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8 Document(s) [ Subject: Broadband technology ]

Committee: House Public Education
Title: Interim Report
Subjects: Broadband technology | Career preparedness | Educational accountability | Educational technology | Gifted and talented programs | Middle school students | Middle schools | Teacher-student relationships |
Library Call Number: L1836.84 Ed84h
Session: 84th R.S. (2015)
Online version: View report [18 pages]
Charges: This report should address the charges below.
1. Examine the accessibility to broadband services for schools, libraries, and institutions of higher education. Study the feasibility and affordability of providing scalable broadband to schools and other public institutions. Research federal and state funding opportunities to support increased access to broadband. Review innovative efforts by school districts to integrate technology in the classroom. Explore ways to enhance high-tech digital learning opportunities in the classroom to improve student achievement and fulfill future workforce demands.
2. Review current policies and rules to protect students from inappropriate teacher-student relationships. Examine efforts by the Texas Education Agency, school districts, law enforcement and the courts to investigate and prosecute educators for criminal conduct. Recommend needed improvements to promote student safety, including examining current criminal penalties, superintendent reporting requirements, teacher certification sanctions and the documentation provided in school district separation agreements. Review school employee training and educational efforts to promote student safety.
3. Examine partnerships between higher education institutions, public school districts, and workforce that promote postsecondary readiness. Provide coordination recommendations to ensure vocational, career, and technical education programs are more accessible. Determine the most effective ways to invest in these partnerships and programs to direct at-risk students to stable career paths. Examine current rules and laws limiting employers from providing meaningful internships, apprenticeships, and other opportunities. Consider new methods to finance workforce training programs and associated assets in high schools and postsecondary schools, including ways to reduce or eliminate these costs and options to incentivize businesses to invest in training equipment for schools. (Joint charge with the House Committee on Economic & Small Business Development)
4. Review the state's current education policies and initiatives regarding middle grades. Make recommendations to ensure a comprehensive, research-based state strategy for preparing students at the middle grades for high school retention, success, and postsecondary readiness. This review should include an examination of school-based strategies and best practices that encourage at-risk youth to finish school.
5. Review current public education programs that address the needs of high performing students. Identify the adequacy of these programs statewide in meeting the needs of this specific student group and explore additional means to promote high quality programs designed to meet the educational needs of these students. Study ways to increase the recognition of the performance of higher performing students on test-based and non-test based measures. Examine whether the current and proposed state accountability systems adequately promote districts’ addressing the needs of students across the performance spectrum, including those students significantly outperforming their peers. Recommend whether the academic performance of high achieving students should be specifically addressed as a separate indicator in the accountability system.
6. Conduct legislative oversight and monitoring of the agencies and programs under the committee's jurisdiction and the implementing of relevant legislation passed by the 84th Legislature, specifically including HB 4, HB 743, HB 2205, and SB 149. In conducting this oversight, the committee should: a. consider any reforms to state agencies to make them more responsive to Texas taxpayers and citizens; b. identify issues regarding the agency or its governance that may be appropriate to investigate, improve, remedy, or eliminate; c. determine whether an agency is operating in a transparent and efficient manner; and d. identify opportunities to streamline programs and services while maintaining the mission of the agency and its programs.
Committee: Senate Business and Commerce
Title: Interim Report
Subjects: Alternative energy | Broadband technology | Building codes | Consumer credit | Consumer Credit Commissioner, Office of | Credit service organizations | Droughts | Electric meters | Electric power plants | Electric Reliability Council of Texas | Electric utilities | Electric utility deregulation | Electricity supplies | Electricity transmission and distribution | Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. | Homeowners insurance | Insurance, Texas Department of | Job training programs | Lifeline | Municipally-owned utilities | Occupational licenses | Rural areas | Subprime lending | Telecommunications | Telecommunications deregulation | Texas Windstorm Insurance Association | Universal Service Fund | Water and wastewater utility rates and charges | Workforce |
Library Call Number: L1836.83 B963
Session: 82nd R.S. (2011)
Online version: View report [222 pages]
Charges: This report should address the charges below.
1. Study the impact of drought, regulatory changes proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency, and changing market conditions on Texas' electrical market. Make recommendations, if needed to ensure continued access to reliable and affordable electricity. *
2. Assess the impact of extreme drought conditions on electric generation capacity.
3. Identify those regions of Texas that will be most affected by a lack of capacity.
4. Analyze response plans and make recommendations to improve and expedite those plans.
5. Study and make recommendations for workforce training programs in Texas to ensure that such programs meet business and worker needs. Specifically, study whether such programs target economic growth areas and future workforce needs of the health care, skilled trades, construction, manufacturing, aerospace, and information technology industries and help retain workers in those trades and fields.
6. Study the state's approach to licensing and regulation of occupations to ensure protection of public welfare, trust, health, and safety and eliminate unnecessary, overly restrictive, or anti-competitive regulation. Review guidelines and other states' approaches for determining when regulation is necessary and make recommendations for improving Texas' regulatory system.
7. Conduct a broad review of the Texas homeowners insurance market and make recommendations to improve transparency and consumer education, ensure fair practices, and lower rates. Specifically, consider the following:
  • Compare Texas' homeowners insurance premiums with those of other states and identify the factors underlying Texas' premium levels and recommend steps that the Legislature may take to reduce homeowners' rates, if appropriate;
  • Study strategies that increase awareness of state insurance resources to help consumers compare rates and coverage among various insurance providers
  • Study the relationship between insurance premiums and construction costs, especially as associated with recovery from natural disasters, to ensure that consumers are treated fairly;
  • Review the use by insurers, in rating and underwriting decisions, of customer inquiries regarding the general terms or conditions of, or coverage offered under, an insurance policy.
8. Study the relationship between city governments and municipally-owned utilities, including any duplicative or redundant functions, the amounts and justifications required for transfer payments between the entities, and the benefits and disadvantages of alternative governance structures.
9. Analyze the state of the telecommunications market in Texas, including the costs and benefits of full deregulation of the market; the impact and viability of the Texas Universal Service Fund and Provider of Last Resort requirements; the impact of SB 980, Regular Session, 82nd Legislature, relating to telecommunications regulation and rulemaking; the availability of broadband; telecommunications service discounts; and rights-­of-way charges. Make recommendations to enhance services, support the industry, and ensure adequate and affordable access for consumers.
10. Review current and pending ERCOT protocols as they apply to all generation technology, and identify those protocols that may provide operational, administrative, or competitive advantages to any specific generation by fuel type. Consider the impact any revisions to the protocols may have on grid reliability and electricity rates. Make recommendations for revisions or statutory changes to limit distortions in the Texas electrical market.
11. Monitor the implementation of legislation addressed by the Senate Committee on Business & Commerce, 82nd Legislature, Regular and Called Sessions, and make recommendations for any legislation needed to improve, enhance, and/or complete implementation. Specifically, review the implementation of HB 2592 and HB 2594 relating to payday lending, and make recommendations relating to consistency and coordination with local ordinances and federal law.
12. Study whether advanced meters, or smart meters, that have been, and will be, installed in Texas have harmful effects on health. Report findings on whether an independent testing company perform an analysis on the safety of advanced meters should be commissioned and the appropriate organization to conduct such a study.
Committee: House State Affairs
Title: Interim Report
Subjects: Broadband technology | Cable telecommunications providers | Comptroller of Public Accounts campaigns and elections | Computer networks | Computers | Council on Competitive Government | Electric Reliability Council of Texas | Electric utilities | Electricity supplies | Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. | Health and Human Services Commission, Texas | Information Resources, Texas Department of | Mercury | Occupational licenses | Privatization | Public Utility Commission of Texas | Railroad Commission of Texas | Rules and regulations | State agencies | State government contracts | State land | State purchasing | Texas Facilities Commission | Transboundary pollution |
Library Call Number: L1836.82 St29h
Session: 82nd R.S. (2011)
Online version: View report [78 pages]
Charges: This report should address the charges below.
1. Examine the issue of resource adequacy in the Texas electricity market, federal and state interventions in the marketplace that may be negatively impacting future adequacy, and the best way to maintain resource adequacy.
2. Examine whether current law ensures broadband provider access to an electric cooperative's utility poles and facilities pursuant to reasonable, cost-based, and nondiscriminatory rates, terms, and conditions. Study methods for improving access to electric cooperative utility poles to reduce unnecessary costs and delays for the delivery of broadband service to Texas consumers.
3. Examine areas of potential privatization of state services in an effort to achieve a higher level of service and greater efficiency for Texas taxpayers. (Joint with the House Committee on Government Efficiency & Reform)
4. Identify inefficiencies in the regulation of public utilities in order to minimize the cost of regulation to consumers.
5. Examine methods of cloud computing technology to streamline agency operations and generate greater efficiencies for more cost-effective operations. (Joint with the House Committee on Technology)
6. Examine state agency rulemaking and consider ways to improve procedural efficiencies and public transparency, and to better inform policymakers as to their use, purpose, and cost-effectiveness, including an examination of the financial and other impacts such regulations have on both the license holder and the public. (Joint with the House Committee on Government Efficiency & Reform)
7. Monitor the agencies and programs under the committee's jurisdiction, including the implementation of SB 1048 regarding public-private partnerships on state-owned property.
8. Study how businesses seeking to provide goods or services to the state interact with state agencies. Consider whether additional procedures are needed to ensure that goods and services obtained by the state are the best value. Determine whether additional disclosure and reporting requirements are necessary to ensure transparency, accountability, and to promote ethical business practices.
Committee: House Technology
Title: Interim Report
Subjects: 911 emergency telephone service | Broadband technology | High tech industry | Information Resources, Texas Department of | Personnel management | Privatization | Rural areas | Social networking websites | Texas Emerging Technology Fund | Universal Service Fund | Workforce | Workforce Commission, Texas |
Library Call Number: L1836.82 T227
Session: 82nd R.S. (2011)
Online version: View report [41 pages]
Charges: This report should address the charges below.
1. Examine ways to create incentives for technology companies to come to Texas, including the feasibility of public-private partnerships. The study should include the economic impact of the high-tech industry in Texas and the state's ability to compete with other states for high-tech jobs. Examine the state's current areas of differentiated technology research and development and recommend strategies to capitalize on that intellectual property and commercialization. Include strategies to attract Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) funding to Texas.
2. Examine the benefits and financial costs associated with modernizing 911 call centers with the newest technology to connect dispatchers with callers using mobile means of communication in the fastest and most accurate manner possible during a time of emergency.
3. Study the impact of federal broadband expansion programs on rural areas. Coordinate this review with the Public Utility Commission's evaluation of the state Texas Universal Service Fund and the Federal Communications Commission's national broadband plan.
4. Monitor the agencies and programs under the committee's jurisdiction and the implementation of relevant legislation passed by the 82nd Legislature.
5. Examine human resource policies of state agencies that would integrate the implementation of social media to strengthen the state's workforce.
Committee: House Regulated Industries
Title: Interim Report
Subjects: Accounting | Broadband technology | Economic development | Electric utility deregulation | Emergency management | Internet | Public Utility Regulatory Act | Telecommunications | Telecommunications infrastructure | Telecommunications taxes and fees |
Library Call Number: L1836.80 R265
Session: 80th R.S. (2007)
Online version: View report [17 pages  File size: 8,483 kb]
Charges: This report should address the charges below.
1. Examine the impact of broadband Internet access on economic development, focusing on potential updates that would create incentives to help spur investment by network providers across a variety of platforms. Recommend changes to Texas law that would emphasize economic development through policy formation.
2. Study and assess the ability of entities regulated by the Public Utility Commission of Texas to meet the communication needs of the Texas military forces during declared emergencies, including an assessment of current capabilities and technological compatibility among service providers throughout the state.
3. Research the effects of both wholesale and retail competition in the Texas electric market.
4. Study and review information on the Internet and other communications services, and how Texas can best prepare for potential changes to Internet and communications services, and infrastructure demands. Recommend policy changes to encourage greater infrastructure investment while ensuring the continued growth and development of the Internet. Study the current state and local communications tax structure, including an analysis of the tax burdens imposed on consumers and providers of communications services.
5. Study and examine whether Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) should be adhered to under Chapter 66 of the Public Utility Regulatory Act (PURA), and review procedures for revenue audits.
6. Monitor agencies and programs under the committee's jurisdiction, including identifying possible ways to merge or streamline agency functions to produce long-term financial benefit to the state and better efficiency of the agencies.
Committee: House Regulated Industries
Title: Interim Report
Library Catalog Title: Report to the Texas House of Representatives, 79th Legislature
Subjects: Air pollution control technology | Alternative energy | Broadband technology | Electric Reliability Council of Texas | Electric utility deregulation | Fuel cells | Rights of way | State government reorganization | Telecommunications infrastructure | Wind power |
Library Call Number: L1836.78 R265
Session: 78th R.S. (2003)
Online version: View report [64 pages  File size: 533 kb]
Charges: This report should address the charges below.
1. Gather and review information on the overall status of the telecommunications market in Texas, including the effects of inter-modal competition and emerging technologies. Recommend changes to Texas law to encourage new investment and technological innovation consistent with market-oriented public policies and the interests of Texas families and businesses. Gather and review information on the Federal Communications Commission Triennial Review and recommend adjustments to Texas law.
2. Study broadband service deployment, including other state's models used to transition to a fully competitive communications marketplace and any new technologies of competitive providers.
3. Study the process of economic dispatch and determine possible methods to improve the competitive electric utilities market and reduce costs and pollution caused by inefficient power plants.
4. Examine issues related to access to rights-of-way and easements to ensure state laws encourage non-discriminatory access for all broadband service providers regardless of technology used to offer the service or the regulatory status of the provider.
5. Examine the reliability of electric utility service and review authority and structure of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas.
6. Study the size and scope of the various broadband infrastructure platforms (e.g. cable, satellite, fixed wireless, DSL) in the state and how each are regulated under both state and federal law.
7. Determine how investment in broadband networks by both competitive local exchange carriers and incumbent local exchange providers can be encouraged through public policy changes.
8. Examine the benefits and challenges associated with alternative forms of energy generation technologies, such as wind and hydrogen fuel cells, and what if any state government involvement should be considered. (Joint interim charge with Energy Resources Committee)
9. Monitor agencies and programs under the committee's jurisdiction, including identifying possible ways to merge or streamline agency functions to produce long-term financial benefit to the state and better efficiency of the agencies.
Committee: House State Affairs
Title: Interim Report
Library Catalog Title: Report to the Texas House of Representatives, 78th Legislature / Committee on State Affairs.
Subjects: Broadband technology | Building and Procurement Commission, Texas | Electricity supplies | Electricity transmission and distribution | General Services Commission, Texas | Homeland security | Information Resources, Texas Department of | Rural issues | Telecommunications infrastructure | Telecommunications Infrastructure Fund | Terrorism |
Library Call Number: L1836.77 st29h
Session: 77th R.S. (2001)
Online version: View report [220 pages  File size: 5,169 kb]
Charges: This report should address the charges below.
1. Examine the deployment of advanced telecommunications services throughout Texas and evaluate possible state policies to ensure availability of broadband service to all Texans. Study barriers faced by rural and urban communities in obtaining advanced services and explore ways for these communities, the state and cities to secure the benefits of affordable broadband access to underserved citizens.
2. Determine what, if any, broadband access is available to the citizens of each rural community of the state and to each inner-city community in the state. Together with the Public Utility Commission, or another agency or university of the state, establish a system for tracking broadband service offerings in rural and inner-city communities on an on-going basis.
3. Gather information related to the security of state-owned buildings and facilities, public and private communications systems and electric generation and transmission facilities. Review government regulations and business practices to determine whether legislation is needed to protect life and property and to detect, interdict and respond to acts of terrorism.
4. Review the activities and mission of the Telecommunications Infrastructure Fund, assess the extent to which the Fund has met the goal of extending services to underserved client groups, and consider whether the need for the Fund's programs extends beyond the statutory termination.
5. Review the laws and procedures governing the siting of electric transmission lines. Consider how the need for transmission lines is determined, how routes are selected, the technology selected for a given route, the interests of landowners on whose property the lines are sited, and the interests of consumers and the public in siting decisions.
6. Actively monitor agencies and programs under the committee's oversight jurisdiction, including the transfer of functions and duties of the former General Services Commission to the Texas Building and Procurement Commission and the Department of Information Resources.
Committee: House State Affairs
Title: Interim report
Library Catalog Title: Report to the Texas House of Representatives, 77th Legislature / Committee on State Affairs.
Subjects: Aircraft Pooling Board | Broadband technology | e-commerce | Ethics Commission, Texas | General Services Commission, Texas | Human Rights, Texas Commission on | Incentive and Productivity Commission, Texas | Information Resources, Texas Department of | Internet | Lobbyists | Privacy | Public Utility Counsel, Office of | Revolving door policies | Social Security numbers | Telephone deregulation | Telephone service | Television stations | Veterans Commission, Texas |
Library Call Number: L1836.76 st29h
Session: 76th R.S. (1999)
Online version: View report [250 pages  File size: 1,105 kb]
Charges: This report should address the charges below.
1. Study the authority of state and local governments to require cable television companies to provide access to competitors and to affect the rates, terms and conditions under which access is provided. Consider the speed of change in the telecommunications industry and the implications of the state assuming new regulatory responsibilities in this industry, including the question of whether any or all providers of broadband service should be required to provide access to competitors.
2. Review the current state of privacy laws in Texas as they relate to businesses' or government's ability to disseminate personal information without prior written permission.
3. Study the nature and extent of lobby influence on the legislative process.
4. Conduct active oversight of the agencies under the committee's jurisdiction, including monitoring the implementation of SB 560, 76th Legislature, Regular Session, and changes in telecommunications markets resulting from the legislation.

* This represents an abstract of the report contents. Charge text is incomplete or unavailable.

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