HB 1449

  • Indiana House Bill
  • 2021 Regular Session
  • Introduced in House
  • Passed House Feb 22, 2021
  • Passed Senate Mar 30, 2021
  • Signed by Governor Apr 20, 2021

Broadband development.

Abstract

Amends the statute governing the awarding of grants from the rural broadband fund as follows: (1) Provides that an "eligible broadband project" for purposes of the statute includes a project for the deployment of terrestrial broadband infrastructure: (A) to buildings used by public school corporations primarily for educating students; (B) to rural health clinics; (C) to ensure that eligible students (defined as Indiana residents who are less than 23 years of age and who are enrolled in a K-12 school in Indiana) have access points providing a connection to eligible broadband service; and (D) in rural areas in Indiana. (Current law provides that an "eligible broadband project" means only a project for the deployment of broadband infrastructure for the provision of eligible broadband service in rural areas in Indiana.) (2) Specifies that terrestrial broadband infrastructure includes infrastructure used for a fixed wireless Internet connection but does not include infrastructure used for a satellite Internet connection. (3) Provides that "eligible broadband service" means a connection to the Internet that provides an actual speed of at least: (A) 1,000 megabits per second downstream for a project involving the deployment of broadband infrastructure to public school corporation buildings or rural health clinics; or (B) 50 megabits per second downstream and at least five megabits per second upstream for a project to provide to eligible students access points for connections to eligible broadband service, or for a project to provide eligible broadband service to rural areas. (4) Specifies the following priorities for the awarding of grants from the rural broadband fund: (A) First, for extending eligible broadband service to public school corporation buildings with respect to which the only available Internet connections are at actual speeds of less than 1,000 megabits per second downstream. (B) Second, for extending eligible broadband service to rural health clinics with respect to which the only available Internet connections are at actual speeds of less than 1,000 megabits per second downstream. (C) Third, for extending eligible broadband service so as to ensure that every eligible student has at the student's residence an access point providing a connection to eligible broadband service. (D) Fourth, extending eligible broadband service to rural areas in which the only available connections to the Internet are at actual speeds of less than 25 megabits per second downstream. (5) Provides that a state agency may fund an eligible broadband project that is designated as a lower priority under the funding priorities set forth in the statute if no competitive applications for eligible broadband projects designated as a higher priority are submitted in a particular round of grant funding. (6) Specifies that a grant may not be awarded from the rural broadband fund: (A) for any project to extend the deployment of eligible broadband service to one or more service addresses for which funding from the federal government has been used or will be disbursed to extend broadband service at actual speeds of at least 25 megabits per second downstream to those same addresses; or (B) if the awarding of the grant would jeopardize funding that has been awarded by the federal government under certain programs for purposes of expanding broadband service in Indiana. (7) Provides that the system of priorities used by the office of community and rural affairs (office) for awarding grants from the rural broadband fund must give preference to projects that require a lower contribution from the fund per passing, as determined by a specified calculation. (8) Provides that the procedures established by the office for the awarding of grants from the rural broadband fund must require the office to: (A) include, in publishing grant applications to the office's Internet web site, specific addresses for which state funds would be used to provide eligible broadband service; and (B) consider, in making a determination as to whether to award a grant to an applicant, all comments or objections received during the statutory comment period, including any new grant application that: (i) is submitted within the statutory comment period by another eligible broadband service provider; and (ii) indicates that such other provider would be willing to provide eligible broadband service to the same addresses at a lower cost to the state. (9) Requires the office to establish a program to expand broadband Internet connectivity by: (A) entering into agreements with broadband service providers under which such providers agree to accept subsidy payments distributed by the office as a form of payment for eligible broadband service; and (B) distributing subsidy payments to participating providers to be used as a form of payment for eligible broadband service provided before July 1, 2025, to certain persons and entities, prioritized as follows: (i) School buildings. (ii) Rural health clinics. (iii) Eligible students. Provides that money in the rural broadband fund may be used to provide financial assistance under the new program. (10) Requires the office to establish and publish on the office's Internet web site: (A) specific, measurable goals; and (B) metrics to be used in assessing the progress made toward accomplishing those goals; for the disbursement of state broadband grant funds. (11) Requires the office to report annually to the interim study committee on energy, utilities, and telecommunications (rather than to the general assembly, under current law) concerning the awarding of state broadband grants. (12) Requires the state board of accounts to conduct an annual audit (rather than an audit every three years, under current law) of the awarding of state broadband grants. Establishes the Indiana broadband connectivity program (connectivity program), under which the office must establish a public broadband portal through which an individual may report that minimum broadband Internet (defined as a connection to the Internet at an actual speed of at least 25 megabits per second downstream and at least three megabits per second upstream) is unavailable at the individual's residential or business address. Provides that the public broadband portal must solicit information as to whether one or more eligible students reside at an address that is reported by an individual through the portal. Provides that the office may contract or consult with one or more third parties in the creation or administration of the portal. Provides that a broadband Internet provider may: (1) register with the connectivity program; (2) receive, at least every three months, notice of addresses submitted to the office as addresses at which minimum broadband Internet is unavailable; (3) report to the office any listed address at which the provider's minimum broadband Internet service is already available; and (4) bid for an award of a grant for purposes of extending connectivity to broadband Internet service (defined as a connection to the Internet at an actual speed of at least 50 megabits per second downstream and at least five megabits per second upstream) to an address at which minimum broadband Internet is unavailable. Provides that if the office does not receive notice from any providers that minimum broadband Internet is available at an address reported through the public broadband portal, the office shall transmit to each registered provider a bid notification for provision of broadband Internet service at the address. Specifies requirements for a provider's submission of a bid under the program. Provides that in evaluating the bids received, the office shall select the provider whose bid presents the lowest cost to the state for extension of the provider's broadband Internet infrastructure to the address. Provides that the amount of a grant awarded to a registered provider under the program may not exceed the following: (1) A per-line extension amount that exceeds $25,000. (2) A per-passing amount that exceeds the state's cost per passing for all grants awarded from the rural broadband fund for rural broadband grants as of the last day of the immediately preceding state fiscal year, as calculated by the office. Requires the office to enter into an agreement with a provider that is awarded a grant under the program. Requires the office to provide to the general assembly an annual report containing specified data regarding the connectivity program.

Bill Sponsors (8)

Votes


Actions


Apr 20, 2021

Office of the Governor

Signed by the Governor

House

Public Law 89

Apr 19, 2021

Senate

Signed by the President of the Senate

Senate

Signed by the President Pro Tempore

Apr 13, 2021

House

Signed by the Speaker

Apr 12, 2021

House

House concurred in Senate amendments; Roll Call 401: yeas 92, nays 2

Apr 06, 2021

House

Motion to concur filed

Mar 31, 2021

Senate

Returned to the House with amendments

Mar 30, 2021

Senate

Third reading: passed; Roll Call 296: yeas 50, nays 0

Senate

Senator Buck added as cosponsor

Senate

Senator Holdman added as cosponsor

Senate

Senator Randolph added as cosponsor

Mar 29, 2021

Senate

Second reading: ordered engrossed

Mar 25, 2021

Senate

Committee report: amend do pass, adopted

Mar 15, 2021

Senate

Senator Houchin added as cosponsor

Senate

Committee report: amend do pass adopted; reassigned to Committee on Appropriations

  • Committee-Passage
  • Referral-Committee
appropriations

Mar 02, 2021

Senate

First reading: referred to Committee on Utilities

  • Reading-1
  • Referral-Committee
utilities

Feb 23, 2021

House

Referred to the Senate

Feb 22, 2021

House

Senate sponsors: Senators Koch, Messmer, Zay

House

Third reading: passed; Roll Call 211: yeas 92, nays 2

Feb 18, 2021

House

Second reading: ordered engrossed

Feb 16, 2021

House

Committee report: amend do pass, adopted

Jan 14, 2021

House

Authored by Representative Soliday

House

First reading: referred to Committee on Utilities, Energy and Telecommunications

  • Reading-1
  • Referral-Committee
utilities, energy and telecommunications

Bill Text

Bill Text Versions Format
Introduced House Bill (H) PDF
House Bill (H) PDF
House Bill (S) PDF
House Bill (S) PDF
Enrolled House Bill (H) PDF

Related Documents

Document Format
Fiscal Note: HB1449.05.ENRS.FN001 PDF

Sources

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