Legislation aimed at expanding access to rural broadband by authorizing the operation of high-speed internet systems in utility easements could receive a final vote in the Alabama Senate Tuesday.
HB 400 by Rep. Randall Shedd, R-Cullman, would allow electric providers to use existing easements for construction, installation, operation and use of broadband systems. Sen. Steve Livingston, R-Scottsboro, is carrying the bill in the Senate.
It passed the Senate Fiscal Responsibility and Economic Development Committee Tuesday and was carried over on the Senate Floor late Thursday.
The legislation is supported by the Alabama Rural Broadband Coalition of about 25 organizations, including Alabama Farmers Federation.