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Relating to the coordination of certain broadband projects by the Texas Department of Transportation.
No significant fiscal implication to the State is anticipated.
HB 2422 would require the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) to provide notice on its website of ongoing and planned highway construction projects for which TxDOT will provide voluntary joint trenching opportunities in the state's right-of-way for broadband providers. Providers may collaborate with TxDOT to deploy broadband conduit or other facilities in those rights-of-way. TxDOT would be required to give special consideration to broadband deployment that is likely to improve access to broadband in rural or underserved communities.
Finally, TxDOT would be required to submit a report to the Legislature explaining the action taken, and any costs or savings to the state and private entities associated with voluntary joint trenching opportunities. A joint trench is one that is shared by a number of utility providers.
Texas Action remains neutral on HB 2422 because it does not affect our liberty principles.