STAND. COM. REP. NO. 3331
RE: H.B. No. 2524
Honorable Shan S. Tsutsui
President of the Senate
Twenty-Sixth State Legislature
Regular Session of 2012
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Ways and Means, to which was referred H.B. No. 2524, H.D. 2, S.D. 1, entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO THE REGULATION OF TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND CABLE TELEVISION SERVICES,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to advance and improve the State's broadband capabilities and use to enable the State to compete successfully in today's global economy.
Specifically, this measure:
(1) Establishes a two member Communications Commission within the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs;
(2) Directs the Communications Commission to:
(A) Recommend a regulatory framework for telecommunications and cable operators, including legislation to streamline the regulation;
(B) Submit annual reports on its activities, including any recommended rules or laws; and
(C) Develop demonstration projects that expedite the permitting process relating to constructing broadband infrastructure and submit a status report on outcomes of the demonstration projects; and
(3) Appropriates funds from the cable television division subaccount of the compliance resolution fund to implement the measure.
Your Committee received written comments in support of this measure from the Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism; Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs; Public Utilities Commission; and Oceanic Time Warner Cable.
Written comments on this measure were received from the Department of Human Resources Development.
Your Committee finds that establishing a Communications Commission to establish policies to increase investment in and further the deployment of broadband infrastructure within the State would promote the economic interests of the State, as well as address the interests and concerns of all stakeholders. High speed broadband services at affordable prices are essential for improvements in education, health, public safety, research and innovation, economic development, and government, as well as in the daily life of the State's residents.
Your Committee has amended this measure by:
(1) Clarifying that the Communications Commission may appoint attorneys without regard to civil service law and appoint necessary staff with or without regard to civil service law;
(2) Providing that the Commission's demonstration projects are to be developed within forty-five to ninety day timetables;
(3) Clarifying that the legislation to streamline regulation of telecommunications carriers and cable operators shall take effect by January 1, 2014; and
(4) Making technical nonsubstantive amendments for purposes of clarity, consistency, and style.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Ways and Means that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 2524, H.D. 2, S.D. 1, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Third Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 2524, H.D. 2, S.D. 2.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Ways and Means,
DAVID Y. IGE, Chair