Negele’s bill to expand broadband availability could become law

Posted by: Zach Weismiller & Emily Messmer  | Thursday, April 6, 2017 9:30 am

STATEHOUSE (April 6, 2017) — The Indiana Senate voted Wednesday in support of State Rep. Sharon Negele’s (R-Attica) bill to expand broadband service to rural areas of Indiana.

Currently, local governments seeking certification as a broadband-ready community must comply with specific requirements through the Indiana Economic Development Corporation. House Bill 1626 would add a guideline requiring broadband-ready communities to establish a plan to bolster the number of broadband service subscribers in their area.

“Access to high-speed Internet is an important tool for rural communities to attract businesses and talented workers,” Negele said. “Reliable broadband is also critical for schools as we continue to move toward more technology-based learning and testing options. My bill would work to increase broadband availability in Indiana communities, while also requesting an in-depth study on the available resources for rural broadband expansion.”

Throughout the summer and fall months, lawmakers serve on interim committees to study assigned topics. Negele said the bill calls on policymakers to examine the Universal Service Fund, which currently supports voice communication, and how it could be used to expand broadband in rural Indiana. 

After being passed by the House of Representatives and Senate, the bill can now be signed into law by the governor.

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State Rep. Sharon Negele (R-Attica) represents all of Benton County, and portions
of Fountain, Jasper, Montgomery, Newton, Tippecanoe, Warren and White counties.

A high-resolution photo of Negele can be downloaded by clicking here.