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H.80

Introduced by Representatives Jewett of Ripton, Botzow of Pownal, Haas of Rochester, Miller of Shaftsbury and Young of Orwell

Referred to Committee on

Date:

Subject:  Capital appropriations; broadband service; competitive grants

Statement of purpose:  This bill proposes to fund the continuation of a program that provides grants on a competitive basis to develop and implement broadband demonstration projects in communities that do not currently have, are not likely to be able to afford financially, and are not otherwise expected to receive this service.

AN ACT RELATING TO A COMPETITIVE PROGRAM FOR BROADBAND DEVELOPMENT

It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:

Sec. 1.  BROADBAND DEVELOPMENT; COMPETITIVE PROGRAM

(a)  The sum of $500,000.00 in capital funds is appropriated to the agency of commerce and community development to award grants of up to $50,000.00 each to broadband projects as required by this section, competitively selected by a committee comprising the secretary of commerce and community development, the commissioner of information and innovation, the commissioner of buildings and general services, or their designees, and the executive directors of the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund, the Vermont Council on Rural Development, and the Vermont Broadband Council, or their designees.

(b)  The committee shall select from among those communities that do not currently have, are not likely to be able to financially afford, and are not otherwise expected to receive this service communities to develop and implement broadband demonstration projects.  The communities selected shall represent different regions of the state.  Administrative support shall be provided by the agency of commerce and community affairs.  The committee shall strive to select projects in communities that:

(1)  Include a designated downtown, new town center, or village center within the proposed service area.

(2)  Offer private sector partnership possibilities.

(3)  Have no or limited access to broadband services.

(c)  Each selected project community shall strive to:

(1)  Provide broadband service to the last mile of the municipality and offer access to service to every member of that municipality.

(2)  Provide a minimum of five years of service.

(3)  Offer a maximum price for the original service provided under the contract, which shall remain fixed for the duration of the contract.

(4)  Have a speed of delivery which shall be at least two megabits per second.

(d)  The selection of a provider shall be made by the municipality with technical assistance from the Vermont Broadband Council based on the following competitive issues:

(1)  Price per connection.

(2)  Ownership of the infrastructure by the municipality at the termination of the contract.

(3)  Number of people served and population density of the area served.

(4)  Innovative solutions for providing this service to areas determined not to be economical.

(5)  Cost to the consumer of any new construction, equipment, or facility required for the connection.

(e)  The department of information and innovation shall make the services and prices available to the state available to communities, to the extent permitted by contract. 



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us