Broadband Communities

NOV-DEC 2018

BROADBAND COMMUNITIES is the leading source of information on digital and broadband technologies for buildings and communities. Our editorial aims to accelerate the deployment of Fiber-To-The-Home and Fiber-To-The-Premises.

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COMMUNITY BROADBAND 2 6 | B R O A D B A N D C O M M U N I T I E S | w w w. b r o a d b a n d c o m m u n i t i e s . c o m | N O V E M B E R / D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 8 States Make the Right Moves California, Washington and Indiana recently enacted legislation to help facilitate community broadband networks. By Lisa Gonzalez / Institute for Local Self-Reliance CALIFORNIA G ov. Jerry Brown signed a bill that clears the way for rural California communities to develop, fund and operate broadband networks. In September 2018, Gov. Brown approved AB 1999, which eliminated state restrictions on publicly owned options for rural internet access. e state- imposed limitations had been in place for years, discouraging rural communities from deploying broadband infrastructure even where population density is not high enough for profitability. AB 1999, introduced by Assemblymember Ed Chau, expanded the authority of community service districts (CSDs) to bring high-quality connectivity to residents, businesses and institutions. CSDs in California are independent local governments usually formed by residents of unincorporated areas. ey're created to provide services people living in more populated areas often take for granted, such as water and wastewater management, trash collection and fire protection. CSDs can create enhanced infrastructure financing districts (EIFDs) to raise funds for the services they provide. ese EIFDs can fund the development of internet access infrastructure, as they would other projects, but prior to the adoption of AB 1999, additional restrictions applied. When building a broadband network, a CSD would first have to determine that no other person or entity was willing to provide internet access. Once the broadband infrastructure was constructed, if a private company conveyed a willingness to offer services in the region via the infrastructure, the CSD had to either sell or lease the infrastructure to that company rather than operate it directly. AB 1999 eliminates these discouraging requirements. Now, CSDs can move forward without delay, don't need to wait for the response of the private sector and no longer face the risk of having to relinquish their physical infrastructure investment. WASHINGTON In spring 2018, lawmakers in the Evergreen State passed HB 2664, and Gov. Jay Inslee signed it. Enabling legislation that allows the formation of port districts and election of their commissioners has been in place for more than 100 years. Port districts operate to boost regional economic development; broadband deployment is a natural fit. Before the governor signed HB 2664, state law allowed ports to develop and use fiber optic infrastructure for their own purposes within TEXT OF RECENT STATE LAWS ON COMMUNITY BROADBAND California AB 1999 : https://tinyurl.com/y7jbffg8 Washington HB 2664: https://tinyurl.com/yc4s5zh7 Indiana SB 478 (FIBRE Act) : https://tinyurl.com/y7h6spzm

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