[r65] Rep. Koch Boosts Rural Telecommunications (1/26/2009)

Monday, January 26, 2009

Start Date: 1/26/2009 All Day
End Date: 1/26/2009
(STATEHOUSE) Jan. 26, 2008 - Rural Indiana would see access to wireless broadband Internet service and improved cellular telephone service under legislation introduced by state Rep. Eric Koch (R-Bedford). 

House Bill 1534, authored by Rep. Koch, would bring wireless telecommunications infrastructure to rural Indiana at no cost to taxpayers by:

  • Authorizing, subject to certain conditions, the commissioner of the Department of Administration to negotiate and enter into lease agreements for the lease of state-owned land for the purpose of allowing telecommunications infrastructure to be placed on the land.
  • Requiring the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission to adopt rules to establish a program that may be adopted and implemented by energy utilities seeking to enter into co-location agreements with telecommunications service providers.
  • Allowing, subject to certain conditions, transmission towers and other wireless infrastructure to be placed on land subject to conservation easements.

"My goals are to improve cellular telephone service in and bring wireless Internet service to rural Indiana," said Rep. Koch.  "Many parts of our state still do not have high-speed Internet access or reliable cellular service. All Hoosiers deserve the quality of life and economic development advantages offered by these technologies.

     "In addition to achieving these goals, this legislation would generate revenue for the state, shareholders of energy utilities, and rural landowners from telecommunications companies deploying wireless infrastructure."

     Rep. Koch serves House District 65, which includes parts of Bartholomew, Brown, Jackson, and Lawrence Counties.  He is a member of the House Commerce, Energy, Technology & Utilities Committee and is the assistant Republican caucus chairman.