Indiana Adopts Nation’s Best Broadband Policy

Telecom deregulation and statewide video franchise to spur massive fiber optic investments, new broadband services


CONTACT: Bret Swanson
Senior Fellow
(317) 663-0509

INDIANAPOLIS —”This week Indiana adopted the best communications law anywhere in the nation and took a bold leap into the 21st century,” said Discovery Institute senior fellow and Indiana resident Bret Swanson. “Amazingly, it’s already working. The bill was passed just Tuesday night, but already—just three days later—I have seen telecom crews surveying rights of way near my house to lay new optical fiber.”

On Tuesday, February 28, the Indiana House of Representatives approved a comprehensive telecom reform, HB 1279, by a count of 79-18. The Senate had previously approved the bill 42-7. Gov. Mitch Daniels has said he will sign the measure into law.

“With leadership from Gov. Mitch Daniels, State Sen. Brandt Hershman, and State Rep. Michael Murphy,” Swanson continued, “Indiana crafted and approved the most modern and effective set of pro-growth, pro-broadband telecom policies we have seen. The new law clears away decades worth of obsolete regulations and paves the way for hundreds of millions of dollars worth of new fiber optic networks. These new networks will connect Indiana businesses to the global economy and bring real broadband services to Indiana consumers for the first time.”

The Technology and Democracy Project of the Discovery Institute, a public policy research organization based in Seattle, was active in the Indiana debate, contributing educational testimony, briefings, public debates, television appearances, and newspaper columns. Discovery has for the last decade been deeply involved in telecom policy debates in Washington, D.C., and the states.

“As other states contemplate updating their telecom laws,” Swanson concluded, “we hope they will look to Indiana’s excellent example.”

Bret Swanson

Bret Swanson is a Senior Fellow at Seattle's Discovery Institute, where he researches technology and economics and contributes to the Disco-Tech blog. He is currently writing a book on the abundance of the world economy, focusing on the Chinese boom and developing a new concept linking economics and information theory. Swanson writes frequently for the editorial page of The Wall Street Journal on topics ranging from broadband communications to monetary policy.