Texas eyes creation of $5 Billion Broadband Infrastructure Fund
New legislation introduced in the Texas House of Representatives could give voters in the state a chance to decide whether or not to throw $5 billion behind efforts to improve broadband there. The bill, known as H.B. 9, calls for the creation of a state Broadband Infrastructure Fund and would give the Texas comptroller and Public Utility Commission power to allocate the money for specific uses. Among other things, officials would be allowed to use the money to fuel broadband mapping efforts, update the state’s broadband plan, expand community outreach efforts, bolster the state’s pole replacement fund, provide matching funds for federal money provided by the Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment (BEAD) Program, or administer its own loan and grant program. ACA Connects has projected that Texas stands to receive as much as $3.6 billion in funding from the BEAD Program based on its calculation that the state has approximately 398,700 unserved locations and 361,000 underserved locations which would be eligible for support. The bill aims to use $5 billion from Texas’ Economic Stability Fund to create the Broadband Infrastructure Fund.
Texas eyes creation of $5B Broadband Infrastructure Fund