Broadband (7)

Date of Last Recorded Action: 3/16/2020

HB 0022 SupportAuthorization for Telephone Coops to Provide Broadband Service Penny Houston
4/2/2019 House Withdrawn, Recommitted Economic Development and Tourism --
2019/01/31 Report Broadband Econ. Dev. & Transportation Land Use/Zoning Policy Council
Preemption Todd Edwards Utilities
Mirroring SB 17, this legislation authorizes Georgia's Telephone Cooperatives to provide broadband services, either directly or indirectly through a contractual arrangement or through an affiliate.  Coops will also be eligible to apply for federal or state loans and grants to provide this service.  This proposal is part of the House Rural Development Council's recommendations to facilitate broadband deployment to rural areas of the state.
HB 0023 SupportAuthorization for EMCs to Provide Broadband Service Penny Houston
1/13/2020 Senate Recommitted Economic Development and Tourism Regulated Industries and Utilities -
2019/01/31 Report Broadband Econ. Dev. & Transportation Economic Development Land Use/Zoning
Todd Edwards

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.  

SB 0017 SupportAuthorization for Telephone Coops to Provide Broadband Service Steve Gooch
4/26/2019 Effective Date Energy, Utilities and Telecommunications Regulated Industries and Utilities -
2019/01/18 Report 2019/02/15 Report 2019/02/22 Report 2019/03/15 Report 2019/03/22 Report
2019/03/29 Report Broadband Econ. Dev. & Transportation Economic Development Land Use/Zoning
Policy Council Todd Edwards
Mirroring HB 22, this legislation authorizes Georgia's Telephone Cooperatives to provide broadband services, either directly or indirectly through a contractual arrangement or through an affiliate.  Coops will also be eligible to apply for federal or state loans and grants to provide this service. 
SB 0066 SupportSmall Cell (5G) Legislation - ACCG Compromise Language Steve Gooch
10/1/2019 Effective Date Energy, Utilities and Telecommunications Regulated Industries and Utilities -
2019/02/08 Report 2019/02/15 Report 2019/03/01 Report 2019/03/15 Report 2019/03/29 Report
Broadband General County Government Todd Edwards

Mirroring HB 184, this is the compromise Small Cell (5G) legislation.  By way of background, over the past two years, ACCG has opposed legislation which would have greatly preempted local government management of the public's rights of way for the placement of small cell (5G) poles, antennas and equipment.  At the urging of the General Assembly, ACCG, GMA, Verizon and AT&T negotiated this reasonable compromise over the 2018 interim that has incorporated many safeguards which ACCG had called for in previous legislation.  

Key points of this ACCG compromise include: incentives for collocation in order to limit new poles; protections for historic districts and residential areas; the requirement that telecoms share build-out plans prior to deploying new facilities; a safe-harbor in case the current FCC order preempting state and local regulation of 5G deployment is overturned; the prohibition of speculative permit requests by third parties; and safeguards for local aesthetic and decorative pole conditions, among many others.  For a summary of the bill's key provisions, please click here.  

For a detailed, section-by-section summary of the bill, please click here.

SB 0370 NeutralBroadband Infrastructure - Railroads Determine Usage of Easements Steve Gooch
1/1/2021 Effective Date Transportation Transportation -
2020/02/14 Report 2020/02/21 Report 2020/06/19 Report Broadband General County Government
Todd Edwards
State law was recently changed to authorize owners of electric easements to allow for certain broadband infrastructure to be installed in the easement.  This bill clarifies that, if the easement is located on railroad-owned property, that the railroad determines whether the easement can be used for broadband infrastructure and under what conditions.    
SB 0411 SupportRural Broadband - Cap Rate which EMCs may Charge for Equipment Collocated on their Poles John Kennedy
3/12/2020 Senate Tabled -Regulated Industries and Utilities -
2020/02/28 Report Broadband General County Government Todd Edwards Utilities
In an effort to facilitate the deployment of rural broadband, this bill caps the rates that EMCs may charge for the collocation of broadband equipment on their poles at the Federal rate (47 U.S.C. Section 224(d)), which currently applies to Georgia Power and all other investor-owned electric utilities.     
SB 0459 EvaluatingBroadband - Authorize Funding Under State Universal Access Fund Steve Gooch
2/28/2020 Senate Read and Referred -Regulated Industries and Utilities -
Broadband General County Government Todd Edwards Utilities
This legislation rewrites the role of the Georgia Public Service Commission in administering the broadband Universal Access Fund by striking out a lot of language in code and adding back a new arrangement that includes the Department of Community Affairs (DCA).  DCA will recommend disbursements for the Rural Broadband Portion of said fund, capped at $10 million annually.  The bill creates a larger pot of money for some projects, possibly at the expense of others.  The "Rural Local Exchange Portion" of the fund is capped at $30 million annually; requires an increase in rates to fund these expenditures.   
Green background on status indicates a bill has been acted on the last recorded legislative day.








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