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Bill Detail: SB21-060

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Title Expand Broadband Service
Status Senate Committee on Business, Labor, & Technology Refer Amended to Appropriations (04/05/2021)
Bill Subjects
  • Telecommunications & Information Technology
House Sponsors D. Roberts (D)
Senate Sponsors K. Donovan (D)
House Committee
Senate Committee Business, Labor and Technology
Date Introduced 02/16/2021
Summary

Section 1 of the bill amends the definition of broadband network
to increase downstream and upstream speed requirements and adds a
definition of critically unserved, which means a household or area that
lacks access to at least one provider of nonsatellite broadband service
delivered at measurable speeds of at least 10 megabits per second
downstream and one megabit per second upstream.
Section 2 reduces the membership of the broadband deployment
board (board) in the department of regulatory agencies from 16 members

to 9 members.
The board is required to develop a reimbursement program to
reimburse certain households for up to $600 per year for broadband
service. A household is eligible to apply for reimbursement if the
household:
  • Includes children enrolled in grades K-12 who receive free
or reduced-price lunch through a school's lunch program;
or
  • Has an income that does not exceed the higher of the
federal poverty level or 30% of area median income.
The board is also required to develop a request for proposal
process through which the board will solicit bids for proposed projects to
serve areas of the state that the office of information technology has
determined lack access to broadband service at measurable speeds of at
least 10 megabits per second downstream and one megabit per second
upstream. Each year, the board is required to reserve at least 50% of the
money from the high cost support mechanism that is allocated for
broadband deployment to award grants to proposed projects solicited
through the request for proposal process.
Section 2 also limits the notice and comment period for a local
entity's review of an application from 60 days to 30 days and removes
provisions requiring the board to apply for specific types of federal
funding because the board has completed those applications.
Section 2 further requires the public utilities commission, in
consultation with the board, to:
  • Adopt rules establishing speed testing protocols by which
broadband grant applicants must abide; and
  • Consider, on a biennial basis starting in 2023, whether to
modify by rule the definitions of broadband network and
critically unserved and certain aspects of the
reimbursement program, including eligibility for
reimbursement and the maximum amount of money that the
board may annually reimburse a household.
Section 3 repeals the current board composition requirements on
August 31, 2021.

Committee Reports
with Amendments
Full Text
Full Text of Bill (pdf) (most recent)
Fiscal Notes Fiscal Notes (04/20/2021) (most recent)  
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