TN BROADBAND LEGISLATION UPDATE: ECD Presents Broadband Accessibility Act to House Finance Committee
On Tuesday, staff from the Department of Economic and Community Development presented Gov. Haslam's Broadband Accessibility Act to the House Finance Committee, where committee members were given the opportunity to ask questions to the experts from ECD. Members asked questions regarding the education aspect of the bill, the lack of co-op ability to sell video services, municipal utility broadband expansion and the amount of allocated funding proposed for the grant program.
Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris (R-Collierville) and Representative David Hawk (R-Greeneville) are sponsoring the bill on behalf of the governor, and TECA staff is been in communication with them consistently since the filing of the bill. Electric cooperatives' concerns are being heard, and things are moving at a fast pace at the Capitol in regards to this legislation.
HB 529 has been referred to the House Business and Utilities subcommittee and is scheduled to be heard on Tuesday, February 21, where members could discuss and vote on the bill. It is also possible the bill could be delayed by a week, or more.