Lincoln, Neb. — A legislative bill designed to improve access to broadband internet was placed on general file Thursday.
The bill has been placed on the agenda for initial first round discussion, Tuesday, February 18.
LB 996, introduced by Sen. Tom Brandt of Plymouth, would enable Nebraska residents to identify and report broadband gaps to the Public Service Commission.
The data then would be evidence to bring federal dollars back to the state to connect areas not served by providers.
The legislation includes recommendations by the state’s Rural Broadband Task Force, which identified strategies for filling broadband gaps last spring and summer.
The measure would make Nebraska more competitive with states that already have a big head start when it comes to broadband. The Transportation and Telecommunications heard the bill on Feb. 3.
A separate bill, LB 992 introduced by Sen. Curt Friesen of Henderson, also incorporates recommendations by the broadband task force, and was heard by the same committee. The committee has taken no action on the bill.