SSHB 246: "An Act creating the Alaska Broadband Development Corporation; and relating to the Regulatory Commission of Alaska."
00 SPONSOR SUBSTITUTE FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 246 01 "An Act creating the Alaska Broadband Development Corporation; and relating to the 02 Regulatory Commission of Alaska." 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. The legislature finds that 07 (1) many communities in the state have limited access to the Internet because 08 the communities lack broadband and advanced telecommunications that enable high-speed 09 access to the Internet necessary to support modern civic, governmental, cultural, economic 10 development, health care, public safety, educational, and community resources; 11 (2) although the state is connected to the rest of the world through several 12 fiber-optic cables, many areas in the state lack sufficient access to affordable broadband data 13 services and broadband Internet access services because of insufficient connectivity to fiber- 14 optic cables;
01 (3) removing barriers to broadband deployment by using a technology and 02 competitively neutral approach will encourage lower prices for broadband service, expand 03 availability, and offer more choices to consumers; 04 (4) access to broadband and advanced telecommunications services 05 throughout the state is essential for the state to keep pace with global changes in economic 06 diversification, education, health care, energy and environmental technology, and public 07 safety; 08 (5) affordable and nondiscriminatory access is necessary to support 09 investment in and development of accessible broadband networks in the state and action 10 should be taken to ensure that broadband services are affordable and reasonably comparable 11 in all areas of the state; 12 (6) insufficient and unaffordable Internet connectivity between unserved or 13 underserved locations and existing fiber-optic cables that provide high-speed Internet service 14 is the greatest and most costly obstacle to wider deployment of broadband and advanced 15 telecommunications services in remote areas of the state; 16 (7) funding from federal, private, or other sources is essential to offset the 17 high cost of deployment, ownership, and operation of facilities providing Internet 18 connectivity; and 19 (8) a coordinated approach is necessary to ensure that facilities that provide 20 Internet connectivity are deployed efficiently and have sufficient capacity to reach unserved 21 and underserved areas of the state and that Internet connectivity is made available on a 22 nondiscriminatory basis to all potential users and service providers. 23 * Sec. 2. AS 42.05.145 is amended by adding a new subsection to read: 24 (c) Upon application, the commission shall designate the Alaska Broadband 25 Development Corporation, established in AS 44.21.510 - 44.21.530, as an eligible 26 telecommunications carrier for the purposes of 47 U.S.C. 214(e). 27 * Sec. 3. AS 42.05.990(6) is amended to read: 28 (6) "public utility" or "utility" includes every corporation whether 29 public, cooperative, or otherwise, company, individual, or association of individuals, 30 their lessees, trustees, or receivers appointed by a court, that owns, operates, manages, 31 or controls any plant, pipeline, or system for
01 (A) furnishing, by generation, transmission, or distribution, 02 electrical service to the public for compensation; 03 (B) furnishing telecommunications service, including 04 broadband Internet access, to the public for compensation; 05 (C) furnishing water, steam, or sewer service to the public for 06 compensation; 07 (D) furnishing by transmission or distribution of natural or 08 manufactured gas to the public for compensation; 09 (E) furnishing for distribution or by distribution petroleum or 10 petroleum products to the public for compensation when the consumer has no 11 alternative in the choice of supplier of a comparable product and service at an 12 equal or lesser price; 13 (F) furnishing collection and disposal service of garbage, 14 refuse, trash, or other waste material to the public for compensation; 15 (G) furnishing the service of natural gas storage to the public 16 for compensation; 17 (H) furnishing the service of liquefied natural gas storage to the 18 public for compensation; 19 * Sec. 4. AS 42.05.990 is amended by adding a new paragraph to read: 20 (14) "broadband Internet access" means high-speed Internet access that 21 is always on and that is faster than traditional dial-up access. 22 * Sec. 5. AS 44.21 is amended by adding new sections to read: 23 Article 7. Alaska Broadband Development Corporation. 24 Sec. 44.21.510. Alaska Broadband Development Corporation established; 25 purpose. (a) The Alaska Broadband Development Corporation is established. The 26 corporation is a public corporation and instrumentality of the state within the 27 Department of Administration. The exercise by the corporation of the powers in 28 AS 44.21.510 - 44.21.530 is considered an essential governmental function of the 29 state. 30 (b) The purpose of the corporation is to facilitate, upgrade, plan, and finance 31 the installation, operation, and promotion of effective use of a broadband system
01 throughout the state. 02 Sec. 44.21.515. Board of directors. (a) The corporation is governed by a 03 board of directors. The board consists of the following eight members: 04 (1) six voting members appointed by the governor as follows: 05 (A) one member who has expertise and experience in 06 telehealth, telemedicine, and distance learning applications on broadband 07 networks and services; 08 (B) one member who has expertise and experience in 09 developing broadband technologies in unserved or underserved rural, insular, 10 or high-cost areas; 11 (C) one member who has expertise and experience in federal 12 assistance programs supporting the development of broadband facilities and 13 affordability of broadband services; 14 (D) one member who has expertise and experience in 15 promoting broadband adoption and education; 16 (E) two members who have expertise and experience in the 17 operation of a broadband network and offering broadband services; 18 (2) two nonvoting members as follows: 19 (A) a member of the house of representatives appointed by the 20 speaker of the house of representatives and who serves at the pleasure of the 21 speaker of the house of representatives; and 22 (B) a member of the senate appointed by the president of the 23 senate and who serves at the pleasure of the president of the senate. 24 (b) Except for the legislative members of the board appointed under (a)(2) of 25 this section, two or more members of the board may not, during the member's term, be 26 employed by the same entity. 27 (c) The board shall annually elect a chair and other necessary officers from 28 among its voting members. 29 (d) The voting members of the board appointed under (a)(1) of this section 30 serve three-year terms and may be reappointed. Terms shall be staggered as provided 31 in AS 39.05.055. The voting members serve at the pleasure of the governor.
01 (e) A vacancy on the board occurring other than by expiration of a term shall 02 be filled in the same manner as the original appointment, but for the unexpired term 03 only. 04 (f) Four voting members of the board appointed under this section constitute a 05 quorum for the transaction of business and the exercise of the powers and duties of the 06 board. The board shall meet at least four times a year. A meeting of the board shall 07 occur at the call of the chair, or upon the written request of three voting members of 08 the board, and shall be open to the public. 09 (g) Board members do not receive a salary, but are entitled to per diem and 10 travel expenses authorized under AS 39.20.180. 11 Sec. 44.21.520. Purposes and duties of the corporation. (a) The purposes of 12 the corporation are 13 (1) increasing and improving the availability, affordability, and 14 performance of broadband data services and broadband Internet access services in 15 unserved and underserved areas of the state by lessening the barriers to entry posed by 16 a lack of sufficient and affordable access to high-speed, low-latency connectivity 17 between unserved and underserved customer areas and fiber-optic cables that connect 18 to the Internet in the state; and 19 (2) facilitating the development of competitive options for customers 20 in unserved and underserved areas. 21 (b) The corporation shall 22 (1) provide or enable affordable and nondiscriminatory access to high- 23 speed, low-latency telecommunications connectivity between points in the state that 24 are unserved or underserved by high-speed, low-latency telecommunications 25 connectivity to existing fiber-optic cables that connect to the Internet; 26 (2) deploy the necessary broadband networking facilities to provide 27 high-speed, low-latency telecommunications connectivity in a coordinated manner; 28 and 29 (3) ensure the efficient use of state or other funds for the purposes 30 described in this subsection. 31 (c) For the purposes listed in (a) of this section and AS 44.21.525, the
01 corporation may use 02 (1) federal financial assistance, including federal grant awards, loans, 03 and support from universal service support mechanisms authorized by the Federal 04 Communications Commission; and 05 (2) sources of private or other funding or property. 06 (d) Under (a) of this section, an area is unserved or underserved if the 07 corporation determines that 08 (1) the terrestrial network facilities that connect the location to the 09 Internet lack the sufficient high-speed, low-latency capacity to deliver service to all 10 customers in that area at minimum speed and usage allowances that are reasonably 11 comparable to those available in urban areas of the state and at rates and under terms 12 and conditions that are reasonably comparable to those available in urban areas of the 13 state; or 14 (2) most of the facilities in the area are owned or controlled by a single 15 entity or affiliates of the entity. 16 (e) To make the determination under (d) of this section, the corporation may 17 (1) determine and consider the current level of broadband Internet 18 access in urban and rural areas of the state; 19 (2) determine an acceptable level of broadband Internet access 20 throughout the state and in so doing may consider the findings of the Federal 21 Communications Commission under 47 U.S.C. 1302(b) (sec. 706(b), 22 Telecommunications Act of 1996); or 23 (3) monitor the ongoing deployment and capacity of high-speed, low- 24 latency telecommunications transport network facilities between points in the state, 25 including projects that are currently being developed and projects that are in the 26 planning and predevelopment stage. 27 Sec. 44.21.525. Powers of the corporation. The corporation may 28 (1) apply for and accept a gift, grant, or loan from a federal agency, an 29 agency or instrumentality of the state or of a municipality, or a private source for the 30 purpose of planning, constructing, deploying, owning, operating, maintaining, 31 repairing, or replacing broadband networking infrastructure in order to provide
01 sufficient and affordable high-speed, low-latency connectivity between unserved and 02 underserved customer areas and fiber-optic cables that connect to the Internet; 03 (2) use a gift, grant, or loan accepted under (1) of this section to 04 (A) plan efficient routing and deployment of 05 telecommunications facilities between points in the state that are unserved or 06 underserved by high-speed, low-latency telecommunications connectivity to 07 existing fiber-optic cables; or 08 (B) construct, upgrade, install, own, or operate 09 telecommunications facilities described in (A) of this paragraph; 10 (3) subject to the limitations in this paragraph, sell transmission 11 services and lease capacity to retail providers of broadband data services and Internet 12 access services at a wholesale price and on just, reasonable, and nondiscriminatory 13 rates, terms, and conditions for the use of those retail providers to offer the services to 14 retail end-user customers in unserved and underserved areas; the corporation may not 15 enter into a sale or lease of capacity if, following the transaction, the purchaser or an 16 affiliate of the purchaser, at the time of the transaction, would own, operate, or 17 otherwise control more than 18 (A) one-third of the total terrestrial network capacity serving 19 the area; or 20 (B) one-half of the total terrestrial network capacity available 21 for sale to serve the area; 22 (4) enter into a contract or other transaction with a federal agency, with 23 an agency or instrumentality of the state or of a municipality, or with a private 24 organization or other party; 25 (5) employ appropriate consultative, technical, legal, clerical, and other 26 personnel for the implementation of AS 44.21.510 - 44.21.530, within the limits of 27 available funds; 28 (6) prepare and submit to the governor and the legislature, in 29 compliance with the state information systems plan adopted by the commissioner of 30 administration, reports of the corporation's activities, including changes in the number 31 of areas that remain unserved or underserved by high-speed, low-latency
01 telecommunications connectivity to existing fiber-optic cables that connect to the 02 Internet; and 03 (7) take an action, not inconsistent with AS 44.21.520, as is necessary 04 to execute the function of the corporation. 05 Sec. 44.21.530. Definitions. In AS 44.21.510 - 44.21.530, 06 (1) "affiliate" means a person or entity that directly or indirectly owns 07 or controls, is owned or controlled by, or is under common ownership or control with, 08 another person or entity; 09 (2) "corporation" means the Alaska Broadband Development 10 Corporation established under AS 44.21.510; 11 (3) "entity" means the controlling entity and its affiliates; 12 (4) "own" means to own an equity interest of more than 10 percent.