General Assembly Governor's Bill No. 6442
January Session, 2021 LCO No. 3274
Referred to Committee on ENERGY AND TECHNOLOGY
Introduced by:
Request of the Governor Pursuant
to Joint Rule 9
AN ACT CONCERNING EQUITABLE ACCESS TO BROADBAND.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General
Assembly convened:
1 Section 1. (NEW) (Effective July 1, 2021) As used in this section:
2 (1) "Broadband Internet access service" means a mass-market retail
3 service by wire or radio that provides the capability to transmit data to
4 and receive data from all or substantially all Internet endpoints,
5 including any capabilities that are incidental to and enable the operation
6 of the communications service, but excluding dial-up Internet access
7 service;
8 (2) "Broadband Internet access service provider" means any person or
9 entity that provides broadband Internet access service through facilities
10 occupying public highways or streets authorized by the Public Utilities
11 Regulatory Authority, including through a certificate of public
12 convenience and necessity, a certificate of video franchise authority, a
13 certificate of cable franchise authority, or as a certified
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14 telecommunications provider;
15 (3) "Content, applications and services" means all traffic transmitted
16 to or from end users of a broadband Internet access service; and
17 (4) "End user" means any person or entity that uses a broadband
18 Internet access service.
19 Sec. 2. (NEW) (Effective July 1, 2021) In carrying out the provisions of
20 this act, the state agencies shall consider the extent to which their
21 programs or policies provide for affordable, high-speed broadband
22 Internet access service that is vital to the welfare and development of
23 our society; will promote economic development in the state; will
24 expand educational and employment opportunities for residents of the
25 state; will improve access to telehealth services, as that term is defined
26 in section 19a-906 of the general statutes; and will enhance the delivery
27 of services by public, private and not-for-profit institutions and entities.
28 Such programs and policies shall (1) ensure the universal availability
29 and accessibility of high-speed broadband Internet access service to all
30 residents and businesses in the state, (2) establish an advanced standard
31 for broadband Internet access service that increases with consumer
32 demand and technological developments, (3) ensure that broadband
33 Internet access service is available and affordable on a
34 nondiscriminatory basis for all segments of the state's population,
35 regardless of income, race, ethnicity and religion, (4) study and create
36 structures that allow partners and providers to successfully build and
37 sustain broadband Internet access service infrastructure in all corners of
38 the state, (5) ensure that state, municipal and private educational
39 institutions have continual access to broadband Internet access service
40 at all times for educational and learning purposes, (6) encourage
41 existing and new broadband Internet access service providers to pilot
42 and offer affordable services for residents, businesses and state and
43 municipal governments, (7) create a regulatory environment that
44 protects consumers and incentivizes innovation, competition and robust
45 services from broadband Internet access service providers, and (8)
46 invest in the development of a diverse broadband Internet access service
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47 technology workforce by encouraging strong ties to the state's
48 educational community to grow the talent pipeline.
49 Sec. 3. (NEW) (Effective July 1, 2021) (a) The Office of Policy and
50 Management shall, in accordance with sections 4d-90 and 4-67p of the
51 general statutes and in consultation with the Department of Energy and
52 Environmental Protection, the Office of State Broadband, the
53 Department of Economic and Community Development and other state
54 agencies deemed appropriate by the Office of Policy and Management,
55 develop a plan and reporting requirements to produce up-to-date maps
56 of broadband availability and upload and download speeds in the state.
57 Broadband Internet access service providers shall be consulted in the
58 development of the plan and reporting requirements for producing and
59 maintaining detailed and accurate broadband maps for the state. The
60 Office of Policy and Management may employ outside consultants in
61 the development of such maps.
62 (b) The Commissioner of Economic and Community Development
63 shall make recommendations to the Office of Policy and Management,
64 for inclusion in the joint report pursuant to subsection (c) of this section,
65 concerning the needs of the business community and economic
66 development.
67 (c) On or before January 31, 2022, the Office of Policy and
68 Management, the Office of State Broadband and the Department of
69 Energy and Environmental Protection shall jointly report to the
70 Governor concerning the status of the plan described in subsection (a)
71 of this section.
72 (d) The Commission for Educational Technology shall, in
73 consultation with the Department of Education, the Office of State
74 Broadband, the Office of Policy Management, the Connecticut State
75 Colleges and Universities, the Office of Higher Education and the
76 Department of Economic and Community Development, conduct an
77 analysis on the availability of broadband Internet access service and
78 learning devices for students in prekindergarten to grade twelve,
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79 inclusive, and post-secondary education, including vocational and
80 technical opportunities, in concert with and informed by state
81 broadband mapping activities.
82 (e) On or before July 1, 2023, the Commission for Educational
83 Technology shall submit a report to the Governor and the General
84 Assembly. Such report shall provide the status of the analysis required
85 pursuant to this section.
86 Sec. 4. (NEW) (Effective July 1, 2021) (a) On or before January 31, 2022,
87 the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection shall, in
88 consultation with the Office of State Broadband, the Department of
89 Economic and Community Development, the Commission for
90 Educational Technology and the Office of Policy and Management,
91 establish a broadband Internet speed classification metric of (1) well
92 served, (2) adequately served, and (3) underserved communities in the
93 state to inform state policy, investment strategy and consumer
94 awareness. Such Internet speed classification metrics shall include both
95 upload and download speed metrics and other applicable standards, as
96 determined by the Department of Energy and Environmental
97 Protection, and shall be adjusted annually, as provided in subsection (c)
98 of this section, as of the following October first and each subsequent
99 October first.
100 (b) On or before January 31, 2022, and annually thereafter, the
101 Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, in consultation
102 with the Office of State Broadband, the Office of Policy and
103 Management and the Department of Economic and Community
104 Development, shall report on the broadband Internet speed
105 classification metrics, described in subsection (a) of this section, and
106 additional data sharing requirements developed in subsection (a) of
107 section 3 of this act, to the Governor and the joint standing committee of
108 the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to energy.
109 (c) On or before January 31, 2022, and annually thereafter, the
110 Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, in consultation
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111 with the Office of State Broadband, the Office of Policy and
112 Management and the Department of Economic and Community
113 Development shall report on the status and progress made towards a
114 state-wide goal of attaining, on or before January 1, 2027, universal
115 access to (1) broadband Internet download speeds averaging one gigabit
116 per second, and (2) broadband Internet upload speeds averaging two
117 hundred megabits per second to the Governor and the joint standing
118 committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters
119 relating to energy, until such time as said goal is met.
120 Sec. 5. (NEW) (Effective July 1, 2021) (a) Each broadband Internet
121 access service provider shall maintain and make available to an Internet
122 service account holder and to the owner of the serviced property, free of
123 charge, records of the property's available broadband Internet upload
124 and download speeds for the preceding twelve months of occupation.
125 (b) For any property, the property owner shall, at the time the
126 property is publicly listed for sale or rent, disclose, upon request, the
127 broadband Internet upload and download speeds for the preceding
128 twelve months of occupation.
129 Sec. 6. Section 16-233 of the general statutes is repealed and the
130 following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2021):
131 Each town, city, borough, or fire district [or] and the Department of
132 Transportation shall have the right to occupy and use for any purpose,
133 including, but not limited to, the provision of broadband Internet access
134 service by any town, city or borough to the public in such town, city or
135 borough, either directly or through commercial arrangements with
136 third-party entities, without payment therefor, one gain upon each
137 public utility pole or in each underground communications duct system
138 installed by a public service company within the limits of any such
139 town, city, borough or district, provided, if a town, city or borough sells
140 its right to occupy and use said gain to a private third-party company,
141 such company shall pay any public utility pole administration or
142 attachment fees applicable, notwithstanding the provisions of this
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143 section. The location or relocation of any such gain shall be prescribed
144 by the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority. Any such gain shall be
145 reserved for use by the town, city, borough, or fire district [or] and the
146 Department of Transportation.
147 Sec. 7. Subdivision (4) of subsection (a) of section 7-536 of the general
148 statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof
149 (Effective July 1, 2021):
150 (4) "Local capital improvement project" means a municipal capital
151 expenditure project for any of the following purposes: (A) Road
152 construction, renovation, repair or resurfacing, (B) sidewalk and
153 pavement improvements, (C) construction, renovation, enlargement or
154 repair of sewage treatment plants and sanitary or storm, water or sewer
155 lines, including separation of lines, (D) public building construction
156 other than schools, including renovation, repair, code compliance,
157 energy conservation and fire safety projects, (E) construction,
158 renovation, enlargement or repair of dams, bridges and flood control
159 projects, (F) construction, renovation, enlargement or repair of water
160 treatment or filtration plants and water mains, (G) construction,
161 renovation or enlargement of solid waste facilities, (H) improvements to
162 public parks, (I) the preparation and revision of local capital
163 improvement plans projected for a period of not less than five years and
164 so prepared as to show the general description, need and estimated cost
165 of each individual capital improvement, (J) improvements to emergency
166 communications systems and building security systems, including for
167 schools, (K) public housing projects, including renovations and
168 improvements and energy conservation and the development of
169 additional housing, (L) renovations to or construction of veterans'
170 memorial monuments, (M) thermal imaging systems, (N) bulky waste
171 and landfill projects, (O) the preparation and revision of municipal
172 plans of conservation and development adopted pursuant to section 8-
173 23, provided such plans are endorsed by the legislative body of the
174 municipality not more than one hundred eighty days after adoption by
175 the commission, (P) acquisition of automatic external defibrillators, (Q)
176 floodplain management and hazard mitigation activities, (R) on-board
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177 oil refining systems consisting of a filtration canister and evaporation
178 canister that remove solid and liquid contaminants from lubricating oil,
179 (S) activities related to the planning and construction of a municipal
180 broadband network, provided the broadband Internet download speed
181 of the network shall be not less than [three hundred eighty-four
182 thousand bits per second] one gigabit per second and the broadband
183 Internet upload speed of the network shall be not less than two hundred
184 megabits per second, (T) establishment of bikeways and greenways, (U)
185 land acquisition, including for open space, and costs involved in making
186 land available for public uses, (V) acquisition of technology related to
187 implementation of the Department of Education's common core state
188 standards, (W) technology upgrades, including for improvements to
189 expand public access to government information through electronic
190 portals and kiosks, (X) for the fiscal years ending June 30, 2013, and June
191 30, 2014, acquisition of snow removal equipment, capital expenditures
192 made to improve public safety, and capital expenditures made to
193 facilitate regional cooperation, and (Y) for hazardous tree removal or
194 trimming for nonutility-related hazardous branches, limbs and trees on
195 municipal property or within a municipal right-of-way. "Local capital
196 improvement project" means only capital expenditures and includes
197 repairs incident to reconstruction and renovation but does not include
198 ordinary repairs and maintenance of an ongoing nature. As used in this
199 subdivision, "floodplain management" and "hazard mitigation" have the
200 same meanings as provided in section 25-68j;
201 Sec. 8. Section 16-11 of the general statutes is repealed and the
202 following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2021):
203 The Public Utilities Regulatory Authority shall, so far as is
204 practicable, keep fully informed as to the condition of the plant,
205 equipment and manner of operation of all public service companies and
206 broadband Internet access service providers in respect to their adequacy
207 and suitability to accomplish the duties imposed upon such companies
208 by law and in respect to their relation to the safety of the public and of
209 the employees of such companies. The authority may order such
210 reasonable improvements, repairs or alterations in such plant or
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211 equipment, or such changes in the manner of operation, as may be
212 reasonably necessary in the public interest. The general purposes of this
213 section and sections 16-19, 16-25, 16-43 and 16-47, as amended by this
214 act, are to assure to the state of Connecticut its full powers to regulate
215 its public service companies and broadband Internet access service
216 providers, to increase the powers of the Public Utilities Regulatory
217 Authority and to promote local control of the public service companies
218 and broadband Internet access service providers of this state, and said
219 sections shall be so construed as to effectuate these purposes.
220 Sec. 9. Section 16-12 of the general statutes is repealed and the
221 following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2021):
222 Any person or any town, city or borough may make complaint, in
223 writing, to the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority, of any defects in
224 any portion of the plant or equipment of any public service company,
225 broadband Internet access service provider or electric supplier, or of the
226 manner of operating such plant, by reason of which the public safety or
227 the health or safety of employees is endangered; and, if he or it so
228 requests, the name of the complainant shall not be divulged unless in
229 the opinion of the authority the complaint is such that publicity is
230 demanded.
231 Sec. 10. Section 16-16 of the general statutes is repealed and the
232 following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2021):
233 Each public service company, broadband Internet access service
234 provider and electric supplier subject to regulation by the Public
235 Utilities Regulatory Authority shall, in the event of any accident
236 attended with personal injury or involving public safet