Connecticut Seal

General Assembly

 

Raised Bill No. 5682

February Session, 2008

 

LCO No. 2338

 

*02338_______ET_*

Referred to Committee on Energy and Technology

 

Introduced by:

 

(ET)

 

AN ACT CONCERNING HIGH SPEED BROADBAND ACCESS.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. (NEW) (Effective October 1, 2008) (a) The Department of Economic and Community Development shall enlist a public-private partnership to implement a comprehensive, state-wide high speed Internet deployment strategy and adoption initiative to (1) ensure that all state residents and businesses have access to affordable and reliable high speed Internet service; (2) achieve improved technology literacy, increased computer ownership and home high speed Internet use among state residents and businesses; (3) establish and empower local grassroots technology teams to plan for improved technology use across multiple community sectors; and (4) establish and sustain an environment ripe for state-wide high speed Internet access and technology investment.

(b) To accomplish the objectives set forth in sections 1 to 4, inclusive, of this act, the Department of Economic and Community Development, within available appropriations, shall contract with a nonprofit organization with an established competency in working with public and private sectors to accomplish wide-scale deployment and adoption of telecommunications and information technology.

Sec. 2. (NEW) (Effective October 1, 2008) The public-private partnership established pursuant to section 1 of this act shall include input and cooperation among state agencies and bodies representing economic development, local community development, technology planning, education, healthcare and other relevant entities. The private entities within the partnership shall include providers of broadband service, telecommunications providers, technology companies, community-based organizations and relevant private sector entities to achieve the purposes set forth in said section 1. Private entities submitting data in connection with efforts to develop the high speed Internet deployment strategy pursuant to said section 1 shall only provide such data to the extent and in the format the data is maintained in the normal course of business. Any information designated by the providing entity as confidential or proprietary shall be treated as such and governed by an appropriate nondisclosure agreement. The data submitted by providing entities pursuant to this section shall not be subject to disclosure under chapter 14 of the general statutes.

Sec. 3. (NEW) (Effective October 1, 2008) The high speed Internet deployment strategy and adoption initiative established pursuant to section 1 of this act shall include, but not be limited to:

(1) Creating a geographic state-wide inventory of high speed Internet service and other relevant telecommunications and information technology services, consistent with any federal data reporting requirements. The inventory shall (A) identify geographic gaps in high speed Internet service through geographic information system mapping of service availability and geographic information system analysis at the census block level; (B) provide a baseline assessment of state-wide high speed Internet deployment in terms of percentage of households with high speed Internet availability; and (C) provide updates to these data every six months;

(2) Tracking state-wide residential and business adoption of high speed Internet, computers and related information technology through data collected directly from end-users through telephone surveys or similar methods, identifying barriers to adoption and measuring progress on these data annually;

(3) Building and facilitating in each county or designated region a local technology planning team with members representing a cross section of the community, including, but not limited to, representatives of business, kindergarten through grade twelve education, health care, libraries, higher education, community-based organizations, local government, tourism, parks and recreation and agriculture. Each team shall benchmark technology use across relevant community sectors, set goals for improved technology use within each sector and develop a business plan to achieve its goals, with specific recommendations for online application development and demand creation;

(4) Working collaboratively with high speed Internet providers and technology companies across the state to encourage deployment and use, especially in underserved areas, through the use of local demand aggregation, mapping analysis and the creation of market intelligence to improve the business case for providers to deploy; and

(5) Establishing programs to improve computer ownership and Internet access for disenfranchised populations across the state.

Sec. 4. (NEW) (Effective October 1, 2008) Nothing in sections 1 to 4, inclusive, of this act shall be construed as giving the Department of Community and Economic Development or other entities any additional authority, regulatory or otherwise, over providers of telecommunications and information technology.

This act shall take effect as follows and shall amend the following sections:

Section 1

October 1, 2008

New section

Sec. 2

October 1, 2008

New section

Sec. 3

October 1, 2008

New section

Sec. 4

October 1, 2008

New section

Statement of Purpose:

To continue progress in the deployment and adoption of high speed Internet services and information technology, which are vital to ensuring that this state remains competitive and continues to create business and job growth, and to encourage and support the partnership of the public and private sectors in the continued growth of high speed Internet and information technology for the state's residents and businesses.

[Proposed deletions are enclosed in brackets. Proposed additions are indicated by underline, except that when the entire text of a bill or resolution or a section of a bill or resolution is new, it is not underlined.]