Rural Broadband With Co-Ops Bill Close to Passing Texas House

May 13, 2019

 

Texas state Sen. Robert Nichols‘ plan to involve electricity co-ops in the future distribution of Internet connectivity has moved close to its final step before passing the Legislature.

The House amended bill — agreed upon by “all stakeholders,” according to Rep. John Kuempel, who introduced the amendment — got its second reading in the House on Monday; the bill with a Senate amendment has already passed the Senate.

Nichols said his SB 14 “empowers electric cooperatives to deploy broadband to the members they serve by allowing them to use their existing electricity easements.”

And it requires that the “pole attachment term rates” for Internet access be comparable to the fees charged to “other broadband services,” as a way to help keep costs of string coax lower.