HB 107: "An Act establishing the Alaska Internet Access Authority and the Alaska Broadband Task Force; and providing for an effective date."
00 HOUSE BILL NO. 107 01 "An Act establishing the Alaska Internet Access Authority and the Alaska Broadband 02 Task Force; and providing for an effective date." 03 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA: 04 * Section 1. The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section 05 to read: 06 LEGISLATIVE FINDINGS AND PURPOSE. (a) The legislature finds that 07 (1) many communities in the state have limited access to the Internet; 08 (2) although the state is connected to the rest of the world through several 09 fiber optic cables, many areas within the state are unable to take advantage of the speed and 10 capacity the fiber optic cables offer; 11 (3) removing barriers to broadband deployment by using a technology-neutral 12 approach will encourage lower prices for broadband service and offer more choices to 13 consumers; 14 (4) the deployment of broadband networking and advanced
01 telecommunications services throughout the state are essential for the state to keep pace with 02 global changes in economic diversification, education, health care, energy and environmental 03 technology, and public safety; 04 (5) state action is necessary to support investment in and development of 05 accessible broadband networks in the state. 06 (b) The purpose of sec. 4 of this Act is to establish the Alaska Broadband Task Force 07 to 08 (1) identify barriers to broadband access and recommend options for removing 09 those barriers; 10 (2) identify opportunities for increased broadband deployment and access by 11 users in the state; 12 (3) recommend the means for the creation and deployment of new and 13 advanced communications options in the state. 14 * Sec. 2. AS 44.33 is amended by adding new sections to read: 15 Article 6B. Alaska Internet Access Authority. 16 Sec. 44.33.440. Alaska Internet Access Authority established. (a) The 17 Alaska Internet Access Authority is established in the Department of Commerce, 18 Community, and Economic Development to undertake, manage, oversee, promote, 19 and monitor efforts to provide affordable, reliable high-speed broadband Internet 20 service throughout the state. 21 (b) The authority shall be governed by a board of directors composed of nine 22 members consisting of 23 (1) six members appointed by the governor; the governor shall 24 consider persons who represent unserved or underserved areas, regional development 25 entities, the telecommunications industries, and consumer advocate groups; 26 (2) the commissioner of commerce, community, and economic 27 development or the commissioner's designee; 28 (3) the commissioner of administration or the commissioner's 29 designee; and 30 (4) the chair of the Regulatory Commission of Alaska or the chair's 31 designee.
01 (c) The members shall select a chair from among the members appointed by 02 the governor. 03 (d) Members of the board serve three-year terms and may serve not more than 04 two consecutive terms. If a vacancy of a member appointed under (b)(1) of this section 05 occurs, the governor shall appoint a member to serve the remainder of the unexpired 06 term. Members of the board appointed by the governor serve at the pleasure of the 07 governor. 08 (e) Members of the board appointed under (b)(1) of this section do not receive 09 compensation but are entitled to per diem and travel expenses authorized for boards 10 and commissions under AS 39.20.180. 11 (f) The board may hire an executive director, and the executive director may 12 hire staff as considered necessary by the board to carry out the purposes of the 13 authority. 14 (g) Members of the board shall disclose to the board any conflict of interest in 15 a timely manner. A member may deliberate on an issue for which a conflict exists but 16 may not vote on that issue. A member, officer, or employee of the authority who has a 17 direct or indirect interest in a firm or corporation, not including units of local 18 government, may not participate in authorizing a contract between the authority and 19 that firm or corporation. 20 Sec. 44.33.442. Powers, duties, and goals of the authority. (a) The Alaska 21 Internet Access Authority may 22 (1) employ, contract with, direct, and supervise all personnel and 23 consultants; 24 (2) apply for, accept, and use grants, contributions, and appropriations 25 to carry out the goals and duties described in this section; 26 (3) enter into contracts and provide support and assistance to local 27 governments, nonprofit entities, for-profit entities, regional partnerships, universities, 28 and business and technology centers to carry out the goals and duties described in this 29 section; 30 (4) review and recommend changes in laws, rules, programs, and 31 policies of the state or an agency or subdivision of the state to further the goals of
01 access to the Internet in unserved or underserved areas. 02 (b) The authority shall 03 (1) develop and recommend to the governor and the legislature a plan 04 to provide high-speed broadband Internet access to areas without service and update 05 the plan every two years; 06 (2) coordinate activities, conduct and sponsor research, and 07 recommend and advocate actions, including regulatory and legislative actions, to 08 achieve its goals and objectives; 09 (3) consult and collaborate with the Center for Information 10 Technology established under AS 14.40.095 and the chief information technology 11 officer of the University of Alaska; 12 (4) attract and coordinate funding of federal, foundation, and corporate 13 money for regional and statewide technology initiatives and assist local governments 14 and Native village councils in obtaining grants and other funding to enhance the 15 technology infrastructure; 16 (5) propose funding for incentives for the private sector to make 17 necessary investments to achieve the authority's goals and objectives; 18 (6) provide leadership, coordination, and support for technology-based 19 economic development and energy conservation and efficiency projects; 20 (7) promote collaborative technology projects, programs, and activities 21 to develop technology-based economic development initiatives that use high-speed 22 broadband Internet as a platform; 23 (8) encourage research on and development of replicable and scalable 24 Internet applications in government, health care, education, and business to assist the 25 communities of the state to remain competitive with respect to knowledge and use of 26 the Internet; 27 (9) develop an Internet cost equalization program and set targets and 28 milestones to achieve its full implementation; 29 (10) develop a website to provide accurate, current, and complete 30 information to citizens of the state about the availability of present 31 telecommunications and Internet services with periodic updates on the future
01 deployment of new telecommunications and Internet services and to provide 02 information on digital literacy programs; and 03 (11) develop a plan for a model telework center to be established in the 04 state, that would provide state employees a central location for work with Internet 05 access that is separate from and more convenient than a state office building. 06 (c) The goals and objectives of the authority are as follows: 07 (1) work toward having local dial-up Internet access available from 08 every telephone exchange within one year after the effective date of this Act; and 09 (2) work toward making high-speed Internet access available to every 10 citizen of the state, at a similar price for citizens in rural areas and in urban areas, 11 within five years after the effective date of this Act. 12 (d) The authority does not have the power of eminent domain or the power to 13 levy any tax or impose any charge, surcharge, or fee on telephone or 14 telecommunications services. 15 (e) For the first five years after the effective date of this Act, by July 1 and 16 December 31 of each year, the authority shall make a semi-annual state of the network 17 report to the governor and the legislature, summarizing the authority's activities during 18 the previous six months. After five years, the authority shall make a state of the 19 network report annually by July 1 and summarize the authority's activities during the 20 previous year. The governor, the legislature, and the board may request specific 21 information or ask that specific questions be answered in the report. 22 * Sec. 3. The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section to 23 read: 24 TRANSITION. The Alaska Internet Access Authority shall 25 (1) deliver the first of the plans described in AS 44.33.442(b)(1), added by 26 sec. 2 of this Act, to the governor and the legislature not later than March 1, 2010; 27 (2) develop the website described in AS 44.33.442(b)(10), added by sec. 2 of 28 this Act, not later than January 1, 2010; 29 (3) submit the plan described in AS 44.33.442(b)(11), added by sec. 2 of this 30 Act, to the legislature not later than July 1, 2010. 31 * Sec. 4. The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section to
01 read: 02 ALASKA BROADBAND TASK FORCE. (a) There is established in the legislative 03 branch of state government the Alaska Broadband Task Force. The task force consists of 13 04 members appointed as follows: 05 (1) the president of the senate and the speaker of the house of representatives 06 shall each appoint one member of the majority organizational caucus and one member of the 07 minority organizational caucus from their respective bodies; if there is no minority 08 organizational caucus in a house, the presiding officer of that house shall appoint two 09 members from the majority organizational caucus of that house; 10 (2) four members shall be representatives of federal, state, and municipal 11 agencies responsible for information technology, economic development, infrastructure 12 development, and public utility regulation and appointed jointly by the president of the senate 13 and the speaker of the house of representatives; 14 (3) five members shall be representatives of technology, telecommunications, 15 and investment businesses doing business in the state and appointed jointly by the president of 16 the senate and the speaker of the house of representatives. 17 (b) The task force established under (a) of this section 18 (1) may begin work immediately after a majority of the membership is 19 appointed; 20 (2) shall 21 (A) determine the current level of broadband access in the urban and 22 rural areas of the state; 23 (B) determine an acceptable level of broadband service throughout the 24 state; 25 (C) determine the means for increasing the level of service, including 26 regulatory changes and investment incentives for areas that are below the acceptable 27 level determined in (B) of this paragraph; 28 (D) explore the potential for increased use of broadband service for the 29 purposes of education and health care delivery and other private and governmental 30 uses; 31 (E) solicit suggestions from persons engaged in the development of
01 broadband infrastructure and operation of broadband services for expanding the 02 availability of broadband service in the state; 03 (F) study all means for delivering broadband service; 04 (G) establish best practices to establish and maintain a database that 05 lists current broadband service providers and where each operates, projects that are 06 currently being developed, and projects that are in the planning and predevelopment 07 stage; 08 (H) explore ways for encouraging state and municipal agencies to 09 expand the development and use of broadband services, including audio and video 10 streaming, voice-over Internet protocol, teleconferencing, and wireless networking; 11 (I) submit a report of the initial findings and recommendations for 12 expanding access to broadband services throughout the state to the president of the 13 senate, the speaker of the house of representatives, and the Alaska Internet Access 14 Authority before December 31, 2009; 15 (J) submit a final report of findings and recommendations for 16 expanding access to broadband services throughout the state to the president of the 17 senate, the speaker of the house of representatives, and the Alaska Internet Access 18 Authority before February 1, 2010; 19 (K) terminate on March 1, 2010. 20 (c) Members of the task force shall select a chair and vice-chair. Administrative 21 support for the task force shall be provided by legislative staff designated jointly by the 22 president of the senate and the speaker of the house of representatives. 23 (d) A member of the task force who is not a legislator or a full-time employee of the 24 state or a municipality is entitled to per diem and travel expenses authorized for boards and 25 commissions under AS 39.20.180. 26 (e) A vacancy on the task force shall be filled in the same manner as the original 27 appointment under (a)(1) - (3) of this section. 28 * Sec. 5. This Act takes effect July 1, 2009.