Citations Affected: IC 8-1-29.5.
Synopsis: Broadband Internet service. Requires the Indiana utility
regulatory commission (IURC) to report annually to the regulatory
flexibility committee on the availability and quality of broadband
Internet service in Indiana. Requires the committee to study various
issues concerning the availability and quality of broadband Internet
service in Indiana and to report annually to the legislative council on
its findings and recommendations. Provides that the committee may
recommend that the IURC adopt rules concerning the provision of
digital subscriber line (DSL) broadband service by local exchange
carriers or their affiliates. Allows the IURC to adopt rules to implement
any of the committee's recommendations and to implement the
deployment of broadband Internet service in Indiana.
Effective: July 1, 2003.
January 21, 2003, read first time and referred to Committee on Utility and Regulatory
A BILL FOR AN ACT to amend the Indiana Code concerning
utilities and transportation.
IS ADDED TO THE INDIANA CODE
AS A NEW CHAPTER TO READ AS FOLLOWS [EFFECTIVE
JULY 1, 2003]:
Chapter 29.5. Broadband Internet Service
Sec. 1. As used in this chapter, "broadband Internet service" means a connection to the Internet at speeds greater than two hundred (200) kilobits per second downstream. The term includes DSL service, cable modem service, satellite one-way or two-way service, and terrestrial wireless service.
Sec. 2. As used in this chapter, "committee" means the regulatory flexibility committee established by IC 8-1-2.6-4.
Sec. 3. As used in this chapter, "DSL service" refers to broadband Internet service provided over digital subscriber lines that are sold or resold by local exchange carriers or their affiliates.
Sec. 4. (a) The regulatory flexibility committee established by IC 8-1-2.6-4 to monitor changes in the telephone industry shall also serve to monitor changes and competition in the provision of
broadband Internet service in Indiana.
(b) The commission shall, before August 15 of each year, prepare for presentation to the regulatory flexibility committee an analysis of the effects of regulation, competition, pricing, technology development and deployment, and other market forces or changes on the availability and quality of broadband Internet service in Indiana. The analysis prepared under this subsection may be made in conjunction with the commission's annual reports to the committee under IC 8-1-2.5-9 and IC 8-1-2.6-4.
(c) In addition to reviewing the commission report prepared under subsection (b), the committee shall also issue a report and recommendations to the legislative council before November 1 of each year. The report and recommendations issued under this subsection must be based on a review of the following issues:
(1) The effects of competition or changes in the broadband Internet industry and the effect of the competition or changes on the rates for service in Indiana.
(2) The status of the availability and modernization of broadband Internet facilities in Indiana and the incentives required to enhance this infrastructure. In its recommendations under this subdivision, the committee may recommend that the commission adopt rules requiring a local exchange carrier, or an affiliate of a local exchange carrier, that provides or seeks to provide broadband Internet service in Indiana to do any of the following:
(A) Provide DSL service in a certain percentage of, or in specified areas within, the local exchange carrier's service area.
(B) Make a certain percentage or number of its lines available to other local exchange carriers or their affiliates for the provision of DSL service.
(C) Increase the number of the local exchange carrier's or affiliate's wire centers or switching offices equipped to provide DSL service in Indiana. In adopting rules under this clause, the commission may do any of the following:
(i) Designate as underserved those geographic areas in Indiana that the commission determines lack access or have only limited access to DSL service and require that wire centers or switching centers be deployed in the underserved areas.
(ii) Allow local exchange carriers or their affiliates to impose a universal broadband Internet surcharge on
their periodic billings to customers in order to fund the
deployment of wire centers or switching offices in
Any rules adopted by the commission under this subdivision must be consistent with federal law and with the Federal Communications Commission's rules and regulations on the provision of broadband Internet service.
(3) The effects of the availability and status of Indiana's broadband Internet infrastructure on economic development in Indiana.
(4) The method of regulating broadband Internet service providers in Indiana at the time of the report made under this subsection and the method's effectiveness.
(5) The socioeconomic effects of the pricing and affordability of broadband Internet service in Indiana, including any disparities in the use of the Internet among Indiana residents that are attributable to socioeconomic factors.
(6) The effects of any relevant:
(A) legislation enacted by the United States Congress; or
(B) rules and regulations adopted by the Federal Communications Commission;
since the date of the committee's last report issued under this subsection.
(7) The availability of funding under 7 U.S.C. 1926(a)(20)(E) or other federal funding for programs in Indiana to provide grants or other funds to telecommunications carriers, cable companies, or other providers to establish facilities and services that will result in the long term availability of broadband Internet service to rural communities without broadband Internet service.
(8) All other broadband Internet service issues the committee considers appropriate.
(d) The regulatory flexibility committee shall meet on the call of the co-chairs to study the broadband Internet service issues described in subsection (c). The committee may consult any independent experts or consultants the committee considers appropriate to assist the committee in its review and study.
(e) The legislative services agency shall provide staff support to the committee.
(f) Each member of the committee is entitled to receive the same per diem, mileage, and travel allowances paid to individuals who serve as legislative members of interim study committees
established by the legislative council.
Sec. 5. The commission may adopt rules under IC 4-22-2 to implement:
(1) any recommendations made by the committee under this chapter; or
(2) the deployment of broadband Internet service in Indiana.