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Senate bills aim to streamline internet services in Michigan

• Nov 7, 2017 at 5:00 PM

Well, here is some good news for those of us (since you’re reading this on the Tribune’s website, this definitely includes you) who use the internet.

In a post this week on the Mackinac Center for Public Policy blog, Dr. Ted Bolema says the Michigan Senate is considering legislation “that would limit fees, streamline permits and generally make it easier for private network providers to deploy both wireline broadband and 5G wireless broadband.”


Here’s what he notes:

— Senate Bill 636 would cap permit fees required for a wireline telecommunications provider working within a county right of way, and set limits on bonding and insurance requirements for wireline telecommunications providers working within a county right of way. It is similar to the package of HB 5096, HB 5097 and HB 5098 currently being considered by the Michigan House of Representatives.

— Senate Bill 637 would provide similar regulatory relief for wireless providers. It would limit fees charged by local government for attachments to utility poles and access to other facilities; provide for use of rights of way; put limits on certain permitting processes and zoning reviews; prohibit certain commercially discriminatory actions by state or local authorities; and prohibit certain indemnification or insurance requirements.

Bolema appeared before the Michigan Senate Energy and Technology Committee on Nov. 2.

In part, he testifed: “Faster and better broadband access is important for Michigan’s economic growth. The Legislature can (play) an important role in preventing unnecessary delays in broadband deployment in Michigan. SB 636 and SB 637 are consistent with the approaches being followed at the federal level and in other states seeking to accelerate access to both wireline and wireless broadband.”

Read the complete blog post, with video of Bolema’s testimony: “Michigan May Streamline Internet Services”


Bolema is an adjunct scholar with the Mackinac Center. He is also a senior fellow at the Free State Foundation, specializing in technology policy.

The opinions expressed by bloggers are not necessarily shared by the Grand Haven Tribune or its employees. They are the sole opinion of the bloggers, who are not employed by or compensated by the Tribune.

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