Today the Conference Committee on SF1937, Jobs and Energy Omnibus Bill met to compare the House and Senate version of the bill. Unfortunately the meeting wasn’t streamed but I tried to get as much as I could on video:
First – the discussion on budget. (I couldn’t upload the first video but you can get it here.)
On a very high level here are the differences:
- The Governor recommends $60 million for broadband grants (over 2 years)
- The House recommends $7 million for broadband grants (over 1 year)
- The Senate recommends $20 million for broadband grants (over 2 years)
Office of Broadband
- The House recommends a reduction in operating budget through a reduction in the Commerce Adminsitrative Services budget.
Telecom Revenue Changes
- The House budget forecasts a reduction in revenues in Department of Commerce and the PUC due to “VoIP Regulation Modification”
- The Senate doesn’t see a reduction because they will allow for assessments to make up the loss.
There was some discussion about the proposed grants – suggesting a 50% match for unserved areas; 35% match for underserved areas and cap on grant amounts of $3 million.
There was some discussion about removing the idea of underserved areas since satellite reaches the whole state at speeds of 25 Mbps down and 3 Mbps up, which was the speed definition for “underserved”.
Internet Privacy – House version is more fleshed out – includes providers, search engines and social media companies.
Agencies plead their cases to the legislators – including a few words for broadband.
I am scanning the documents I can. Also I’m going to admit to being pretty sick so I’ve done what I can. Please feel free to send me any corrections. I’m afraid if I wait until I’m healthy enough to get all of the details, the next meeting may be upon us!