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DIGEST OF INTRODUCED BILL
Broadband deployment partnerships and account. Establishes the broadband deployment account in the state general fund to make digital subscriber line (DSL) Internet service available throughout Indiana. Requires the utility regulatory commission (IURC) to administer the account. Allows local exchange carriers and certain nonprofit, community, and governmental entities to form a broadband deployment partnership and apply to the IURC for grants or loans from the account. Provides that a partnership must include at least one local exchange carrier. Provides that grants and loans from the account may be used by a partnership to purchase, acquire, construct, expand, improve, or maintain DSL equipment in underserved areas. Allows the IURC to adopt rules to do the following: (1) Designate areas in Indiana as underserved areas with respect to DSL service. (2) Establish requirements for grants and loans from the account. (3) Allow local exchange carriers to collect a universal DSL service charge on their periodic billings for remittance to the IURC and deposit and in the account. Requires the regulatory flexibility committee to annually study the status of broadband service in Indiana and report any recommendations to the legislative council. Requires the IURC to annually report to the committee on broadband service in Indiana.