Florida Senate - 2022 COMMITTEE AMENDMENT Bill No. CS for SB 1800 Ì696708KÎ696708 LEGISLATIVE ACTION Senate . House . . . . . ————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————— ————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————— Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Tourism, and Economic Development (Boyd) recommended the following: 1 Senate Amendment (with title amendment) 2 3 Delete everything after the enacting clause 4 and insert: 5 Section 1. Paragraph (g) is added to subsection (4) of 6 section 288.9961, Florida Statutes, and subsection (6) is added 7 to that section, to read: 8 288.9961 Promotion of broadband adoption; Florida Office of 9 Broadband.— 10 (4) FLORIDA OFFICE OF BROADBAND.—The Florida Office of 11 Broadband is created within the Division of Community 12 Development in the department for the purpose of developing, 13 marketing, and promoting broadband Internet services in this 14 state. The office, in the performance of its duties, shall do 15 all of the following: 16 (g) Administer the Broadband Pole Replacement Program 17 established in s. 288.9964. 18 (6) REPORT.—Annually by January 31, the office shall 19 provide a report to the Governor, the President of the Senate, 20 and the Speaker of the House of Representatives which provides 21 information on activities of the office to meet the requirements 22 of this section, including any applications made and use of 23 federal funds for broadband Internet service infrastructure, 24 deployment, or access. The report shall also include, if funds 25 have been appropriated to the programs, updates and information 26 on administration and applications processed under the Broadband 27 Opportunity Program established in s. 288.9962 and the Broadband 28 Pole Replacement Program established in s. 288.9964, including 29 identifying and examining the deployment of broadband 30 infrastructure and technology facilitated by reimbursements 31 provided under the Broadband Pole Replacement Program. 32 Section 2. Section 288.9964, Florida Statutes, is created 33 to read: 34 288.9964 Broadband Pole Replacement Program.— 35 (1) LEGISLATIVE FINDINGS.—The Legislature finds that a 36 broadband pole replacement program administered by the Florida 37 Office of Broadband is necessary to further the state’s goal of 38 expanding and accelerating access to broadband service in 39 unserved areas throughout this state. 40 (2) DEFINITIONS.—As used in this section, the term: 41 (a) “Applicant” means a private business, including a 42 corporation, a limited liability company, a partnership, a 43 nonprofit corporation, or any other private business entity that 44 provides or will provide qualifying broadband service in this 45 state. 46 (b) “Application” means an application made under this 47 section for an eligible pole replacement reimbursement. 48 (c) “Broadband Internet service” means a service that 49 offers a connection to the Internet with a capacity for 50 transmission at a consistent speed of at least 25 megabits per 51 second downstream and 3 megabits per second upstream. 52 (e) “Eligible pole replacement” means the removal of an 53 existing utility pole and its replacement with a new utility 54 pole in an unserved area in order to accommodate the attachment 55 to such new utility pole of facilities used in whole or in part 56 by a retail provider of qualifying broadband service for the 57 purpose of providing qualifying broadband service access to 58 residences or businesses in that unserved area. The term does 59 not include the removal and replacement of an existing utility 60 pole by the pole owner or an affiliated company unless the 61 removal or replacement is performed as an accommodation to a 62 provider of qualifying broadband service. 63 (f) “Eligible pole replacement costs” means the actual 64 costs to perform an eligible pole replacement which are paid by 65 an applicant, excluding any amount separately reimbursed through 66 another state or federal broadband grant program or by some 67 other governmental entity. The term includes the costs to remove 68 and dispose of the existing utility pole, to purchase and 69 install a replacement utility pole, and to transfer any existing 70 facilities to the replacement utility pole. 71 (g) “Office” means the Florida Office of Broadband. 72 (h) “Pole” means any pole used in whole or in part for wire 73 communications or electric distribution. 74 (i) “Pole owner” means any electric utility as defined in 75 s. 366.02(2), public utility as defined in s. 366.02(1), 76 communications services provider as defined in s. 366.02(5), 77 cable television operator, or local exchange carrier that owns 78 or controls a pole. 79 (j) “Program” means the Broadband Pole Replacement Program 80 established under this section. 81 (k) “Qualifying broadband service” means a fixed, 82 terrestrial, retail wireline broadband Internet service capable 83 of delivering Internet access at speeds of at least 100 megabits 84 per second both downstream and upstream with latency at a level 85 sufficient to allow real-time, interactive applications. 86 (l) “Reimbursed through another state or federal broadband 87 grant program” means, with respect to eligible pole replacement 88 costs, that an applicant paying such costs has received or is 89 entitled to receive reimbursement for such costs under the terms 90 of another state or federal broadband grant program for the 91 deployment of broadband facilities, whether through a specific 92 reimbursement for such costs or through support payments that 93 equal or exceed the person’s actual deployment costs, including 94 eligible pole replacement costs. The term does not include the 95 receipt of a state or federal grant that covers only a portion 96 of the applicant’s actual deployment costs, including eligible 97 pole replacement costs, if the applicant pays the eligible pole 98 replacement costs with its own funds. 99 (m) “Unserved area” means a location in which: 100 1. At the time of a request by a retail provider of 101 qualifying broadband service to attach facilities to a pole in 102 such location, fixed, terrestrial, retail wireline broadband 103 Internet service is unavailable, according to the latest 104 available broadband deployment data from the Federal 105 Communications Commission, provided that no person other than 106 the applicant has committed to providing qualifying broadband 107 service in such area; or 108 2. An applicant is committed under the terms of a federal 109 or state grant to provide qualifying broadband service, provided 110 that the availability of such grant is limited to areas lacking 111 access to fixed, terrestrial, retail wireline broadband Internet 112 service. 113 (3) BROADBAND POLE REPLACEMENT PROGRAM.— 114 (a) The Broadband Pole Replacement Program is established 115 within the Florida Office of Broadband. The office shall 116 administer the program and is responsible for receiving and 117 reviewing applications and distributing reimbursements under the 118 program. 119 (b) Any applicant that pays eligible pole replacement costs 120 after July 1, 2022, is eligible for reimbursement of such costs 121 under the program and may submit an application for 122 reimbursement in accordance with this section. 123 (c) Reimbursements provided under the program are subject 124 to the availability of funds. The office shall accept 125 applications for reimbursement until all funds appropriated to 126 the program are exhausted. Reimbursements shall be made on a 127 first come, first served basis. The office shall publish on its 128 website information regarding the availability of funds and the 129 date when applications may begin to be submitted. 130 (d) An application pending when all funds are exhausted is 131 deemed denied; however, the applicant may reapply if sufficient 132 funds are later made available. 133 (e) By September 1, 2022, the office shall publish an 134 application form for reimbursement of eligible pole replacement 135 costs under the program. The application must require the 136 following: 137 1. Information sufficient to establish the number and cost 138 of eligible pole replacements that qualify for reimbursement 139 under the program. 140 2. Documentation sufficient to establish that the claimed 141 eligible pole replacements have been completed. 142 3. The total reimbursement amount requested and any state 143 or federal grant funding or accounting information required to 144 justify the amount requested. 145 4. A notarized statement from an officer or agent of the 146 applicant certifying that the contents of the application are 147 true and accurate and that such applicant will comply with the 148 requirements of this section as a condition of receiving 149 reimbursement under the program. 150 5. Receipts verifying the amount of eligible pole 151 replacement costs paid by the applicant. 152 6. Documentation sufficient to established the actual and 153 reasonable administrative expenses paid by such applicant in 154 preparing and submitting the application. 155 7. Any other information or documentation required by the 156 department to comply with the requirements or conditions, as 157 applicable, of any federal funding used to pay reimbursements 158 under the program. 159 (f) Within 60 days after receipt of a complete application 160 that establishes an applicant’s eligible pole replacement costs, 161 the office shall reimburse the applicant in an amount equal to 162 up to 50 percent of the total amount paid or $5,000, whichever 163 is less, by such applicant for eligible pole replacement costs. 164 (g) Reimbursements made under this program from funds 165 appropriated from any federal funding received by this state 166 must also be made in compliance with any requirements or 167 conditions for use of such federal funds. 168 (h) If the information required for application is not 169 otherwise reasonably available to an applicant, an applicant may 170 request that a pole owner performing an eligible pole 171 replacement provide the number and costs of the pole 172 replacements and receipts verifying the amount of eligible pole 173 replacement costs paid by the applicant. 174 (h) As a condition of receiving reimbursement under the 175 program, an applicant must: 176 1. Certify its compliance with the requirements of this 177 section and with any federal conditions or requirements for use 178 of federal funds as applicable; and 179 2. Agree to refund with interest at the applicable Federal 180 Funds rate as specified by s. 670.506 any reimbursements or 181 portions thereof received under the program to the department, 182 at the direction of the office, if the office finds, upon 183 substantial evidence and after providing such applicant with 184 notice and an opportunity to respond, that such applicant 185 materially violated a requirement of this section with respect 186 to such reimbursements or portions thereof. Any funds received 187 by the office under this subparagraph shall be deposited into 188 the fund from which the appropriation was made. 189 (i) If applicable, an applicant that is a pole owner that 190 calculates its pole rental and other fees on the basis of a 191 formula required or approved by federal or state law or 192 regulation which includes consideration of the pole owner’s 193 expenses, must, as a condition of receiving reimbursement under 194 the program, exclude from such expenses any eligible pole 195 replacement costs that were reimbursed by the program, paid for 196 by a retail provider of qualifying broadband service, or funded 197 by another state or federal grant. 198 (4) TRANSPARENCY.—The office shall publish and continually 199 update the following information on its website: 200 (a) Statistics on the number of applications received, 201 processed, and denied under the program. 202 (b) Statistics on the value, number, and status of 203 reimbursements provided under the program, including the names 204 of pole owners and retail providers of qualifying broadband 205 service which received reimbursements under the program. 206 (c) The amount of funds remaining from any appropriation. 207 (5) RULEMAKING.—The department is authorized to adopt rules 208 to establish the application and the conditions or requirements 209 that must be met in order to use and receive any federal funding 210 appropriated to the program. 211 Section 3. This act shall take effect July 1, 2022. 212 213 ================= T I T L E A M E N D M E N T ================ 214 And the title is amended as follows: 215 Delete everything before the enacting clause 216 and insert: 217 A bill to be entitled 218 An act relating to broadband infrastructure; amending 219 s. 288.9961, F.S.; revising the duties of the Florida 220 Office of Broadband to include administering the 221 Broadband Pole Replacement Program; requiring the 222 office to submit an annual report to the Governor and 223 the Legislature; creating s. 288.9964, F.S.; providing 224 legislative findings; defining terms; establishing the 225 Broadband Pole Replacement Program within the office; 226 providing responsibilities of the office; providing 227 eligibility requirements for reimbursement under the 228 program; providing that reimbursements are subject to 229 the availability of certain funds; providing that 230 certain denied applicants may reapply in certain 231 circumstances; providing requirements for the program 232 application; requiring the office to provide certain 233 reimbursements within a certain period of time; 234 authorizing an applicant to request certain 235 information from a pole owner under certain 236 circumstances; requiring an applicant to meet certain 237 conditions; requiring the office to publish and 238 continually update certain information on its public 239 website; authorizing rulemaking; providing an 240 effective date.