Today’s Regulatory Mix: Arizona Governor Signs New Broadband Legislation, Montana Passes Broadband Legislation, Vermont Proposes 10-Year Telecommunications Plan
Arizona Governor Signs New Broadband Legislation
Arizona Governor Doug Ducey has signed legislation to expand broadband access. House Bill 2596 allows the installation, operation, and maintenance of telecommunications equipment within the Arizona Department of Transportation’s (ADOT) rights-of-way by private broadband providers. It additionally gives private telecommunications companies access to ADOT broadband conduit in a “non-exclusive and non-discriminatory manner.” The Governor said that this legislation will reduce the cost of installing rural broadband infrastructure.
Montana Passes Broadband Legislation
Montana Governor Greg Gianforte signed SB 297 into law. The “ConnectMT Act” will allocate $275 million in federal funds to develop broadband access across the state. According to a statement released by the Governor’s office, one third of the state’s resident lack broadband access. In rural Montana, the numbers are even worse where sixty percent have no Internet. “Too many of our communities, particularly in rural and frontier Montana, don’t have access to reliable broadband,” Gianforte said. “Greater access to broadband will increase opportunities for Montanans, whether in ag or high-tech or other Montana industries, but we need to get more cable in the ground. Today, we make a historic investment to close the digital divide.”
Vermont Proposes 10-Year Telecommunications Plan
The Vermont Public Service Department (Department) announced the release of the public comments draft of its 10-Year Telecommunications Plan. According to the release, the plan outlines ongoing developments in the telecommunications industry, including broadband infrastructure development, regulatory policy, and recommendations for future action. The Department will host a public hearing on the public comments draft on Thursday, May 20, 2021, and is seeking written feedback from the public until May 30, 2021. The final plan is expected to be adopted on June 30, 2021.
The Regulatory Mix, Inteserra’s blog of telecom related regulatory activities, is a snapshot of PUC, FCC, legislative, and occasionally court issues that our regulatory monitoring team uncovers each day. Depending on their significance, some items may be the subject of an Inteserra Briefing.