House OKs Rep. Karlee Macer’s initiative to expand broadband in rural areas of Indiana

February 21, 2017 Karlee Macer

For immediate release:
Feb. 21, 2017

INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana House today passed legislation co-authored by State Representative Karlee Macer (D-Indianapolis) that examines how local government units can be certified as a broadband ready community.

House Bill 1626 requires a broadband ready community to receive its certification after they have established a procedure to promote broadband adoption in these rural areas.

This procedure includes a single point of contact in charge of broadband adoption and an assurance that each communications service provider will be notified that the unit is applying to be a broadband ready community.

It also requires an assurance that the government unit will work with communications service providers to promote broadband adoption.

This legislation prohibits discrimination among communication service providers as well as imposes a fee to promote the adoption of this broadband.

“Broadband is vital to promoting economic development in rural areas because it breaks down barriers such as distance and time and allows these communities to thrive beyond their geographical limitations.” said Macer.

This legislation also assigns to the Study Committee on Energy, Utilities, and Telecommunications the topic of universal service funding for telecommunications services in Indiana.

This committee will consider issues related to universal service, rural broadband, broadband adoption and deployment, and federal funding sources.

In addition, they will examine the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission, along with its service providers and customers, experts, stakeholders, or other interested parties.

House Bill 1626 passed the Indiana House with a vote of 93 to 0 and will now move to the Indiana Senate for further consideration.