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Government

Pence Inks Pair Of Broadband Access Bills

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Payne Horning
/
Indiana Public Broadcasting

Governor Mike Pence ceremonially signed two bills into law Wednesday that aim to expand broadband Internet access across the state. 

The new Broadband Ready Communities Development Center will team with local governments to encourage and approve communications projects that expand Internet access.

A related law prohibits local and state governments from imposing taxes on the use or access of Internet service. That ban will only go into effect if the federal law that currently prohibits access taxes expires later this year.

“We also keep taxes low and make sure regulations are sensible and the bills I sign today keep that promise to the people of Indiana,” Pence says.

The initiatives originated from an effort last summer to increase rural broadband led by Lieutenant Governor Sue Ellspermann. Pence cited economic initiatives like the broadband bills as a reason the state’s unemployment rate is at its lowest in seven years. However, the new legislation likely hasn’t created any jobs yet, as only one town – Nashville – has been certified as broadband ready.

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