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Wash. Broadband Office: FCC Map Still Needs Improvement

Washington state should make its own broadband map because the FCC map “still has issues” despite improvement from the past edition, said the state broadband office’s director, Mark Vasconi, at a Senate Environment, Energy and Technology Committee hearing on HB-1746.…

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The House-passed bill would require the state map by July 1, 2024. With as much as $1 billion possibly coming into the state over the next five years, it's “essential that we know where the infrastructure is and who is being served,” Vasconi said at Friday's livestreamed hearing. The Washington Public Utility Districts Association likes that the bill will allow the broadband office to contract with private entities to physically investigate and verify broadband availability on the ground, said lobbyist Scott Richards. On Thursday, the House voted 95-0 to pass HB-1711, which provides a sales and use tax exemption for internet and telecom infrastructure projects involving a federally recognized tribe. It now goes to the Senate. In Georgia, the legislature passed a broadband mapping bill Thursday. The House voted 167-0 for SB-193. It previously passed in the Senate and next will go to Gov. Brian Kemp (R).