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Depending on the amount of grants, loans or incentives needed to expand broadband services in needed areas of the state, there would be an indeterminate fiscal implication to the state. Therefore, the fiscal implications of the bill cannot be determined.
HB 5 would promote development of rural broadband internet services. To facilitate this goal, the bill would establish the Broadband Development Office, the Broadband Development Program, and the Broadband Development Account. The bill outlines the specific purposes and duties and uses of these entities in furtherance of the development of rural broadband access.
HB 5 represents a growth of government in size, scope, and cost to the taxpayer. These actions violate principles of limited government, individual liberty, private property rights, and the free market. If there is market demand for expanded rural access to broadband internet, the companies that stand to gain from providing these services should bear the cost of developing the necessary infrastructure. Furthermore, innovations such as space-based low earth orbit internet service may soon make traditional broadband obsolete in rural areas. Texas Action opposes HB 5.