The broadband deployment board in the department of regulatory agencies (board) implements and administers a grant program regarding the deployment of broadband service in unserved areas of the state. Upon a telecommunications provider's application for funding of a proposed project to provide access to a broadband network in an unserved area of the state, the board must allow an incumbent telecommunications provider in the unserved area the right of first refusal with regard to implementing a broadband deployment project for the unserved area.
The board is required to develop criteria regarding an incumbent telecommunications provider's exercise of its right to develop a broadband project in an unserved area upon another telecommunications provider having submitted to the board a proposed project for the unserved area. The bill requires that the board's criteria include requirements that an incumbent telecommunications provider exercising its right to implement a broadband deployment project for the unserved area agree to provide demonstrated downstream and upstream speeds equal to or faster than the speeds indicated in the applicant's proposed project and at a cost per household that is equal to or less than the cost per household indicated in the applicant's proposed project.
(Note: This summary applies to the reengrossed version of this bill as introduced in the second house.)