New Report Provides State Solutions to Increase Broadband Investment and Connectivity in the Wake of Disaster

New Report Provides State Solutions to Increase Broadband Investment and Connectivity in the Wake of Disaster

Arlington, VA (February 5, 2014)—Better connectivity to broadband with an emphasis on public safety is the focus of a new report released today by the American Legislative Exchange Council Task Force on Communications and Technology. The report, “The States’ Broadband Plan,” offers three model policies for state legislators looking to improve broadband in their states. Two of the featured model policies encourage the modernizing and streamlining of regulations governing broadband to foster more investment, and the third model policy promotes faster responses to disasters to ensure broadband connectivity.

This report comes in response to state legislators’ requests for proven ideas to foster more economic growth through technology and improve public safety in the wake of natural disasters,” said John Stephenson, director of the ALEC Task Force on Communications and Technology. “States are looking for sensible and successful policy solutions when it comes to broadband.”

Highlighted in the report are three ALEC model policies:

Advanced Voice Services Availability Act

–Encourages innovation by protecting advanced broadband from antiquated 1930s-era regulations. The model Act exempts Internet protocol-based technologies from state utility regulation, and preserves several rights and responsibilities for states and providers, while also respecting the Federal Communications Commission’s jurisdiction.

Model Wireless Communications Tower Siting Act

–Ensures the safe and efficient integration of facilities necessary for the provision of broadband and other advanced wireless communications services throughout the community. This model Act also ensures the ready availability of reliable wireless service to the public and government agencies and first responders, with the intention of furthering the public safety and general welfare.

Facilitating Business Rapid Response to State Declared Disaster Act

–During an officially declared state of emergency or disaster, this model Act allows out-of-state businesses and individual employees to be temporarily exempt of any requirements for business and employee taxes solely for purposes of helping the state recover from the disaster or emergency. To ensure this policy remains focused solely on improving disaster responses, the policy does not exempt business from use taxes (i.e. gasoline taxes, hotel taxes, etc.) and the exemption only lasts as long as the disaster period.

To see a complete copy of the report, visit www.alec.org.

Contact: Molly Fuhs
mfuhs@alec.org
202-870-1603

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The American Legislative Exchange Council is the largest nonpartisan, voluntary membership organization of state legislators in the United States. The Council is governed by state legislators who comprise the Board of Directors and is advised by the Private Enterprise Advisory Council, a group of private, foundation and think tank members. For more information about the American Legislative Exchange Council, please visit: www.alec.org.