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HB21-1289

Funding For Broadband Deployment

Concerning broadband deployment, and, in connection therewith, codifying the Colorado broadband office in the office of information technology; creating the digital inclusion grant program, the broadband stimulus grant program, and the interconnectivity grant program; and making an appropriation.
Session:
2021 Regular Session
Subject:
Telecommunications & Information Technology
Bill Summary

Sections 1 and 2 of the bill extend the grant award distribution and reporting dates for the connecting Colorado students grant program.Section 4 5 creates the Colorado broadband office (broadband office) in the office of information technology (office) as a type 1 entity. Section 4 5 also creates the digital inclusion grant program fund and directs the state treasurer to transfer $35 million from the general fund to the fund for use by the broadband office to implement the digital inclusion grant program to award grant money to proposed broadband deployment projects throughout the state. Grant recipients other than Indian tribe or nation recipients are prohibited from using the grant money for last-mile broadband deployment. Section 5 also defines "community anchor institution" in relation to grants awarded through the digital inclusion grant program. Section 3 requires the chief information officer in the office to appoint a director of the broadband office.Section 5 6 defines "community anchor institution", "critically unserved" , and "income-qualified plan" in relation to grants awarded by the broadband deployment board (board) for proposed broadband deployment projects throughout the state.Section 6 7 creates the broadband stimulus grant program (grant program) and requires the board to implement the grant program by awarding grant money from the broadband stimulus account created in the broadband administrative fund. The state treasurer is directed to transfer $35 million from the general fund to the account for this grant program. The board is encouraged to award money under the grant program to applicants that previously applied for broadband deployment grants from the board but were denied due to insufficient funding. An applicant seeking money under the grant program must submit an income-qualified plan to the board.Section 7 9 updates the legislative declaration related to the division of local government in the department of local affairs (division) to include language indicating the importance of broadband deployment, and section 8 10 defines terms related to the division's work in deploying broadband.Section 9 11 requires the division to submit a copy of any application it receives for broadband deployment grant money to the board broadband office for the board broadband office to review and provide a recommendation regarding the application within 30 days after the division sends the copy to the board broadband office .

Section 9 11 also creates the interconnectivity grant program and requires the division to implement the grant program by awarding grant money for proposed projects that seek to achieve regional broadband deployment and provide interconnection between communities. Projects awarded money under this grant program, except for projects awarded to Indian tribes or nations, cannot use the money awarded for last-mile broadband deployment. To finance this grant program, section 9 11 also creates the interconnectivity grant program fund into which the state treasurer is directed to transfer $5 million from the general fund. Section 10 12 appropriates:

  • $35 million from the digital inclusion grant program fund to the office of information technology for use by the Colorado broadband office to implement the digital inclusion grant program;
  • $35 million from the broadband stimulus account in the broadband administrative fund to the department of regulatory agencies for use by the board to implement the broadband stimulus grant program; and
  • $5 million from the interconnectivity grant program fund to the department of local affairs for use by the division of local government to implement the interconnectivity grant program.

Sections 8 and 13 align the bill with House Bill 21-1109, which moves the board from the department of regulatory agencies to the office of information technology. Section 14 provides that sections 8 and 13 only become effective if House Bill 21-1109 is enacted. Section 14 provides that sections 6, 7, and 12 only become effective if House Bill 21-1109 is not enacted.

(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
Passed

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Bill Text