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Introduced Senate Bill (S)

DIGEST

Broadband development. Establishes the Indiana broadband expansion fund for deposit and distribution of federal broadband funding. Provides that the office of community and rural development (office) administers the fund. Requires the office to establish a public broadband portal through which an individual may report: (1) that: (A) Internet connectivity; or (B) broadband Internet connectivity at speeds of least 25 megabits per second downstream and at least three megabits per second upstream (broadband Internet); is unavailable at the individual's address; or (2) that Internet connectivity or broadband Internet connectivity is available at the individual's address, but the individual is unable to Broadband development. Establishes the Indiana broadband expansion fund for deposit and distribution of federal broadband funding. Provides that the office of community and rural development (office) administers the fund. Requires the office to establish a public broadband portal through which an individual may report: (1) that: (A) Internet connectivity; or (B) broadband Internet connectivity at speeds of least 25 megabits per second downstream and at least three megabits per second upstream (broadband Internet); is unavailable at the individual's address; or (2) that Internet connectivity or broadband Internet connectivity is available at the individual's address, but the individual is unable to afford the service. Establishes the Indiana broadband connectivity program (connectivity program), under which a broadband Internet provider may: (1) register with the connectivity program; (2) receive twice monthly listings of addresses submitted through the public broadband portal as addresses at which Internet connectivity or broadband Internet connectivity is unavailable; (3) report to the office any address included in a listing received by the provider at which connectivity to the provider's broadband Internet service is already available; and (4) bid for an award of a grant for purposes of extending connectivity to the provider's broadband Internet service to an address at which broadband Internet connectivity is unavailable. Requires the office to provide broadband Internet connectivity information to an individual whose address: (1) is included in a listing of addresses submitted through the public broadband portal as an address at which Internet connectivity or broadband Internet connectivity is unavailable; and (2) is reported by a broadband Internet provider as an address at which the provider already provides broadband Internet connectivity. Requires the office to provide to the general assembly an annual report containing specified data regarding the connectivity program. Establishes the Indiana broadband adoption program (adoption program), under which the office may provide financial assistance to an individual who reports through the public broadband portal that: (1) Internet connectivity or broadband Internet connectivity is available at the individual's address; but (2) the individual is unable to afford the service; in the form of one or more $50 vouchers that can be used by the individual to pay for Internet service provided by a broadband Internet provider that has registered with the connectivity program. Provides that the office shall determine eligibility of an applicant for financial assistance through the adoption program, but provides automatic eligibility for an individual: (1) who is receiving, or whose household includes an individual who is receiving, benefits through: (A) the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program; (B) the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP); or (C) the Medicaid program; or (2) whose household includes a child who is eligible for free or reduced price lunch. Requires the office to: (1) conduct an outreach program to promote adoption of broadband Internet service; and (2) establish a digital literacy program. Provides that a county that achieves broadband Internet connectivity for 90% or more of the county's residents before January 1, 2026, may: (1) be certified by the office as 21st Century Connected; and (2) receive $100,000 for provision of financial assistance to residents of the county under the adoption program. Requires the office to provide to the general assembly an annual report containing specified data regarding the adoption program. Requires the office to maintain a geographic information system (GIS) or similar data base that contains spatial data regarding the availability of broadband Internet service in Indiana. Requires the office to evaluate the broadband Internet coverage map created by the Federal Communications Commission under the Broadband Deployment Accuracy and Technological Availability Act (FCC map) and: (1) if the FCC map: (A) provides address level broadband Internet coverage information; or (B) provides a greater level of detail than the office's broadband Internet coverage map; use the FCC map to update the office's broadband Internet coverage map; or (2) if the FCC map does not: (A) provide address level broadband Internet coverage information; or (B) provide a greater level of detail than the office's broadband Internet coverage map; develop, report to the general assembly, and begin implementing, not later than July 1, 2022, a plan to create a map of Indiana broadband Internet coverage that allows for determination of broadband Internet availability at individual Indiana addresses. Appropriates $100,000,000 to the Indiana broadband expansion fund and requires the office to distribute the appropriation proportionally to the rural broadband fund, the connectivity program, and the adoption program. ... View more