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Relating to the creation of the governor's broadband council.
No significant fiscal implication to the State is anticipated.
HB 1960 would establish the governor's broadband development council to: (1) research the progress of broadband development in unserved areas; (2) identify barriers to residential and commercial broadband deployment in unserved areas; (3) study technology-neutral solutions to overcome barriers; and (4) analyze how statewide access to broadband would benefit economic development, the delivery of educational opportunities in higher education and public education, state and local law enforcement, state emergency preparedness, and the delivery of health care services (including telemedicine and telehealth). The council would prepare and deliver a report by November 1 of each year until September 1, 2029.
Texas Action recommends opposing HB 1960 because it infringes on limited government. This bill would expand government by creating a council and yearly report on broadband services in the state. The broadband internet service providers in this state already have a profit incentive to identify barriers to residential and commercial broadband access and to address those barriers so as to expand their reach to as many homes and businesses as possible.