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Broadband programs

topics

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  • Definition - Broadband (64)
  •   -- Speed of 1.5 Mbps or less (28)
  •   -- Speed of 10 Mbps / 1 Mbps (4)
  •   -- Speed of 25 Mbps / 3 Mbps (3)
  •   -- As defined by FCC or U.S. Code (13)
  •   -- Defined by technology, not speed (16)
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topics

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  •   -- Dig Once (9)
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States matching filter criteria

Glossary

State policies create a framework for broadband deployment that lays out who can provide broadband, how they can provide it, and how expansion efforts are regulated and incentivized. The tool provides information on five categories that affect broadband deployment: state broadband programs, definitions, funding and financing, competition and regulation, and infrastructure access.

Broadband programs: States structure their broadband programs in different ways. In some states, a centralized office coordinates these programs, while in others the responsibility is held by one or more departments or agencies, such as a department of economic development or department of commerce. States have also formed broadband commissions and task forces to address connectivity challenges.

State broadband offices, agency staff, commissions, and task forces have different scopes and responsibilities in different states. Their activities include establishing broadband goals, creating deployment plans, collecting and mapping broadband data, administering grant programs, and managing certification programs.

Broadband office [Office] : Established by statute or through an executive order, a state broadband office is usually located in a department or agency.

Agency with broadband authority [Agency] : States have designated one or more departments or agencies with responsibility for broadband.

Broadband commission or task force [Task force] : Commissions and task forces generally include members representing multiple sectors, including state agencies, internet service providers (ISPs), local governments, and small businesses. Commissions often play a more formal role in administering broadband programs and funds, while task forces play an advisory or evaluative role.

Broadband goal [Goal] : States generally identify targets for broadband coverage and speed, and include time frames for achieving these targets.

Broadband plan [Plan] : States have plans with goals and strategies for increasing broadband access. Some states also have requirements for including broadband in local or regional plans.

Broadband mapping [Mapping] : States have requirements for mapping where broadband service is available. They may also have public-facing broadband maps.

Broadband Certification Programs [Promotional] : States have created certification programs to recognize local governments that have taken actions to improve broadband connectivity.

Definitions: States define broadband by connection speed. These include speeds of [1.5 megabits per second (Mbps) download or less], [download speeds of 10 megabits Mbps and upload speeds of 1 Mbps (10/1)] ; and [download speeds of 25 Mbps and upload speeds of 3 Mbps (25/3)] .

Other states define broadband by the technology [defined by technology, not speed] over which the service is delivered.

Some tie their definition of broadband to that of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) [Defined by FCC or U.S. Code]. States may have multiple definitions of broadband that apply to different provisions in their statutes.

Finally, some states also define areas that are unserved [Unserved] and underserved [Underserved] by broadband. Most of these definitions define service by census block level. They consider speed, technology type, and the percentage of the area that does not have broadband service. State agencies use these definitions to determine which areas are eligible for state broadband grants and loans.

Funding and financing: States use multiple mechanisms to support broadband expansion, including grants and loans, tax incentives, and bonds. They also use some funds designated for other purposes—such as spurring economic development—to support investment in broadband infrastructure.

Broadband fund [Fund] : States have established funds dedicated to expanding broadband connectivity. Not all are regularly funded.

Other funds that support broadband [Fund—other] : States have incorporated broadband into funds focused on broader purposes, such as economic development or opportunity in rural or economically distressed areas.

Tax incentives [Tax incentives] : States have established tax incentives to promote broadband expansion. These include tax credits and exemptions for broadband equipment, and property tax exemptions for infrastructure.

State universal service [State USF] : States have updated their state universal service funds—traditionally used to extend telephone service—to support broadband expansion.

Other funding or financing mechanisms [Other] : States provide other mechanisms for funding and financing broadband. These include state and local bonding authorities, and authorizing local governments to provide grants or create financing districts.

Competition and regulation: Some state statutes contain provisions defining which entities can provide broadband service, requirements for providing broadband service, and how broadband is regulated. Many of these laws focus on service provided by local governments or municipal utilities and electric and telephone cooperatives.

Local government and municipal utilities [Municipal broadband] : States may allow or place limitations on the provision of wholesale or retail broadband service by local governments or municipal utilities.

Electric and telephone cooperatives [Cooperatives] : Policies that expressly allow electric and telephone cooperatives to provide broadband service.

Regulatory authority [Regulatory authority] : The authority of a public utilities commission, public service commission, or another state agency to regulate broadband.

Other [Service provision—other] : Some states further address competition through provisions that restrict the use of state-owned networks for commercial broadband service and define local governments’ authority to regulate broadband infrastructure.

Infrastructure access [Infrastructure access]: State policies address access to state-owned infrastructure to facilitate broadband expansion. These policies relate to a range of topics, including access to state-owned right of way, regulation of pole attachments, and the siting of wireless or small wireless facilities on state-owned land. States have also adopted policies that address access to locally owned infrastructure and assets to facilitate broadband expansion.

Right of way [Dig once, railroad, ROW—other] : Policies address access to roads, railroads, tribal lands, and other public rights of way. “Dig once” statutes, which coordinate conduit installation with transportation projects with the goal of lowering costs for deployment and reducing construction in the right of way, fall under right of way policies.

Pole attachments [Pole attachments] : Requirements regarding pole attachments (used to attach cables or fiber to telephone poles), including for municipalities, cooperatives, and publicly owned utilities. State statutes may direct the public utilities commission to adopt rules for pole attachments.

Wireless [Wireless facilities] and small cell wireless facilities [Small cell facilities] : Policies define siting and permitting requirements for wireless and small wireless facilities to facilitate broadband connectivity.

Other [Other infrastructure access] : States have additional policies governing providers’ access to infrastructure, including laws focused on access to multiunit dwellings and easements across private lands.

Permitting [Permitting] : States have policies that address permits for broadband infrastructure, wireless facilities, or small cell facilities either by state agencies or localities.

Open access [Open access] : Policies that define whether internet service providers can offer connectivity via a network they do not own or operate.

Other: State policies that do not fit in the other categories. These policies include legislative intent [Legislative intent], often a declaration of broadband’s importance to the state’s future. Other [Other] policies in this category address broadband-related wage requirements, advisory committee responsibilities, and agency directives, among others.

Alabama

2018

Ala. Act 2018-395

Alabama Broadband Accessibility Act (Task force)

Category: Broadband programs

Topic: Task force

Creates the Alabama Rural Broadband Oversight Committee to provide general oversight and recommend statutory changes to promote rural broadband deployment.

State Code

Section 5. (a) There is created the Alabama Rural Broadband Oversight Committee. The oversight committee shall consist of the Chair of the House Ways and Means Education Committee or designee, the Chair of the Senate Finance and Taxation Education Committee or designee, two members appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, two members appointed by the President Pro Tempore of the Senate, and the Director of ADECA or his or her designee. The oversight committee shall be charged with meeting at least annually and providing general oversight of the implementation and recommending further statutory changes to promote rural broadband development.

Alabama

2018

Ala. Act 2018-395

Alabama Broadband Accessibility Act (Definition - Broadband)

Category: Definitions

Topic: Definition - Broadband (Speed of 10 Mbps / 1 Mbps)

Defines the minimum speed for a broadband connection as 10 megabits per second (Mbps) download and 1 Mbps upload.

State Code

(2) MINIMUM SERVICE THRESHOLD. A connection to the Internet that provides capacity for transmission at an average speed per customer of at least 10 megabits (10 Mbps) per second downstream and at least one megabits (1 Mbps) per second upstream.

Alabama

2018

Ala. Act 2018-395

Alabama Broadband Accessibility Act (Definition - Unserved)

Category: Definitions

Topic: Definition - Unserved

Defines unserved area as a rural area that is not served by at least one provider or terrestrial broadband that either meets the minimum service threshold or is required to provide a connection meeting the minimum speed threshold through the Universal Service Fund or another federal or state grant within five years of the effective date of this act.

State Code

(4) UNSERVED AREA. Any rural area in which there is not at least one provider of terrestrial broadband service that is either: (1) offering a connection to the Internet meeting the minimum service threshold; or (2) is required, under the terms of the Federal Universal Service Fund or other federal or state grant, to provide a connection to the internet at speeds meeting the minimum service threshold within five years of the effective date of this act.

Alabama

2018

Ala. Act 2018-395

Alabama Broadband Accessibility Act (Fund)

Category: Funding and financing

Topic: Fund

Creates the Alabama Broadband Accessibility Fund in the state Treasury and administered by the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs to promote broadband deployment and adoption in unserved areas. The fund is subject to appropriations from the state Legislature and the receipt of gifts, grants, or other donations. Grants awarded cannot exceed the lesser of 20 percent of project costs or $750,000 for projects that provide Speed of 10/1 or 20 percent or $1.4 million for projects that provide speeds up to 25 megabits per second (Mbps) download and 3 Mbps upload.

State Code

Section 4. (a) The Director of the ADECA is authorized to establish and administer the broadband accessibility grant program for the purpose of promoting the deployment and adoption of broadband internet access services to unserved areas. Within 90 days of the effective date of this act, the director shall promulgate rules and policies to administer the program and begin to accept applications for grants, and shall promulgate such rules and regulations as may be necessary to meet the future needs of the grant program. (b) The program shall be administered pursuant to policies developed by ADECA in compliance with this act. The policies shall provide for the awarding of grants to non-government entities that are cooperatives, corporations, limited liability companies, partnerships or other private business entities that provide broadband services. Nothing in this chapter shall expand the authority under state law of any entity to provide broadband service. (c) There is hereby created the Alabama Broadband Accessibility Fund in the State Treasury. The fund is subject to appropriations by the legislature and gifts, grants, and other donations received by ADECA for the broadband accessibility grant program or fund. ADECA may not spend appropriations for the program for purposes other than those listed in this section. Any monies appropriated to ADECA for broadband grants that are unspent at the end of a fiscal year shall be carried over for use by the program in the next fiscal year. ADECA shall develop rules ensuring that expenses incurred to administer the program must not exceed three percent (3%) of the total amount appropriated for the program in any fiscal year. Moneys in the fund shall be invested by the State Treasurer for the sole benefit of the fund.

Alabama

2000

Ala. Code 11-50B-1 et seq.

Municipal telecommunications services (Municipal broadband)

Category: Competition and regulation

Topic: Municipal broadband

Establishes policy to encourage the development of advanced telecommunications capabilities to serve the public and facilitate economic development. Allows public providers to construct and operate systems for internet access or other internet services to residents of the municipality and police jurisdiction and any area where the municipality provides utility service. Also allows the lease of municipal systems to private providers. Addresses requirements and limitations of municipal systems, including that capital and operating expenditures cannot be paid with revenue from state or local taxes or with state or local appropriations.

State Code

It is hereby declared to be the public policy of this state to encourage the development of advanced telecommunications capabilities, cable, interactive computer, and Internet facilities and services to better serve the public and further industrial economic development in this state. It is necessary for growth, job opportunities, and sustained economic development to encourage new investment in advanced telecommunications capabilities, cable, interactive computer, and Internet facilities, including investment by public providers of these services. Nothing contained herein, however, is intended to exempt, except, or exclude public providers which engage in the provision of advanced telecommunications capability or services, cable, interactive computer, or Internet facilities or services pursuant to the authority granted herein from complying with any provisions of federal law which may at any time apply to the public providers or their facilities or services, including without limitation, to the extent that they apply, any requirement that they interconnect with other telecommunications providers, or that they obtain from the regulatory authorities designated by federal law as being the appropriate bodies from which to obtain any requisite approval, the approval of interconnection agreements with other telecommunications providers.

Alabama

2000

Ala. Code 11-50B-1 et seq.

Municipal telecommunications services (Legislative intent)

Category: Other

Topic: Legislative intent

Establishes policy to encourage the development of advanced telecommunications capabilities to serve the public and facilitate economic development. Allows public providers to construct and operate systems for internet access or other internet services to residents of the municipality and police jurisdiction and any area where the municipality provides utility service. Also allows the lease of municipal systems to private providers. Addresses requirements and limitations of municipal systems, including that capital and operating expenditures cannot be paid with revenue from state or local taxes or with state or local appropriations.

State Code

It is hereby declared to be the public policy of this state to encourage the development of advanced telecommunications capabilities, cable, interactive computer, and Internet facilities and services to better serve the public and further industrial economic development in this state. It is necessary for growth, job opportunities, and sustained economic development to encourage new investment in advanced telecommunications capabilities, cable, interactive computer, and Internet facilities, including investment by public providers of these services. Nothing contained herein, however, is intended to exempt, except, or exclude public providers which engage in the provision of advanced telecommunications capability or services, cable, interactive computer, or Internet facilities or services pursuant to the authority granted herein from complying with any provisions of federal law which may at any time apply to the public providers or their facilities or services, including without limitation, to the extent that they apply, any requirement that they interconnect with other telecommunications providers, or that they obtain from the regulatory authorities designated by federal law as being the appropriate bodies from which to obtain any requisite approval, the approval of interconnection agreements with other telecommunications providers.

Alabama

2009

Ala. Code 11-69-1

Adoption and implementation of plan

Category: Infrastructure access

Topic: Right of way (ROW - Other)

Allows Class 7 or 8 municipalities to adopt scenic right of way plans (which allow localities to protect their historic, scenic, or aesthetic characteristics) and designate roads or streets for development or improvement for beautification purposes. Cannot limit the ability of a communications provider to construct or maintain services, including broadband and wireless services, within the public right of way. Does not allow county commissions to review the placement of communications facilities and equipment within designated right of way.

State Code

(a) Any Class 7 or 8 municipality in this state may adopt a rural scenic right-of-way plan for the development, improvement, and use of right-of-way along municipal roads and streets and county roads within the corporate limits and police jurisdiction of the municipality except right-of-way, highways, streets, or roads that are under exclusive or concurrent jurisdiction of the Alabama Department of Transportation. Pursuant to the plan, the municipality may designate right-of-way adjacent to a municipal road or street or a county road to be developed, improved, and used for recreational or beautification purposes. Any portion of a road designated shall continue for at least three miles in length and may not at the time of designation have an average density of two or more commercial enterprises that have an entrance or exit on the road per mile. The path of the right-of-way along a street or road included in the plan may cross another street, road, or state highway. The establishment of a rural scenic right-of-way plan and the inclusion of any right-of-way of a county road shall be subject to approval of the county commission where any road included in the plan is located. In addition, any development and improvement within the rights-of-way along any county road shall be approved by the county commission. Any municipality establishing a rural scenic right-of-way plan shall be solely responsible for the development, maintenance, and use of the right-of-way included in the plan. The county shall not be responsible for the development, maintenance, access, or use of any right-of-way included in the plan, and shall not be liable for any damages to property or persons utilizing the right-of-way. A county may contribute financially to the implementation and development of the plan. No municipality or county shall be liable for any damages to any person using any right-of-way that is a part of the plan. (b) Nothing in this section shall in any way limit, restrict, or otherwise impact the ability of any electric supplier to maintain, repair, expand, construct, reconstruct, or relocate any facility or equipment used in the generation, transmission, or distribution of electric power or any communication service provider to maintain, repair, expand, construct, reconstruct, or relocate facilities or equipment for telecommunications, commercial mobile radio services, broadband services, or other wireless services within the public rights-of-way along, adjacent to, or surrounding any road, street, or highway included within this section; nor shall the placement of any such facilities or equipment be subject to approval by a county commission. No electric supplier or communication services provider shall be subject to increased liability resulting from the adoption by any county or municipality of a rural scenic right-of-way plan.

Alabama

2016

Ala. Code 16-16B-2.1

Wireless infrastructure and mobile digital computing devices; application for funds; implementation plan

Category: Competition and regulation

Topic: Service provision (SP) - Other

Addresses the establishment of high-quality, standards-based wireless local areas network infrastructure to provide wireless broadband access in classrooms and common areas of schools to enable the use of digital instructional materials and electronic textbooks. Defines requirements for classroom and common area access.

State Code

(a)(1) Contingent on funding, during the 2016-2017 school year, local school systems may begin installing sufficient, high-quality standards-based broadband WiFi infrastructure and, where possible, mobile digital devices to enable access to digital instructional materials and, to the extent practicable, textbooks in electronic format. (2) In order to accomplish subdivision (1), the following priorities are established: a. Wireless infrastructure: The first priority for the expenditure of Alabama Ahead Act funds is the establishment of a high-quality, standards-based wireless local area network (WLAN) infrastructure capable of providing all teachers and students with sufficient WiFi broadband access in all classrooms and common areas of schools, where feasible as described in WIRED. b. Standards: Local school systems shall use applicable funds to install wireless networks or upgrade existing networks to satisfy Alabama Educational Technology Association (AET) standards that include high-quality, enterprise level networking equipment. Each regular classroom shall be equipped with high-quality wireless access for 30 to 40 devices simultaneously. Each specialty classroom, that routinely serves groups of less than 20 people, may satisfy a lesser standard. Each cafeteria shall have sufficient wireless access for one-third of the then current enrollment of the school. Each library media center shall be equipped with high quality wireless access for at minimum one-third of the capacity of the library media center. Each administrative and noninstructional area of a school shall have coverage, however, high density coverage is not required in these areas.

Alabama

2000

Ala. Code 23-1-294

Advisory council

Category: Other

Topic: Other

Addresses responsibilities of the scenic byways advisory council. Ensures that the scenic byway standards will not affect utility infrastructure, including facilities and equipment for providing broadband services. Allows new wireless structures to be reviewed under the terms of this article.

State Code

(7) Recommending operation and management standards for highways designated as scenic byways, including strategies for maintaining or improving the qualities for which a highway is designated as a scenic byway, and for protecting and enhancing the landscape and view corridors within the public rights-of-way surrounding such a highway, provided that such standards shall have no impact on the facilities or equipment used in the generation, transmission, or distribution of electric power, telecommunications, commercial mobile radio services, broadband services, or existing wireless facilities. However, all new wireless services structures, unless used primarily for educational purposes, shall be reviewed under the terms of this article and shall consider the communication needs of the community and shall not be in conflict with any local, state, and federal laws and regulations.

Alabama

2012

Ala. Code 37-2A-2

Definitions

Category: Definitions

Topic: Definition - Broadband (Speed of 1.5 Mbps or less)

Defines broadband service as any service that provides access to the internet at either a download or upload speed of at least 200 kilobits per second.

State Code

(2) BROADBAND SERVICE or BROADBAND ENABLED SERVICE. Any service that consists of or includes a high-speed access capability to transmit at a rate that is not less than 200 kilobits per second either in the upstream or downstream direction, and either of the following: a. Provides computer processing, information storage, information content or protocol conversion, including any service applications or information service provided over such high-speed access service. b. Is used to provide access to the Internet.