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Introduced Senate Bill (S)

DIGEST

Broadband grant program. Amends the statutory priorities for the funding of projects from the rural broadband fund to provide that the office of community and rural affairs (office) shall establish as a priority the funding of projects to extend the deployment of eligible broadband service to areas in which the only available connections to the Internet are at actual speeds of not more than 25 megabits per second downstream. (Current law prioritizes the funding of projects to deploy eligible broadband service to rural areas based on two different levels of broadband speed available in such areas.) Requires the office to Broadband grant program. Amends the statutory priorities for the funding of projects from the rural broadband fund to provide that the office of community and rural affairs (office) shall establish as a priority the funding of projects to extend the deployment of eligible broadband service to areas in which the only available connections to the Internet are at actual speeds of not more than 25 megabits per second downstream. (Current law prioritizes the funding of projects to deploy eligible broadband service to rural areas based on two different levels of broadband speed available in such areas.) Requires the office to amend, not later than April 15, 2020, the office's guidelines implementing the broadband grant program as necessary to reflect the changes to the funding priorities made by the bill's provisions. Provides that not later than 90 days before the date on which applications for grant funding may first be submitted with respect to a particular round of funding, the office shall issue to any persons providing broadband service in rural areas a request for information soliciting: (1) data identifying each service address for which the person provides broadband service in a rural area, including information on upload and download speeds of the service provided; and (2) information identifying service addresses or other locations in rural areas to which the person will provide eligible broadband service not later than 18 months after the date on which applications for grant funding may first be submitted with respect to the particular round of grant funding. Provides that if the information received by the office in response to a request for information does not indicate that any person is providing broadband service to a particular service address, the office shall consider the service address to be: (1) without broadband service; and (2) eligible for inclusion in any proposed broadband project for which grant funding is sought. Provides that with respect to any service addresses or other locations identified by a person for the deployment of eligible broadband service not later than 18 months after the date on which applications may first be submitted for a particular round of funding, the office shall consider the service addresses or locations identified to be ineligible for inclusion in any proposed broadband project for which funding is sought, subject to the person submitting: (1) a plan for the proposed deployment; and (2) quarterly progress reports on the person's activities in furtherance of the plan. Provides that before each round of grant funding, the office shall publish on the office's Internet web site: (1) data, not identified by provider, as to which service addresses in rural areas receive broadband service at certain specified speeds; (2) data, not identified by provider, as to which service addresses in rural areas are planned for broadband deployment within the 18 month period beginning with the date applications may first be submitted for the particular round of funding; and (3) a map of Indiana showing the general locations of these service addresses or locations. Provides that any information submitted to the office under these provisions: (1) is confidential for purposes of the statute concerning access to public records; (2) is subject to certain protections concerning confidential or proprietary business information; and (3) may not be disclosed by the office, other than in a form that does not identify the person providing the information. ... View more