2018 Special Session I

Budget Amendments - HB5002 (Committee Approved)

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Virginia Telecommunications Initiative (language only)

Item 106 #4h

Item 106 #4h

Commerce and Trade
Department of Housing and Community Development


Page 89, strike lines 32 through 41 and insert:

"2. The department shall develop appropriate criteria and guidelines for the use of the funding provided to the Virginia Telecommunication Initiative. Such criteria and guidelines shall: (i) facilitate the extension of broadband networks by the private sector and shall focus olely on unserved areas; (ii) attempt to identify the most cost-effective solutions, including consideration of a reverse-auction methods of awarding and prioritizing project proposals; (iii) give consideration to proposals that are public-private partnerships in which the private sector will own and operate the completed project; and, (iv) consider the number of locations where the applicant states that service will be made available, in addition to whether customers take the service in both evaluating applications and in establishing completion requirements. The department shall encourage additional assistance from the local governments in areas designated to receive funds to lower the overall cost and further assist in the timely completion of construction, including assistance with permits, rights of way, easement and other issues that may hinder or delay timely construction and increase the cost.

3. The department shall post electronic copies of all submitted applications to the department's website after the deadline for application submissions has passed, and shall establish a process for providers to challenge applications where providers assert the proposed area is served by another broadband provider."

Page 89, line 42 strike "3." and insert "4."


(This language amendment further defines development of the criteria and guidelines of the Virginia Telecommunications Initiative by the Department of Housing and Community Development's (DCHD) by adding items for its consideration to improve the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of the program. In addition, the restrictions placed upon localities that are recipients of federal Connect America Funds is removed. Finally, language is added that directs the DCHD to post applications electronically, and develop a process that will enable incumbent and potential providers to challenge the assertions made in the submissions.)