Committees in the Texas Senate and Texas House both held hearings this week on expanding broadband internet access statewide. The Senate Transportation Committee heard Senate Bill 5 (authored by Sen. Robert Nichols), and the House State Affairs Committee discussed House Bill 5 (authored by Rep. Trent Ashby). Both are Texas REALTORS®-supported bills that would create a new Broadband Development Office—SB 5 would have it administered by the UT System, and HB 5 would have it within the Comptroller’s office. This new office would provide grants for expanding access to broadband in eligible areas, among other services. The Senate Transportation Committee also heard Texas REALTORS®-supported SB 507 (authored by Sen. Robert Nichols), which would provide a process for using state right-of-way for broadband-only providers. House State Affairs also took up Texas REALTORS®-supported HB 425 (authored by Rep. Ken King), which would establish a program for providing broadband in underserved rural areas.
Read State Lawmakers Push to Expand Rural Broadband Access in Texas by spectrumlocalnews.com.