SB 5935-S2.E - DIGEST

Creates the governor's office on broadband access within the department of commerce, and with the mission of improving economic vitality, health care access, and education through greater access to broadband services.

Requires the office to: (1) In collaboration with the utilities and transportation commission, the office of the chief information officer, and the community economic revitalization board, serve as the coordinating body for public and private efforts to ensure statewide broadband access and deployment;

(2) Be responsible for all matters regarding the adoption of statewide broadband access and deployment;

(3) Establish a competitive grant program to assist qualified local governments and tribes to build infrastructure for open access, high speed broadband services;

(4) Study taxes imposed on the capital costs associated with providing retail broadband service, including sales and use taxes;

(5) Develop a small cell facility deployment permitting model ordinance for cities and towns; and

(6) Consult with cities, counties, and service providers when developing the model ordinance.

Authorizes the office to convene an advisory group to: (1) Make recommendations on developing a statewide rural broadband strategy to ensure broadband access statewide by January 1, 2026; and

(2) Conduct a gap analysis on the deployment of broadband services in underserved and unserved areas of the state.

Creates the broadband access account and requires expenditures from the account to only be used for the expansion of broadband access.