STATEHOUSE (Feb. 21, 2019) — A bill authored by State Sen. Mark Messmer (R-Jasper) that would increase internet accessibility in Indiana recently passed the Senate unanimously.
Senate Bill 460 would designate communications service providers, like broadband companies, as public utilities. This would make it financially and strategically easier for them to access the right of way in Indiana. Under this legislation, the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) would not be allowed to charge an access rate or any other fee for certain communications infrastructure.
“These changes would encourage economic growth and remove financial and regulatory hurdles that currently dissuade broadband providers from developing in under-served areas,” Messmer said. “I worked carefully with INDOT, broadband providers and others to create a bill that would give both communication providers and utility companies the same opportunities.”
SB 460 will now move to the House of Representatives for further consideration.
For a high-resolution photo of Messmer, click here.