Buckley files HB 1715 to expand rural broadband


State Rep. Brad Buckley (R-Salado) has filed House Bill 1715, proposed legislation that would amend the Special District Local Laws Code to authorize the Lower Colorado River Authority to construct broadband infrastructure and facilitate broadband connectivity within its boundaries.

LCRA would work with commercial providers to bring broadband access to customers.

This bill has the potential to increase high-speed internet access to residents of Lampasas County, the state legislator said.

"All Texans deserve access to broadband, and rural areas are no exception,” Buckley said. “I'm honored to carry this bill and will continue to make sure rural Texans are not left behind when it comes to internet service.

“The [coronavirus] pandemic has forced work, education and community activities online, while at the same time shedding light on the broadband access disparity between rural Texas and urban Texas,” he said. “Now is the time to push for expanded coverage, and LCRA is stepping up with a common-sense solution to move the needle."

LCRA General Manager Phil Wilson said “Rep. Buckley and his Senate cosponsor Dawn Buckingham are demonstrating innovative leadership as part of the state’s effort to make broadband internet service available to all Texans.”

Buckley is a second-term legislator, and represents part of Bell County and all of Lampasas County.