Lauer: Bill to help expand broadband access to Hoosiers heads to the Senate

Posted by: Abrahm Hurt  | Friday, March 5, 2021

STATEHOUSE (March 5, 2021) – The Indiana House of Representatives recently voted in support of a bill co-authored by State Rep. Ryan Lauer (R-Columbus) to break down barriers for local communities to expand broadband.

According to Lauer, House Bill 1164 aims to streamline the permitting process for broadband projects to help developers work across multiple counties without getting tied up in inconsistent regulations from different communities. This proposal would also encourage local governments, homeowners, homeowners associations and providers to collaborate on the aesthetics of new infrastructure needed for this expansion.

"As many businesses, events, organizations and schools have transitioned their services or activities from in-person to online due to the pandemic, we have seen the dire need for increased broadband access in our communities," Lauer said. "This bill takes important steps in rolling out critical broadband to get more Hoosiers connected."

Lauer said the current two-year state budget proposal also calls for a $250 million investment in expanding rural broadband in Indiana along with an additional $198 million in federal dollars set to go to providers to assist in this effort.

"While other states struggle to pay their bills, Indiana's fiscal responsibility has allowed us to make major investments in key priorities like broadband expansion," Lauer said.

House Bill 1164 now heads to the Senate for further consideration. For more information, visit iga.in.gov.

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State Rep. Ryan Lauer (R-Columbus) represents House District 59,
which includes portions of Bartholomew County.
Click here to download a high-resolution photo.