure construction, the number of broadband service connections provided by that infrastructure, and the average download and upload speeds for those service connections. Finally, beginning on Jan. 1, 2023, the bill requires the Legislative Audit Bureau to conduct biennial performance audits of the broadband expansion grant program.

Funding and Rural and Underserved

Wisconsin

SB 1099
Failed to pass pursuant to SJR 1 3/15/22

Under this bill, no person may advertise as providing broadband service or sell a service that the person represents as being broadband service unless the service is capable of consistently providing a minimum download speed of 25 megabits per second (Mbps) and a minimum upload speed of three Mbps, or the minimum download and upload speeds to meet the Federal Communications Commission's designation as an advanced telecommunications capability, whichever is greater. Also under the bill, no person may advertise as providing internet service at a specific speed or sell internet service that the person represents as being at a specific speed unless the service is capable of consistently providing that speed. If a person sells a service represented as broadband service that does not meet the broadband speed requirements or sells internet service represented as being at a specific speed that does not provide that speed, the consumer is entitled to terminate the contract and receive a refund unless the service provider brings the speeds up to the advertised speeds within one month of receiving notice from the consumer. The bill also requires any person selling broadband service in this state to provide a standardized consumer label that shows important consumer information, on a template provided by the Federal Communications Commission, to each broadband customer before a sale and to make these labels easily available to potential customers. Under the bill, a person who violates the provisions of the bill is subject to existing penalties under current law, which provide for a fine of up to $200 or imprisonment for not more than six months or both. The bill also provides that a violation of the provisions of the bill is an unfair method of competition in business or an unfair trade practice, and that a person who suffers pecuniary loss because of a violation may sue for damages and recover twice the amount of pecuniary loss as well as reasonable attorney fees.

Consumer Relations and High-Speed

Wisconsin

SB 1104
Failed to pass pursuant to SJR 1 3/15/22

Concerns broadband expansion grants; concerns assistance for paying for internet service; concerns regulations of broadband service; concerns electric providers using easements to provide broadband; concerns municipal broadband service; counts pupils for state school aid purposes; calculates the amount to be appropriated for state general school aid; concerns school aid factors; concerns special adjustment aids; concerns hold harmless aid; concerns per pupil aid; concerns school district revenue limits.

Funding, Infrastructure, Municipal and Rural and Underserved

Wisconsin

SB 1105
Failed to pass pursuant to SJR 1 3/15/22

Under current law, the Public Service Commission makes grants to eligible applicants for the purpose of constructing broadband infrastructure in underserved areas. In making the grants, current law requires PSC to give priority to projects that satisfy various requirements. This bill requires PSC to also give priority to projects for expanding fiber optic broadband lines to farms. The bill defines “farm” as land primarily devoted to agricultural uses related to crop and animal production that are referenced in a rule promulgated by the Department of Revenue.

Funding and Rural and Underserved

Wyoming

HB 67
Did not consider for introduction vote 2/18/22

Relates to the emergency expenses of government related to broadband development and internet access; appropriates federal funds for the Connect Wyoming program for broadband development; specifies limitations on the types of projects funded with appropriated federal funds through the Connect Wyoming program; provides rulemaking authority; provides for an effective date.

Funding and Rural and Underserved

Wyoming

HB 68
Did not consider for introduction vote 2/18/22

Relates to the support of broadband internet and telehealth access; appropriates federal funds for broadband access projects and telehealth access projects as specified; provides requirements for projects funded; defines terms; requires rulemaking; provides for an effective date

Funding and Rural and Underserved

Wyoming

HB 69
Did not consider for introduction vote 2/18/22

Relates to economic development; authorizes the use of broadband development subaccount funds as matching grant funds as specified; authorizes positions; requires reports; reappropriates and transfers funds; requires rulemaking; provides for effective dates.

Funding

 

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

 

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