HB 201: "An Act establishing the Alaska Broadband Task Force."
00 HOUSE BILL NO. 201 01 "An Act establishing the Alaska Broadband Task Force." 02 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA: 03 * Section 1. The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section 04 to read: 05 LEGISLATIVE FINDINGS AND PURPOSE. (a) The legislature finds that 06 (1) many communities in the state have limited access to the Internet; 07 (2) although the state is connected to the rest of the world through several 08 fiber optic cables, many areas in the state are unable to take advantage of the speed and 09 capacity the fiber optic cables offer; 10 (3) removing barriers to broadband deployment by using a technology-neutral 11 approach will encourage lower prices for broadband service and offer more choices to 12 consumers; 13 (4) the deployment of broadband networking and advanced 14 telecommunications services throughout the state is essential for the state to keep pace with 15 global changes in economic diversification, education, health care, energy and environmental
01 technology, and public safety; 02 (5) state action is necessary to support investment in and development of 03 accessible broadband networks in the state. 04 (b) The purpose of sec. 2 of this Act is to establish the Alaska Broadband Task Force 05 to 06 (1) identify barriers to broadband access and recommend options for removing 07 those barriers; 08 (2) identify opportunities for increased broadband deployment and access by 09 users in the state; 10 (3) recommend the means for the creation and deployment of new and 11 advanced communications options in the state. 12 * Sec. 2. The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section to 13 read: 14 ALASKA BROADBAND TASK FORCE. (a) The Alaska Broadband Task Force is 15 established in the legislative branch of state government. The task force consists of 13 16 members appointed as follows: 17 (1) the president of the senate and the speaker of the house of representatives 18 shall each appoint one member of the majority organizational caucus and one member of the 19 minority organizational caucus from their respective bodies; if there is no minority 20 organizational caucus in a house, the presiding officer of that house shall appoint two 21 members from the majority organizational caucus of that house; 22 (2) four members shall be representatives of state, municipal, or other local 23 government agencies responsible for information technology, economic development, 24 infrastructure development, and public utility regulation with two members appointed by the 25 president of the senate and two members appointed by the speaker of the house of 26 representatives; 27 (3) five members shall be representatives of technology, telecommunications, 28 and investment businesses doing business in the state and appointed jointly by the president of 29 the senate and the speaker of the house of representatives. 30 (b) The task force established under (a) of this section 31 (1) may begin work immediately after a majority of the membership is
01 appointed; 02 (2) shall 03 (A) determine the current level of broadband access in the urban and 04 rural areas of the state; 05 (B) determine an acceptable level of broadband service throughout the 06 state; 07 (C) determine the means for increasing the level of service, including 08 regulatory changes and investment incentives for areas that are below the acceptable 09 level determined in (B) of this paragraph; 10 (D) explore the potential for increased use of broadband service for the 11 purposes of education and health care delivery and other private and governmental 12 uses; 13 (E) solicit suggestions from persons engaged in the development of 14 broadband infrastructure and operation of broadband services for expanding the 15 availability of broadband service in the state; 16 (F) study all means for delivering broadband service; 17 (G) establish best practices to establish and maintain a database that 18 lists current broadband service providers and where each operates, projects that are 19 currently being developed, and projects that are in the planning and predevelopment 20 stage; 21 (H) explore ways for encouraging state and municipal agencies to 22 expand the development and use of broadband services, including audio and video 23 streaming, voice-over Internet protocol, teleconferencing, and wireless networking; 24 (I) submit a report of the initial findings and recommendations for 25 expanding access to broadband services throughout the state to the president of the 26 senate and the speaker of the house of representatives before December 31, 2011; 27 (J) submit a final report of findings and recommendations for 28 expanding access to broadband services throughout the state to the president of the 29 senate and the speaker of the house of representatives before February 1, 2012; 30 (K) terminate on March 1, 2012. 31 (c) Members of the task force shall select a chair and vice-chair. Administrative
01 support for the task force shall be provided by legislative staff designated jointly by the 02 president of the senate and the speaker of the house of representatives. 03 (d) A member of the task force who is not a legislator or a full-time employee of the 04 state or a municipality is entitled to per diem and travel expenses authorized for boards and 05 commissions under AS 39.20.180. 06 (e) A vacancy on the task force shall be filled in the same manner as the original 07 appointment under (a)(1) - (3) of this section.