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Achieving connectivity everywhere, one step at a time
Steve Gooch
Steve Gooch
As of Thursday, we completed 18 of our 40 legislative days for the 2018 session. We are drawing closer to Crossover Day and the workload for committees is in full swing. We are now passing legislation in both chambers daily. Numerous bills are being drafted and amended to address the issue of inadequate internet service in rural Georgia. This has been a very time consuming challenge to work on for the past 18 months. Both the House and Senate are studying different ways to increase competition, streamline the permitting process of government red tape and remove barriers that discourage internet providers from upgrading their infrastructure in a rapidly changing technological environment. I have three separate bills that will be considered this session. Senate Bill 402, appropriately named the Achieving Connectivity Everywhere (ACE) Act, was introduced this week. This legislation will lay out the framework for creating a statewide broadband plan. Additionally, it addresses the conducting of research and data collection that is needed to steer any federal or state funds that will be provided in the future in terms of grants, loans or investments for broadband infrastructure. Fully utilizing existing fiber-optics owned by both the public and private sectors will ensure efficiencies are in place before we spend tax dollars to get the most bang for the buck.
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