Bill

SB 5

87(R) - 2021
Senate Transportation
Senate Transportation
Higher Education
Telecommunications
State Agencies
Utilities

Contact the Author

Robert Nichols

Phone:

512-463-0103

Capitol Office:

E1.704

Email:

Vote Recommendation

No
  • Negative
  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Negative
  • Neutral

Author(s)

Robert Nichols
Kelly Hancock
Charles Perry
Royce West

Co-Author(s)

Paul Bettencourt
C├ęsar J Blanco
Dawn Buckingham
Donna Campbell
Sarah Eckhardt
Bob Hall
Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa
Joan Huffman
Nathan Johnson
Lois Kolkhorst
Eddie Lucio Jr.
Jane Nelson
Beverly Powell
Kel Seliger
Drew Springer
Judith Zaffirini

Bill Caption

Relating to the expansion of broadband services to certain areas.

Fiscal Notes

Depending upon the amount of grants, loans or incentives needed to expand broadband services in needed areas of the state and upon the costs to staff and perform the duties of the State Broadband Development Office, there would be an indeterminate fiscal implication to the state.  Therefore, the fiscal implications of the bill cannot be determined. 

Bill Analysis

SB 5 would add one non-voting member to the governor's broadband development council of 17 voting members. The council would research, study and analyze the deployment and outcomes of the state broadband development office. 

SB 5 would also establish the State Broadband Development office housed within the University of Texas System with a 12 member advisory board. This office would use census data to create and annually update all areas in the state to indicate the access to broadband service in each area. The development office shall also develop programs to incentivize the expansion of broadband service in underserved areas of the state and to  serve as an information clearinghouse regarding federal programs that provide assistance to local entities with respect to broadband service.

SB 5 would also create a special broadband development account outside the general revenue fund funded through appropriations, gifts, federal grants, and donations, to be used to administer the broadband development program or create/update the broadband service area map.

The state broadband development office would be able to adopt rules as necessary to implement this legislation.

Vote Recommendation Notes

Texas Action opposes SB 5 because it expands government and interferes with free markets. This bill would expand government by creating a new broadband development office and requiring a yearly report on broadband service access 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.

Contact the Author

Robert Nichols

Phone:

512-463-0103

Capitol Office:

E1.704

Email: