State House of Representatives passes 3 bills on broadband

Published 9:02 am Thursday, March 10, 2022

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Three Senate Bills to enhance broadband access and capabilities passed through the Alabama House   of Representatives last week.

Senate Bill 123, Senate Bill 124 and Senate Bill 125 were voted on last week They were sponsored by Senator Clay Scofield.

Here is a look at each SB and its purpose:

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SB123: Will increase the minimum service threshold for Internet under the Connect Alabama Act of 2021 to at least 100 megabits per second downstream and 20 megabits per second upstream.

SB124: Will increase the minimum service threshold for high-speed broadband services at or above 100 megabits per second of download speed and 100 megabits per second of upload speed for the broadband accessibility grant program.

SB125: It is a proposed Constitutional Amendment to authorize the state, a county or a municipality to grant certain monies to public or private entities for broadband infrastructure.

The three bills came through the House Urban and Rural Development Committee, which State Rep. Prince Chestnut is the Ranking Minority Member.  Chestnut said  members of the committee voted the bills out of committee and was passed in the House a week later.

“I was more than happy to vote in favor of these bills,” Chestnut said. “Senator Clay Scofield and Representative Randall Shedd should be commended for their leadership on these bills. Broadband expansion is vital in bettering the lives of all Alabamians, especially those of us who live in Rural Alabama. Our region can become more attractive for job and population growth. Together, we can work towards ending the digital divide.”