Analysis

Synopsis:

 3rd and Final Amended Synopsis March 18, 2021:

SFCa1/HAFCcs/HTPWCcs/HB 10: The Senate Finance Committee amendment 1 to House Bill 10 enacts the Connect New Mexico Act. This act creates the Connect New Mexico Council and establishes duties. This act establishes the Connect New Mexico Council as a co-coordinator of state broadband programs with the Department of Information Technology or a state broadband planning entity established by other law. This act establishes the Connect New Mexico Fund; provides for grants; requires reports, and raises the levels of disbursement for broadband from the State Rural Universal Service Fund. Definitions are provided. The provisions of this act are effective on July 01, 2021.

2nd CS Synopsis March 02, 2021:

HAFCcs2/HTPWCcs1/HB 10: House Appropriations and Finance Committee, committee substitute for House Transportation, Public Works and Capital Improvements Committee, committee substitute for House Bill 10 enacts the Connect New Mexico Act. Creates the Broadband Development Division of the Department of Information Technology. Creates the Connect New Mexico Council and establishes duties. Establishes the Connect New Mexico Council as the coordinator of state broadband programs. Provides for planning.  Establishes the Connect New Mexico Fund. Provides for grants. Requires reports. Raises the levels of disbursement for broadband from the State Rural Universal Service Fund. The effective date of the provisions of this act is July 1, 2021.

1st CS Synopsis February 11, 2021:

HTPWCcs1/HB 10: The House Transportation, Public Works and Capital Improvements Committee, Committee Substitute for House Bill 10 relates to Broadband and makes an appropriation from the General Fund to the Department of Information Technology for FY2022 and subsequent fiscal years to implement the Connect New Mexico Act. The effective date of the provisions of this act is July 1, 2021.

Original Synopsis February 07, 2021:

House Bill 10 (HB 10) enacts the Connect New Mexico Act. HB 10 creates the Broadband Development Division of the Department of Information Technology. HB 10 establishes duties. HB 10 establishes the Broadband Development Division as the coordinator of state broadband programs. HB 10 provides for planning. HB 10 establishes the Connect New Mexico Fund. HB 10 provides for grants. HB 10 requires reports. HB 10 raises the levels of disbursement for broadband from the State Rural Universal Service Fund. HB 10 requires that state agencies coordinate with the Broadband Development Division when making applications for federal or other funding assistance for broadband infrastructure or for the purchase of broadband infrastructure to ensure that the applications and purchases are in accord with the Broadband Development Plan, established pursuant to the Connect New Mexico Act. HB 10 makes an appropriation from the General Fund to the Department of Information Technology for the fiscal year 2022 and subsequent fiscal years. HB 10 is effective on July 1, 2021.

Analysis:

 Analysis

House Bill 10 (HB 10) makes a nine-hundred fifty-thousand dollar ($950,000) appropriation from the General Fund to the Department of Information Technology for FY2022 and subsequent fiscal years to implement the Connect New Mexico Act. Any balance remaining at the end of a fiscal year will not revert to the General Fund. The following analysis will be on the new law created by this act. Please see the original act for changes made to current law under the NMSA 1978.

New Law: 
•	Broadband Development Division-Reports-Agency Coordination-Consultation-Technical and Planning Assistance.

HB 10 requires the Broadband Development Division:

•	on or before January 1, 2022, to provide a report to the Legislative Finance Committee on the progress and implementation of the Broadband Development Plan. 

•	oversee the coordination of state agency broadband programs and budget requests for broadband projects and may be the applicant for federal and private sector broadband funding assistance for state agencies. 

•	coordinate with all state agencies and public educational institutions regarding budget requests for broadband and the purchase of broadband infrastructure, devices, and services, with the goal of implementing bulk pricing agreements.

•	facilitate communication and coordination among local governments, public educational institutions, private entities, and state agencies regarding infrastructure projects, with a goal toward minimizing the need to re-dig trenches over the same routes to install separate utility and broadband service lines. 

•	consult and negotiate with federal, local, state, and tribal government agencies, with the goal of creating a uniform system of permits, licenses, and regulation of rights of way for broadband infrastructure across all governmental jurisdictions within each region of the state, with the goal of creating uniform permitting and licensing requirements statewide.

•	provide technical and planning assistance to local governments, public educational institutions, state agencies, and tribal governments in the design, development, or implementation of their own plans for the development of broadband service. 

•	prioritize such assistance based on a planning effort's potential to serve underserved or unserved populations, promote digital equity or digital inclusion or promote regional planning.


New Law: Quality of Service Standards.

HB 10 requires the Broadband Development Division to establish by rule standards for quality of service for businesses, homes, state and local governmental agencies, and public educational institutions.

•	In establishing the quality of service standards, the Broadband Development Division to consider standards established by federal agencies and neighboring states, with the goal of ensuring that New Mexico remains regionally and nationally competitive in the areas of business, education, and government services. 

HB 10 requires the Broadband Development Division to create and maintain maps identifying the location of state-owned cell towers and other telecommunication installations and broadband infrastructure, locations where broadband infrastructure is needed, and identification of unserved and underserved areas on a county-by-county basis.


New Law: Development Coordination-Federal and State Agency and Local and Tribal Government Outreach-Broadband Knowledge and Digital Equity Analysis and Plan.

HB 10 allows the Broadband Development Division to convene meetings on a regional basis, with invitations to local and tribal governments, public educational institutions, and state agencies, to examine and develop opportunities for coordinated applications for federal assistance or private sector funding and for broadband development investment on a regional basis. 

HB 10 requires the Broadband Development Division to consult local and tribal governments, public educational institutions, and state agencies to develop a digital equity analysis and plan to address: 

•	(1) the challenges to digital inclusion that are posed by the lack of affordable quality service, broadband-enabled devices, or the knowledge of how to use the devices effectively in different age, cultural or geographic populations across the state; 
•	(2) the federal and private sector programs that could be applied to by state, local or tribal government agencies to address the challenges identified in Paragraph (1) of this subsection; and 
•	(3) existing state programs or state programs that could be established that address or could leverage federal and private sector programs to address the challenges identified in Paragraph (1) of this subsection.


New Law: Broadband Development Plan-Advisory Committees-Reports.

HB 10 requires the Broadband Development Division:
•	on or before September 1, 2025, and every three years after that, to update and revise the Statewide Broadband Development Plan developed pursuant to the Connect New Mexico Act, and 
•	report it to the governor and the legislature. 

HB 10 requires the Broadband Development Division to form a statewide advisory committee of educational, governmental, public, and private sector interests to examine and develop opportunities for: 
•	coordinated applications for federal or private sector assistance funding and to facilitate the collection of information and the development of proposals for the statewide broadband development plan, and 
•	all state agencies and public educational institutions will provide relevant broadband-related information they have collected or developed as requested by the division; provided, 
•	that when a statewide advisory committee is formed, agencies from at least three different tribal governments will be invited to have representatives on the committee. 

HB 10 allows Broadband Development Division to form regional or issue-specific advisory committees of appropriate educational, governmental, public, and private sector interests to develop regional broadband planning or a plan to resolve particular broadband challenges or to examine opportunities for applications for federal or private sector funding assistance; provided:
•	that when a regional advisory committee is formed for a region with two or more tribal government jurisdictions or when an issue specific advisory committee is formed to address a challenge generally faced by communities or government agencies regardless of jurisdiction, agencies from at least two different tribal governments will be invited to have representatives on the committee.


New Law: Connect New Mexico Fund Created.

HB 10 creates the Connect New Mexico Fund, subject to appropriation by the legislature to the Broadband Development Division for the purpose of administering the broadband grant program. Any balance in the fund remaining at the end of any fiscal year will not revert to the General Fund. 

HB 10 requires the Broadband Development Division to establish a broadband grant program to develop, expand and support digital inclusion; provided: 
•	(1) the grants will be on a competitive basis; and 
•	(2) the division will each year seek to award grants for proposals submitted by each of the following: (a) local governments; (b) state agencies; (c) public educational institutions, and (d) tribal governments. 

HB 10 requires the Broadband Development Division to adopt rules establishing the application procedure, the required qualifications for projects, and the purposes for which the grants may be used. In approving grants, consideration will be given to: 

•	(1) the extent to the project connects unserved and underserved populations of New Mexico, with priority given to projects that will connect unserved populations; 
•	(2) the extent to which the project leverages existing infrastructure; 
•	(3) the degree to which the project fosters digital inclusion; 
•	(4) the extent to which the project complements or coordinates with the Statewide Broadband Development Plan; 
•	(5) the extent to which the project stimulates in-state economic development, including the creation of jobs and apprenticeships; and
•	(6) the extent to which the project leverages in-kind or financial support from local agencies or entities. 


New Law: Data Collection-Annual Report.

HB 10 requires the Broadband Development Division, by October 1 of each year, to provide to the appropriate legislative interim committees, a report on the access to and quality of service of broadband across the state. 
•	Information will be provided on a county-by-county basis. 

HB 10 requires the report to contain the following information: 

(1) progress achieved toward digital equity and digital inclusion; 
(2) progress achieved on the implementation of the Broadband Development Plan; 
(3) identified obstacles to the establishment of uniform right-of-way ordinances or rules across the state; 
(4) recommended statutory, regulatory, or policy changes and budget recommendations for the development and expansion of broadband infrastructure and digital equity and inclusion;
(5) the status of the creation of maps pursuant to Subsection B of Section 4 of the Connect New Mexico Act; and 
(6) information on the Broadband Grant Program, including: 
•	(a) a list of grant recipients; 
•	(b) the amount and date of each grant; 
•	(c) a description of each project funded; 
•	(d) a description of how each project contributes to the statewide broadband development plan and demonstrates increased access and quality of service for the unserved and underserved populations of New Mexico, creates economic benefits or pilots, or demonstrates new technologies or new implementations of existing technologies; and 
•	(e) any identified challenges to successful grant applications.


New Law: Connect New Mexico Act-Definitions.

(A). 2020 Broadband Plan means the State of New Mexico Broadband Strategic Plan and Rural Broadband Assessment published by the Department of Information Technology in June 2020. 

(B). Broadband Development Plan means a plan developed by the division that may be an updated revision of the 2020 broadband plan, including budget recommendations and recommended statutory changes for the development and expansion of broadband infrastructure and services throughout the state to: 

•	(1) serve the continuing and growing needs of New Mexico's educational systems, governmental operations, health care systems, industry and businesses, public safety systems and residents; 
•	(2) drive job creation, promote innovation and expand markets for New Mexico businesses; and 
•	(3) improve accessibility for unserved and underserved communities and populations.

(C). Broadband Infrastructure means any cable or device used for high-capacity transmission of a wide range of frequencies enabling a large number of electronic messages to be transmitted or received simultaneously.

(D). Department means the Department of Information Technology.

(E). Digital Equity means information technology needed for civic and cultural participation, employment, business, and economic development, life-long learning, and access to essential services generally available to residents regardless of their racial grouping, socioeconomic status, or cultural identity.

(F). Digital Inclusion means access to and the ability to use information technologies by all state residents. 

(G). Director means the director of the division. 

(H). Division means the Broadband Development Division of the department.

(I). Federal Assistance Funding means federal grant and loan programs that provide full or matching funding for the development or maintenance of broadband infrastructure, training in the use or administration of internet-based services, or the purchase of computers or other devices that access the internet.

(J). Local Government means the government of a municipality, county, or political subdivision of the state or an entity operating pursuant to a joint powers agreement, pursuant to the Planning District Act or the Regional Planning Act.

(K). Public Educational Institution means a public school that receives state funding for its operations, a school district, a public post-secondary educational institution, or a state agency that provides administrative services, funding, or technical support to public schools, school districts, and public postsecondary educational institutions. 

(L). Quality of Service means the standards for broadband service established by the division pursuant to the Connect New Mexico Act, including minimum upload and download speeds established pursuant to Subsection O of this section, number of days per month without service interruption, and other standards that the division establishes by rule.

(M). Tribal Government means the government of a federally or state-recognized Indian nation, pueblo, or tribe. 

(N). Underserved means an area or property that does not receive internet quality of service access.

(O). Unserved means an area or property that does not receive fixed, terrestrial internet access with transmission speed at the minimum defined by federal standards promulgated pursuant to federal law.

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