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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

HF 2615

1st Engrossment - 88th Legislature (2013 - 2014) Posted on 03/10/2014 03:20pm

KEY: stricken = removed, old language.
underscored = added, new language.

Bill Text Versions

Engrossments
Introduction Posted on 03/03/2014
1st Engrossment Posted on 03/10/2014

Current Version - 1st Engrossment

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A bill for an act
relating to telecommunications; broadband; establishing a program to award
grants for the expansion of broadband service to unserved areas; appropriating
money; proposing coding for new law in Minnesota Statutes, chapter 116J.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:

Section 1.

new text begin [116J.394] DEFINITIONS.
new text end

new text begin (a) For the purposes of sections 116J.394 to 116J.396, the following terms have
the meanings given them.
new text end

new text begin (b) "Broadband" or "broadband service" has the meaning given in section 116J.39,
subdivision 1, paragraph (b).
new text end

new text begin (c) "Broadband infrastructure" means networks of deployed telecommunications
equipment and technologies necessary to provide high-speed Internet access and other
advanced telecommunications services for end-users.
new text end

new text begin (d) "Commissioner" means the commissioner of the Department of Employment and
Economic Development.
new text end

new text begin (e) "Last-mile infrastructure" means broadband infrastructure that serves as the
final leg connecting the broadband service provider's network to the end-use customer's
on-premises telecommunications equipment.
new text end

new text begin (f) "Middle-mile infrastructure" means broadband infrastructure that links a
broadband service provider's core network infrastructure to last-mile infrastructure.
new text end

new text begin (g) "Political subdivision" means any county, city, town, school district, special
district or other political subdivision, or public corporation.
new text end

new text begin (h) "Unserved areas" means areas of Minnesota in which households or businesses
lack access to broadband service at speeds that meet the state broadband goals of ten to 20
megabits per second download and five to ten megabits per second upload.
new text end

Sec. 2.

new text begin [116J.395] BORDER-TO-BORDER BROADBAND DEVELOPMENT
GRANT AND LOAN PROGRAM.
new text end

new text begin Subdivision 1. new text end

new text begin Establishment. new text end

new text begin A grant and loan program is established under the
commissioner of employment and economic development to award grants and loans to
eligible applicants in order to promote the expansion of access to broadband service in
unserved areas of the state.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 2. new text end

new text begin Eligible expenditures. new text end

new text begin Grants and loans may be awarded under this
section to fund the acquisition and installation of middle-mile and last-mile infrastructure
in unserved areas that support broadband service scalable to speeds of at least 100
megabits per second download and 100 megabits per second upload.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 3. new text end

new text begin Eligible applicants. new text end

new text begin Eligible applicants for grants and loans awarded
under this section include:
new text end

new text begin (1) an incorporated business or a partnership;
new text end

new text begin (2) a political subdivision;
new text end

new text begin (3) an Indian tribe;
new text end

new text begin (4) a Minnesota nonprofit organization organized under chapter 317A;
new text end

new text begin (5) a Minnesota cooperative association organized under chapter 308A or 308B; and
new text end

new text begin (6) a Minnesota limited liability corporation organized under chapter 322B for the
purpose of expanding broadband access.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 4. new text end

new text begin Application process. new text end

new text begin An eligible applicant must submit an application
to the commissioner on a form prescribed by the commissioner. The commissioner shall
develop administrative procedures governing the application and grant and loan award
process. The commissioner shall act as fiscal agent for the grant and loan program and
shall be responsible for receiving and reviewing grant and loan applications and awarding
grants and loans under this section.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 5. new text end

new text begin Application contents. new text end

new text begin An applicant for a grant or loan under this section
shall provide the following information on the application:
new text end

new text begin (1) the location of the project;
new text end

new text begin (2) the kind and amount of broadband infrastructure to be purchased for the project;
new text end

new text begin (3) evidence regarding the unserved nature of the community in which the project is
to be located;
new text end

new text begin (4) the number of end-users who will have access to broadband service as a result of
the project, or whose broadband service will be upgraded as a result of the project;
new text end

new text begin (5) significant community institutions that will benefit from the proposed project;
new text end

new text begin (6) evidence of community support for the project;
new text end

new text begin (7) the total cost of the project;
new text end

new text begin (8) sources of funding or in-kind contributions for the project that will supplement
any grant award; and
new text end

new text begin (9) any additional information requested by the commissioner.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 6. new text end

new text begin Awarding grants and loans. new text end

new text begin (a) In evaluating applications and awarding
grants and loans under this section, the commissioner shall give priority to applications that:
new text end

new text begin (1) are constructed in areas identified by the director of the Office of Broadband
Development as unserved;
new text end

new text begin (2) offer new or substantially upgraded broadband service to important community
institutions, including, but not limited to, libraries, educational institutions, public safety
facilities, and healthcare facilities;
new text end

new text begin (3) facilitate the use of telemedicine and electronic health records;
new text end

new text begin (4) serve economically distressed areas of the state, as measured by indices of
unemployment, poverty, or population loss that are significantly greater than the statewide
average;
new text end

new text begin (5) provide technical support and train residents, businesses, and institutions in the
community served by the project to utilize broadband service;
new text end

new text begin (6) include a component to actively promote the adoption of the newly available
broadband services in the community;
new text end

new text begin (7) provide evidence of strong support for the project from citizens, government,
businesses, and institutions in the community;
new text end

new text begin (8) provide access to broadband service to a greater number of unserved households
and businesses; and
new text end

new text begin (9) leverage greater amounts of funding for the project from other private and
public sources.
new text end

new text begin (b) The commissioner shall endeavor to award grants under this section to qualified
applicants in all regions of the state.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 7. new text end

new text begin Limitations. new text end

new text begin (a) No grant or loan awarded under this section may fund
more than 50 percent of the total cost of a project.
new text end

new text begin (b) If a project is awarded both a grant and loan under this section, the combined
amount of the grant and loan may not exceed 50 percent of the total cost of a project.
new text end

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

new text begin This section is effective the day following final enactment.
new text end

Sec. 3.

new text begin [116J.396] BORDER-TO-BORDER BROADBAND FUND.
new text end

new text begin Subdivision 1. new text end

new text begin Account established. new text end

new text begin The border-to-border broadband fund account
is established as a separate account in the state treasury. The commissioner shall credit
to the account appropriations and transfers to the account. Earnings, such as interest,
dividends, and any other earnings arising from assets of the account, must be credited to
the account. Funds remaining in the account at the end of a fiscal year are not canceled
to the general fund, but remain in the account until expended. The commissioner shall
manage the account.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 2. new text end

new text begin Expenditures. new text end

new text begin Money in the account may be used only:
new text end

new text begin (1) for grant and loan awards made under section 116J.395, including reasonable
expenses incurred by the Department of Employment and Economic Development to
administer that section; or
new text end

new text begin (2) to supplement revenues raised by bonds sold by local units of government for
broadband infrastructure development.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 3. new text end

new text begin Appropriation. new text end

new text begin Money in the account is appropriated to the commissioner
for the purposes of subdivision 2.
new text end

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

new text begin This section is effective the day following final enactment.
new text end

Sec. 4. new text beginAPPROPRIATION.
new text end

new text begin $100,000,000 is appropriated from the general fund to the commissioner of
employment and economic development to award grants and loans for the development of
broadband infrastructure under Minnesota Statutes, section 116J.395, or to supplement
revenues raised by bonds sold by local units of government for broadband infrastructure
development. This appropriation does not cancel to the general fund but remains available
until expended.
new text end