On Tuesday morning the House Energy & Technology Committee will be taking up HB 5342, a bill that would open state police communications towers to colocation for broadband expansion.
As introduced this legislation would allow both public and private entities to colocate for the purpose of broadband expansion; however, a proposed substitute would limit this to only private entities for three years and then allow public entities to colocate only in “underserved areas.”
You can view the proposed committee substitute here: HB 5342.h3.pdf (18.05 kb)
The League is a supporter of broadband expansion; however, banning public entities from this colocation seeks to inhibit broadband expansion to only if a private entity decides to expand. This is a disservice to Michigan residents and job providers as broadband access becomes more necessary for both businesses and residents.
We will be opposing this version of the legislation and encourage you to contact your House members to do the same.
Samantha Harkins works for the Michigan Municipal League handling municipal services and energy and technology issues. She can be reached at 517-908-0306 or email at [email protected]