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HB21-1109

Broadband Board Changes To Expand Broadband Service

Concerning the broadband deployment board, and, in connection therewith, modifying the composition of the board, requiring the board to develop a request for proposal process for deploying broadband into critically unserved areas in the state, and requiring the board to give additional consideration to proposed projects that would include discounted service for low-income households.
Session:
2021 Regular Session
Subject:
Telecommunications & Information Technology
Bill Summary

Sections 1 and 3 of the bill exempt certain mapping data submitted to the office of information technology (office) from public disclosure under the "Colorado Open Records Act".Section 2 adds a definition of "critically unserved", which means a household or area that lies outside municipal boundaries and lacks access to at least one provider of nonsatellite broadband service delivered at measurable speeds of at least 10 megabits per second downstream and one megabit per second upstream and or at measurable speeds of at least one-half of the minimum measurable speeds that qualify as broadband under the federal communications commission's definition, rounded up, whichever is faster. Section 2 also adds a definition of "office of information technology".

Section 3 reduces the membership of the broadband deployment board (board) in the department of regulatory agencies from 16 members to 11 members.

The board is required to develop a request for proposal process through which the board will solicit bids for proposed projects to serve areas of the state that the office has determined lack access to broadband service at measurable speeds of at least 10 megabits per second downstream and one megabit per second upstream. The board is required to reserve at least 75% up to 60% of the money from the high cost support mechanism that is allocated for broadband deployment to award grants to proposed projects solicited through the request for proposal process.

Section 3 also directs the board to:

  • Require an applicant or appellant to submit a either written certification from a local entity indicating that the area to be served by the applicant's project is an unserved area or a statistically representative number of speed test tests performed on an incumbent provider's network and conducted in accordance with industry-standard speed-test protocols;
  • Give additional consideration to proposed projects that would give discounted service for low-income households;
  • Contractually require an applicant receiving a grant award to:
  • Report annually on the number of homes and businesses served by the grant-supported broadband network, the number of homes and businesses expected to be served in the following year, and the speeds, rates, and services offered to customers through the grant-supported broadband network; and
  • Provide third-party performance-testing certification, after the grant money has been fully expended, that the project meets the original design of, and provides the measurable speeds, rates, and services set forth in, the application.
  • Require an applicant or appellant to submit to the office, in a form and manner determined by the office, certain granular mapping data ; and
  • Use the request for proposal process for the disbursement of any federal money the board receives for broadband deployment projects and programs so long as using the request for proposal process complies with federal requirements for use of the money.

Section 4 repeals the current board composition requirements on August 31, 2021.

(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.)

Status

Introduced
Under Consideration

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