A Nebraska legislative panel is getting ready for federal changes for broadband development.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is completing how it provides subsidies to states.
Mike Hybl, legal counsel for the legislature’s Transportation and Telecommunications Committee, says lawmakers and the industry need to be ready.
“We’re making sure we understand what the federal reforms are going to mean in terms of how support is provided to the state,” Hybl tells Nebraska Radio Network. “Then, just having conversations with our state Public Service Commission in terms of the state Universal Service Fund.”
Hybl says the state’s program for supporting and developing broadband may need to be updated as well.
“To make sure that we’re doing the best possible job in terms of broadband support and broadband development in the state,” he says, “using both of those mechanisms at the state and federal level that are there to support the advancement of broadband.”
The FCC updates are expected by the first of the year.
Smaller communications companies are waiting to see how federal funding may impact them.
“There may be less dollars coming into the state from the federal reform then people might have initially thought, but that’s largely speculation,” Hybl says. “I think in terms of understanding the federal side of the issue, we’re just kind of in a holding pattern until the FCC completes its work.”