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Enrolled House Bill (H)

Authored by

DIGEST

Broadband grants and high speed Internet service. Authorizes the office of community and rural affairs (office) to award grants to qualified broadband providers in connection with qualified broadband projects involving the deployment of infrastructure to provide qualified broadband service in unserved areas in Indiana. Defines "qualified broadband service" as a connection to the Internet at an actual speed of at least 10 megabits per second downstream and at least one megabit per second upstream, regardless of the technology used. Defines an "unserved area" as a geographic area in Indiana in which there is not at least one provider of terrestrial Broadband grants and high speed Internet service. Authorizes the office of community and rural affairs (office) to award grants to qualified broadband providers in connection with qualified broadband projects involving the deployment of infrastructure to provide qualified broadband service in unserved areas in Indiana. Defines "qualified broadband service" as a connection to the Internet at an actual speed of at least 10 megabits per second downstream and at least one megabit per second upstream, regardless of the technology used. Defines an "unserved area" as a geographic area in Indiana in which there is not at least one provider of terrestrial broadband service at the designated speeds. Provides that grants shall be made from the rural economic development fund. Provides that in awarding grants, the office shall give priority to first extending the deployment of qualified broadband service to areas in which: (1) Internet connections are unavailable; or (2) the only available Internet connections provide for an actual speed of less than 10 megabits per second downstream. Sets forth factors that the office must consider in determining whether to award a grant. Sets forth conditions that apply to the awarding of grants. Requires the office to adopt guidelines to implement these provisions and authorizes the office to collaborate with state agencies and political subdivisions in adopting the guidelines and administering grants. Repeals the statute establishing the high speed Internet service deployment and adoption initiative administered by the Indiana economic development corporation. Repeals the statute establishing the Indiana broadband development program administered by the Indiana finance authority. Amends the Indiana Code section that allows a holder of video service franchises issued by the utility regulatory commission (IURC) to apply to the IURC for direct marketing authority in a service area served by the holder to specify that such authority includes the authority to market directly to all businesses, as well as all households (as set forth in current law), in the service area. Directs the IURC to study certain topics regarding universal service reform and broadband services in Indiana and issue a report to the interim study committee on energy, utilities, and telecommunications before October 1, 2018. ... View more