Norm Needleman


Norm Needleman



March 18, 2021

Energy & Technology Committee Moves Two Key Bills on Equal Access to Broadband, Climate Change Mitigation Forward

Today, the Energy & Technology Committee voted to advance two key bills, both priorities of Governor Ned Lamont, that would work to ensure equal access to broadband for residents statewide and to mitigate the impacts of climate change, including a goal of the state ceasing its use of greenhouse gas in energy development by 2040. State Senator Norm Needleman (D-Essex), Senate Chair of the Energy & Technology Committee, lauded the strong pushes forward the legislation represent for residents of Connecticut.

“We know internet access in our world is becoming more vital to everyday life, and we know that climate change plays more of a role in our lives every day as well,” said Sen. Needleman. “We need to take strong and significant steps forward when it comes to issues like these, and I’m encouraged that both of these bills do that. We need to provide equitable access to important resources like fast, effective internet services statewide. We need to push into a greener future that mitigates climate change and its impacts on our lives. Both of these pieces of legislation help those causes directly.”

Governor’s Bill 6442, “An Act Concerning Equitable Access To Broadband,” seeks to overhaul how internet access is perceived and supplied in the state. The state would promote programs ensuring universal availability and accessibility of high-speed broadband internet access to all residents and businesses in the state, establish an advanced standard for broadband internet access, ensure it’s available and affordable on a nondiscriminatory basis for all segments of the state’s population, ensure its availability at all times for educational and learning purposes and invest in development a strong broadband technology workforce by encouraging strong ties to the state’s educational community. Through overarching changes to current procedures, the legislation seeks to reform how internet is perceived and considered in Connecticut with an end goal of expanding equity of access. Tens of thousands of state residents still lack access to effective broadband internet, barred among other reasons due to high cost and location.

Governor’s Bill 882, “An Act Concerning Climate Change Mitigation and Home Energy Affordability,” seeks to advance several efforts by the state to reduce the impacts of climate change, including a new benchmark of no use of greenhouse gas in Connecticut electricity generation by 2040. The legislation further asks state agencies to pursue electricity sources accounting for the reduced use of greenhouse gas, additionally making changes to support increased home energy efficiency. Landlords would be required to provide prospective renters or buyers with average monthly energy costs in the residence over the previous year, assisting residents with additional information and helping them better be prepared for potential costs.