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Politics & Government

New Laws Expand Statewide Broadband Access

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Payne Horning
/
Indiana Public Broadcasting

Governor Mike Pence ceremonially signed two bills into law today that will expand broadband Internet access across the state.  Pence says it’s legislation like this that’s driving down the state’s unemployment rate.

The new Broadband Ready Communities Development Center will team with local governments to encourage and approve communications projects that expand Internet access. Pence says last week, Nashville, Ind., became the first area in the state to be approved as broadband ready.

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.

Pence says economic initiatives like these are why the state’s unemployment rate is at its lowest in seven years.

“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 and it’s just two more reasons why Indiana works,” he added.

The initiatives originated from an effort last summer to increase rural broadband led by Lieutenant Governor Sue Ellspermann.