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HB 14-1328: The Broadband Bill Update

posted Jun 24, 2014, 2:32 PM by Megan Chadwick Gernert - OIT   [ updated Jun 24, 2014, 2:32 PM ]

With the signing of HB14-1328 on May 9-10,  2014, the Governor set in motion the process of establishing of a Broadband Fund and Broadband Deployment Board to provide grants for broadband deployment in unserved areas of the state.  There are two major milestones that need to occur to implement the legislation.

  1. Establish Broadband Fund: The bill creates a Broadband Fund that will contain monies allocated from the general assembly and/or transferred from the high cost support mechanism fund that are determined by the PUC to be no longer needed to support voice service in certain areas of the state where there is effective competition.  The PUC recently issued a decision determining certain exchange areas in the state to be effectively competitive and no longer eligible for the receipt of high cost funds. The PUC has yet to be determining if, when and how much money may become available for transfer to the Broadband fund.
  2. Establish Broadband Deployment Board:  The board nomination process has begun and the various positions are going through the standard vetting process for all state boards and commissions.  If you are interested in one of these positions make sure to contact the nominating individual.

Here is a summary of the board and the entities that nominate them:

Member

Appointed By

State Government


Public Utilities Commission

Governor

Office of Economic Development and International Trade

Governor

Office of Information Technology

Governor

Department of Local Affairs

Governor

Local Government


County Commissioner

Senate President in consultation with CCI

Mayor/City Councilperson

Speaker of the House in consultation with CML

Other Local Entity

Senate Minority Leader

Industry


Wireless Provider

House Minority Leader

Wireline Provider

Senate Minority Leader

Satellite Provider

Governor

Cable Provider

Senate President

Rural Local Exchange Carrier

Governor

Competitive Local Exchange Carrier

Speaker of the House

Public


Unserved Western Slope

Senate President

Unserved Eastern Plains

House Minority Leader

Unserved Urban

Speaker of the House


Once these two steps have been taken it will be up to the Broadband Board to develop the necessary policies and procedures to begin the process of accepting grant applications and awarding moneys from the fund.  At this point it is too early to determine when the fund and board will be operational.  OIT will continue to update everyone on the progress of this process.