2018 Special Session I

Budget Amendments - HB5002 (Committee Approved)

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Virginia Growth and Opportunity Fund (language only)

Item 106 #3h

Item 106 #3h

Commerce and Trade
Department of Housing and Community Development


Page 90, after line 12 insert "

3. The Chairman of the Virginia Growth and Opportunity Board shall convene a broadband telecommunications advisory workgroup in cooperation with the Secretary of Commerce and Trade and the Commonwealth Chief Broadband Advisor,  including representatives of the Department of Housing and Community Development, the Center for Innovative Technology, staff from the House Appropriations Committee and Senate Finance Committee, and representatives from the broadband telecommunications industry,  to develop a framework for policies related to broadband telecommunications across the Commonwealth of Virginia. The framework shall be used to provide guidance on statewide policies for planning and project development, including regional solutions, to improve access to broadband and utilization to support economic development goals. Such framework shall include, but not be limited to, the following principles: (i) potential broadband telecommunications development and deployment solutions must be technology-neutral in order to leverage all available or emerging technologies to identify the most cost-effective plan; (ii) solutions that utilize the minimum technology standards as proscribed by the Virginia Telecommunications Initiative for unserved areas; (iii) maximize opportunities for private sector driven models related to construction, operations, and maintenance and open access to private-sector Internet Service Providers; (iv) facilitate broadband development and deployment-friendly polices at the regional and local level to expedite implementation of plans and projects, as well as mitigate costs, and (v) opportunities to leverage new and existing broadband infrastructure, including transoceanic and transcontinental backbone lines, to encourage new private sector job creation and investment in the Commonwealth.

4. The Virginia Growth and Opportunity Board may approve grants for assessments of demand and current access, and to advance the planning and engineering of broadband infrastructure that are aligned with the framework recommended by the working group."


(This amendment directs the Virginia Growth and Opportunity Board to develop a framework and guidelines to facilitate the allocation of grants to qualifying regions for broadband assessments, planning and potential projects.)