Last Updated on February 24, 2021 by Office of State Representative Ethan Manning
SOURCE: News release from the Office of State Representative Ethan Manning
STATEHOUSE – State Rep. Ethan Manning’s (R-Denver) bill to break down barriers for local communities to expand broadband took a step forward after the Indiana House of Representatives recently voted to approve it.
Manning, author of House Bill 1164, said his bill aims to help streamline the permitting process for broadband projects to help developers work across multiple counties without getting tied up in inconsistent regulations from different communities. This proposal would also encourage local governments, homeowners, homeowners associations and providers to collaborate on the aesthetics of new infrastructure needed for this expansion.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the dire need for increased broadband access in some of our most rural and underserved parts of the state,” Manning said. “This bill is the first of many steps lawmakers are taking this session to help more Hoosiers get online and connected.”
Manning’s bill comes as the current two-year state budget proposal calls for a $250 million investment in expanding rural broadband in Indiana along with an additional $198 million in federal dollars set to go to providers to assist in this effort.