Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Legislature advances broadband initiative

Posted By on Wed, Oct 28, 2015 at 5:34 PM

A joint committee on advanced communication and technology today approved a timeline to deliver affordable high-speed access to the Internet for all Arkansans. The FCC says only 59 percent of Arkansans currently have access to broadband — 25 Mbps for downloads and 3 Mbps for uploads.

Funny word that "affordable." What's your phone/Internet/cable/etc. bill? I don't think I want to add it up.

In any case, here's the timeline released by the legislature:

2015 LAUNCH:

October: Initiative Announced
November: Statewide Broadband Assessment - Where are we currently?

FACT FINDING:2015-2016

December: Fayetteville I ARE-ON Tour
January: Texarkana
February:Monticello
March: Jonesboro
April: Fiscal Session
May: Little Rock

PLAN DEVELOPMENT:

June - August 2016

FINALIZE POLICY RECOMMENDATIONS:

September - October 2016
Note: Complete prior to the beginning of budget hearings

Didn't the legislature give some small phone companies money (through a tax on cell phone users) in 2015 to improve Internet access? Why, yes, I believe so.

Nothing in legislative release today about enforcing new revenue for phone companies to deliver better service or about "lifeline" rates for those receiving the service. That might sound too much like an Obamaphone, however, right Lt. Gov. Griffin?

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