SECTION 1 (TITLE):
This act shall be known as the Internet Access Expansion Act.

SECTION 2 (PURPOSE):
To expand fast internet service to underserved parts of STATE.

SECTION 3 (PROVISIONS):

(a) It is in the interest of STATE and will support long-term economic development, educational opportunities, and improved emergency services, health and quality of life, to better ensure all geographic areas of STATE have access to high-quality, high-speed internet.

(b) Accordingly, there is hereby established the Internet Access Expansion Investment Fund (“the Fund”) to to expand and improve internet access in underserved parts of the state. The Fund is subject to appropriations by the legislature, and can also apply for and receive grant funds for which states or localities are eligible to apply. When applying for funds on behalf of a locality, any monies received shall be held by the Fund and administered on the locality’s behalf.

(c) Electric cooperatives and utilities, including municipal utilities, in STATE are hereby permitted to own, lease, construct, maintain and operate broadband or other internet access systems on the electric cooperative or utility’s electric or other utility delivery system(s) and to provide broadband or other internet access services to the public utilizing the electric cooperative or utility’s electric or other utility delivery system(s). Electric cooperatives and utilities are hereby permitted to submit applications to the Internet Access Expansion Investment Fund.

(d) If any provision of this act or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the remainder of the act or the application of the provision to other persons or circumstances is not affected.