STATEHOUSE- Hoosier communities and rural areas may see new broadband infrastructure investment thanks to legislation authored by State Representative Eric Koch (R-Bedford). House Bill 1101 establishes a “Broadband-Ready” certification program that removes regulatory obstacles to broadband deployment.
“Many areas of our state still do not have adequate high-speed internet,” said Rep. Koch. “A community receiving the ‘Broadband-Ready’ certification created by this bill will be well-positioned to attract private sector broadband infrastructure investment.”
House Bill 1101 establishes the Broadband Ready Communities Development Center within the Indiana Economic Development Corporation to facilitate and encourage broadband investment. To be certified by the center as a “Broadband-Ready Community”, the community must establish a specified procedure to review applications and issue permits for the communications projects.
“The inspiration for the this bill came from the Lieutenant Governor’s Rural Broadband Working Group which was tasked to find solutions to bring fast, reliable broadband to rural Indiana,” said Rep. Koch. “I worked with the telecommunications industry and local government representatives to identify regulatory obstacles impeding broadband infrastructure investment in Indiana, particularly rural Indiana.”
The bill passed the House unanimously and will now go to the Senate for further consideration and debate.
Visit www.iga.in.gov for more information about 2015 legislation.
Rep. Koch serves House District 65, which includes all of Brown County, most of Lawrence County and parts of Monroe, Jackson and Johnson Counties.