The broadband deployment board (board) awards grants for the provision of broadband service in unserved areas of the state, which are areas deemed to have insufficient broadband service. The bill
requires that authorizes but does not require an applicant for seeking grant money from the board to submit to the board a written certification from the local entity with jurisdiction over the area that the applicant proposes to serve certifying that the area is an unserved area. A local entity that is requested to provide written certification must first hold a hearing on the matter and provide notice of the hearing, including notice to any incumbent provider. The board is required, both when initially considering the application and on appeal, to give substantial weight to a local entity's written certification that an area is an unserved area. and, after reviewing all of the evidence regarding an application, may reject the conclusion of the written certification only upon the vote of at least 10 of the 15 voting members of the board.
For the 2020-21 state fiscal year, the bill appropriates $5,294 from the broadband administrative fund to the department of regulatory agencies for use by the executive director's office for personal services.
(Note: Italicized words indicate new material added to the original summary; dashes through words indicate deletions from the original summary.)
(Note: This summary applies to the reengrossed version of this bill as introduced in the second house.)