HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
TWENTY-FIFTH LEGISLATURE, 2010
STATE OF HAWAII
A BILL FOR AN ACT
RELATING TO TECHNOLOGY.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:
SECTION 1. The legislature finds that advanced broadband services are essential infrastructure for an innovation economy and a knowledgeable and competitive society in the twenty-first century. High-speed broadband services at affordable prices are essential for the advancement of education, health, public safety, research and innovation, civic participation, e‑government, economic development and diversification, and public safety and services. The legislature also recognizes that the manner in which communications and information services are delivered to the consumer are evolving, including by wireline, wireless, cable television, and satellite infrastructures, and that the voice, video, and data services provided over these infrastructures are converging.
The purpose of this Act is to establish the Hawaii communications commission and the Hawaii broadband commissioner to position Hawaii for global competitiveness in the twenty-first century by promoting the following goals:
(1) Access to broadband communications for all households, businesses, and organizations throughout the state;
(2) Availability of advanced broadband communications service on a competitive basis to reduce prices, increase service penetration, and improve service to all persons in the state;
(3) Increased broadband availability at affordable costs to low income and other disadvantaged groups, including by making low-cost, broadband-capable computers available to eligible recipients;
(4) Increased sharing of the infrastructure used to deploy broadband to reduce costs to providers, ease deployment of broadband, and ease entry into a competitive broadband marketplace;
(5) Increased, flexible, timely, and responsible access to public rights-of-way and public facilities for broadband service providers; and
(6) A more streamlined permit approval process that reduces the time and cost of infrastructure deployment, to be created jointly by stakeholders.
SECTION 2. The Hawaii Revised Statutes is amended by adding a new chapter to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:
HAWAII BROADBAND COMMISSION
§ -1 Definitions. As used in this chapter, unless the context otherwise requires:
"Broadband" means an "always on" data networking service that enables end users to access the Internet and use a variety of applications.
"Commission" means the Hawaii broadband commission.
"Commissioner" means the Hawaii broadband commissioner.
§ -2 Hawaii broadband commission; established; terms; qualifications. (a) There is established the Hawaii broadband commission within the department of commerce and consumer affairs for administrative purposes to implement this chapter.
(b) The Hawaii broadband commission shall consist of five members who shall be appointed from a list of nominees selected by the speaker of the house of representatives, by the governor with the advice and consent of the senate. The term of each member shall be four years; provided that, of the members initially appointed, three members shall serve for three years, and the two remaining members shall serve for two years. Vacancies shall be filled for the remainder of any unexpired term in the same manner as original appointments. All meetings of the commission shall be conducted subject to chapter 92.
(c) Members of the commission shall have the following qualifications:
(1) Two members shall have significant experience and knowledge of the broadband, information technology, or communications industry; provided that during their term, they may not be employed or receive compensation from a telecommunications or technology entity that may be regulated by the commission at a future time or that currently has contracts with the State for the provision of goods or services;
(2) Two members shall have significant experience in public service and possess significant knowledge of state and federal laws, rules, and regulations related to permitting, procurement, and administration of communications services; provided further that during their term, they may not be employed by any state or county agency, with the exception of the University of Hawaii or the natural energy laboratory of Hawaii authority; and
(3) One member shall have significant experience and knowledge of consumer advocacy;
provided further that no less than two members of the commission shall each be residents of a county with less than five hundred thousand residents.
(d) The members of the commission shall serve without compensation but shall be reimbursed for expenses, including travel expenses, necessary for the performance of their duties.
§ -3 Hawaii broadband commissioner; qualifications; duties. (a) There is established the Hawaii broadband commissioner within the department of commerce and consumer affairs for administrative purposes. The commissioner shall be exempt from chapters 76 and 89, and shall be appointed from a list of nominees selected by the speaker of the house of representatives, by the governor with the advice and consent of the senate. The term of the commissioner shall be six years, and vacancies shall be filled for the remainder of any unexpired term in the same manner as original appointments. The commissioner shall not serve as a member of the Hawaii broadband commission.
(b) The commissioner shall have significant experience and knowledge of:
(1) The broadband, information technology, and communications industries; and
(2) State and federal laws, rules, and regulations related to permitting, procurement, and administration of communications services;
provided that the commissioner shall not be employed by any state or county agency, with the exception of the University of Hawaii or the natural energy laboratory of Hawaii authority or employed or receive compensation from a telecommunications or technology entity that may be regulated by the commission at a future time or that currently has contracts with the State for the provision of goods or services.
(c) The commissioner shall:
(1) Execute the recommendations of the Hawaii broadband commission; provided that:
(A) Any programs and initiatives advanced by the commissioner shall first be approved by a majority vote of the commission;
(B) The commissioner may override the vote of the commission within ten days of its vote by transmitting a statement of objection; and
(C) The commission may amend the measure or override the objection of the commissioner by a vote of at least two-thirds of the members within ten days of the receipt of the commissioner's statement of objection;
(2) Act as a liaison between the State and other governmental agencies, private industry, and the general public on all matters relating to broadband technology utilization;
(3) Coordinate efforts between the State and the counties to make broadband available to underserved populations and areas;
(4) Facilitate partnerships with private industry and non-profit groups to expand broadband access;
(5) Encourage business development and investment in a broadband communications industry in the state;
(6) Assist, as needed, state, county, and federal agencies with permitting and regulatory compliance for broadband communications projects in the state, including advocating for regulatory change to streamline the permitting processes;
(7) Assist, as needed, private entities with permitting and regulatory compliance for broadband communications projects in the state;
(8) Identify and secure sources of funding for the broadband technology projects from the state, county, and federal governments, nonprofit organizations, and private industry;
(9) Assist state and county agencies with their operational broadband needs; and
(10) Make an annual report on the activities of the commission and progress in developing expanded broadband access in the state, along with recommendations for improvements, to the governor and the legislature no later than January 31 of each year.
§ -4 Power and duties of the commission. To carry out this chapter, the commission shall:
(1) Recommend policy initiatives and regulatory changes to promote expanded broadband access in the state;
(2) Recommend strategies, including changes to state and county permitting procedures, to encourage private investment in broadband technology in Hawaii and to speed deployment of broadband technology throughout the state;
(3) Develop strategies to increase moneys available to the State for providing access to broadband in underserved populations and rural areas;
(4) Evaluate the structure and performance of the broadband commission and the commissioner and make recommendations to enable them to better perform their duties;
(5) Identify sources of federal support and funding, including military and defense initiatives that may assist Hawaii in broadband deployment; and
(6) In cooperation with the public utilities commission:
(A) Develop strategies for sharing new and existing utilities infrastructures and conduits to provide expanded broadband access;
(B) Develop strategies and recommend funding sources to purchase or invest in segments of the telecommunications industry; and
(C) Perform outreach in the public schools and University of Hawaii to create educational programs and initiatives that help develop technological skills.
§ -5 Removal. (a) The commissioner may be removed from office prior to the expiration of a term by a two-thirds majority vote of the commission and a two-thirds majority vote of both the senate and the house of representatives.
(b) A member of the commission may be removed from office prior to the expiration of a term by a two-thirds majority vote of the remaining members of the commission and a two-thirds majority vote of both the senate and the house of representatives.
(c) The commissioner may be placed on administrative leave by a two-thirds majority vote of the commission, pending an investigation into the activities of the commissioner. The commission shall appoint a temporary commissioner in the interim.
§ -6 Employment of assistants. The commission may appoint and employ clerks, stenographers, agents, engineers, accountants, and other assistants, with or without regard to chapter 76; provided that:
(1) The commission may employ utility and cable analysts exempt from chapter 76; and
(2) Each analyst shall possess at least the minimum qualifications required of comparable experts in the relevant industry."
SECTION 3. There is appropriated out of the general revenues of the State of Hawaii the sum of $ or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2010-2011 for the Hawaii broadband commission and the Hawaii broadband commissioner.
The sum appropriated shall be expended by the Hawaii broadband commission and the Hawaii broadband commissioner for the purposes of this Act.
SECTION 4. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.
SECTION 5. This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2112.
Creates the Hawaii broadband commission and the Hawaii broadband commissioner to promote and maximize availability of broadband services in the state. Effective July 1, 2112. (HB2698 HD1)
The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.