AN ACT TO APPROPRIATE FUNDS TO THE DEPARTMENT OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY FOR THE PREPARATION OF STATEWIDE BROADBAND MAPS AND TO ESTABLISH THE DEPARTMENT AS THE SOLE SOURCE OF BROADBAND MAPPING FOR STATE AGENCIES; RELIEVE REGULATORY BURDENS TO EXPEDITE BROADBAND EXPANSION; ALLOW FOR USE OF EXISTING EASEMENTS FOR BROADBAND EXPANSION; EXPAND DISTRIBUTION OF STATE SURPLUS COMPUTERS AND COMPUTER HARDWARE FOR NONPROFITS; ALLOW LOCAL GOVERNMENT LEASING OF EXISTING BROADBAND INFRASTRUCTURE; EXPAND FUNDING FOR G.R.E.A.T. PROGRAM BROADBAND GRANTS; AND PROVIDE STOPGAP INTERNET ACCESS FOR CLASSROOM ACCESS, HEALTH CARE ACCESS, AND JOB CREATION.
Amends GS 143B-1321 to give the Department of Information Technology (Department) the power and duty to prepare and maintain statewide broadband maps to identify the capabilities and needs related to broadband access and serve as the sole provider of broadband mapping for State agencies. Amends GS 143B-1370 by making conforming changes. Amends GS 143B-1373 to require the Office of Broadband Infrastructure in the Department to serve as the designated agency for the receipt of all State, federal, and private grants, gifts, or matching funds for broadband mapping; requires the funds to remain unexpended until appropriated by the NCGA.
Appropriates $1 million for 2020-21 from the General Fund to the Department for broadband mapping.
Requires the Institute for Emerging Issues at NC State University (IEI) to host a structured stakeholder process to ascertain ways to relieve regulatory burdens with the goal of expediting broadband expansion in the State. Appropriates $25,000 for 2020-21 from the General Fund to NC State University to be allocated to IEI to host the process.
Sets out headings for Parts III-VII, which are currently blank.
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