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§ 9205. Oklahoma Broadband Office--Duties--Authority

Oklahoma Statutes AnnotatedTitle 74. State GovernmentEffective: May 6, 2022

Oklahoma Statutes Annotated
Title 74. State Government (Refs & Annos)
Chapter 110C. Oklahoma Broadband Expansion Act
Effective: May 6, 2022
74 Okl.St.Ann. § 9205
§ 9205. Oklahoma Broadband Office--Duties--Authority
A. The Oklahoma Broadband Office shall:
1. Conduct a study of and continually monitor broadband access in the state to assess:
a. existing capabilities to access broadband telecommunication services,
b. the costs of obtaining broadband services from existing providers,
c. the estimated cost to improve broadband access, and
d. the likelihood of changes in broadband access in the near and intermediate future based on available information regarding public and private programs to enhance access and adoption; and
2. Maintain, update, and execute the Statewide Broadband Plan as necessary.
B. The Office shall incorporate the information as described in subsection A of this section into a mapping system that depicts resources, broadband coverage, connectivity speeds, and other such features as the Office deems relevant. The Office may also purchase data sets it deems necessary to complete such mapping system.
C. The Office shall establish policies and regulations as may be necessary to implement the provisions of this act.
D. The Office shall establish policy as needed to implement a process whereby impacted parties may challenge or protest data and information published on the Office's mapping system. The process shall include, but not be limited to, features that:
1. Are heard and ruled on at the Office level;
2. Provide for a ruling by the Office within sixty (60) days of the submitted challenge or protest; and
3. Upon successful protest action, result in a timely correction of the map.
E. The Office shall perform and maintain a study of existing grants, incentives, and programs that may improve physical access to broadband along with adoption of broadband technologies. The grants, incentives, and programs may include federal funds, state funds or resources, tribal funds or resources, donated funds, or funding available from foundations, endowments or similar resources, state or local tax incentives, state or local financing incentives or options, or federal, tribal, state or local regulatory policies that would be conducive to improving existing broadband access or establishing access where it does not currently exist. The Office shall regularly report on the currently available grants, incentives, and programs and how best to utilize each.
F. The Office shall create, and update no less than biannually, a Statewide Broadband Plan. The Plan shall detail what areas are served, underserved, or unserved according to the prevailing definitions of the FCC, and how best to improve the infrastructure and connectivity in underserved and unserved areas. The Plan shall include, but shall not be limited to, detailing a pathway for ninety-five percent (95%) of the state's population to be adequately served by June 30, 2028.
G. The Office shall create the Capital Projects Fund Grant Report or provide the necessary information to the state entity drafting the Report. The Report shall be submitted to the Department of the Treasury no later than September 24, 2022. The Office shall maintain the Report and submit any and all additional information as required. The Office shall work with the Joint Committee to ensure all approved broadband projects utilizing funds from the Capital Projects Fund follow the correct reporting requirements based on Department of Treasury guidance.
H. Additionally, the Office is authorized to seek, apply for, and administer funding through grant opportunities. The Office is also authorized to administer grant funding awards to recipients and subrecipients.
I. On or before October 31, 2022, the Office, with the advice of the Council, shall develop a set of broadband grants or incentive awards guidelines to be approved by the Board. The grants and incentive awards shall be for unserved and underserved areas. The Office shall submit a copy of the guidelines to the Office of the Speaker of the Oklahoma House of Representatives, the Office of the President Pro Tempore of the Oklahoma State Senate, and to the offices of the chairs of the appropriate legislative committees. The guidelines shall:
1. Consider a weighted approach for awards based upon the following:
a. the area's need for services, including, but not limited to, whether the area is underserved or unserved,
b. whether there are existing broadband assets in the area, based on the statewide map,
c. whether existing federal, state, local, tribal, or private resources have been allocated to broadband services in the area,
d. a preference for federal, state, local, tribal, or private partnerships, and
e. the capacity of the provider to maintain assets for an extended period of time;
2. Recommend any necessary controls including, but not limited to, capping the dollar amount of awards, allowing for an auditing process, and a process that allows for award clawbacks. These controls shall be in place to ensure the maximum efficiency of the incentive award and to protect against waste, fraud, or abuse; and
3. Include annual reporting requirements of award recipients to assess effectiveness of such incentives which shall include, but not be limited to, changes in coverage resulting from implementing awarded grants and incentives.

Credits

Laws 2022, c. 229, § 6, emerg. eff. May 6, 2022.
74 Okl. St. Ann. § 9205, OK ST T. 74 § 9205
Current with emergency effective legislation through Chapter 3 of the Second Regular Session of the 59th Legislature (2024). Some sections may be more current, see credits for details.
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