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HB 0023 - Authorization for EMCs to Provide Broadband Service
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Tracking Level: Support
Sponsor: Penny Houston (R)
Last Action: 1/13/2020 - Senate Recommitted
House Committee: Economic Development and Tourism
Senate Committee: Regulated Industries and Utilities
Assigned To:
Economic DevelopmentNext Bill
Land Use/ZoningNext Bill
Todd EdwardsNext Bill

Staff Analysis of the Legislation

Mirroring SB 2, this legislation authorizes Georgia's Electric Membership Corporations (EMCs) to provide broadband services, either directly or indirectly through a contractual arrangement or through an affiliate.  EMCs are prohibited from cross-subsidizing broadband services through funds from their electric or gas accounts, and an annual audit will be conducted to ensure this prohibition.  Furthermore, EMC members in good standing can sue (in the superior court of the county where the EMC is headquartered) to also ensure no cross-subsidization. EMCs will not be able to disconnect, or threaten to disconnect, a customer from their electric or gas services for failure to pay their broadband bill.  EMCs will be eligible to apply for federal or state loans and grants to provide broadband service.  This proposal is part of the House Rural Development Council's recommendations to facilitate broadband deployment to rural areas of the state.  

Bill Summary from the State Site - Click for the State Summary Page / Click for Current Full Text

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