2017 ORS 759.445¹
Connecting Oregon Communities Fund
  • School Technology Account
  • Public Access Account

(1) There is established in the State Treasury, separate and distinct from the General Fund, the Connecting Oregon Communities Fund. Moneys in the fund shall consist of amounts deposited in the fund under ORS 759.405 (Election of regulation under ORS 759.405 and 759.410) and any other moneys deposited by a telecommunications carrier that elects to be subject to ORS 759.405 (Election of regulation under ORS 759.405 and 759.410) and 759.410 (Intent of ORS 759.410), including amounts deposited pursuant to a performance assurance plan implemented by a telecommunications carrier in connection with an application under 47 U.S.C. 271, as in effect on January 1, 2002. Interest earned on moneys in the fund shall accrue to the fund. Moneys in the fund may be invested as provided in ORS 293.701 (Definitions for ORS 293.701 to 293.857) to 293.857 (Separate accounts for each local government). Moneys in the fund shall be used to provide access to advanced telecommunications technology in elementary schools and high schools, colleges and universities, community colleges, public television corporations, rural health care providers, public libraries and other eligible persons.

(2) Two dedicated accounts shall be established within the Connecting Oregon Communities Fund for purposes of supporting education and public access to advanced telecommunications services. The first $25 million of the moneys deposited in the Connecting Oregon Communities Fund in both 2000 and 2001 shall be appropriated to the School Technology Account established under subsection (3) of this section. Except as provided in subsection (8) of this section, any additional moneys available in the fund shall be appropriated to the Public Access Account established under subsection (4) of this section.

(3) There is established the School Technology Account within the Connecting Oregon Communities Fund. The purpose of the School Technology Account is to improve access to advanced telecommunications services for students attending public school in kindergarten through grade 12. Moneys in the account shall be expended as provided in section 34, chapter 1093, Oregon Laws 1999.

(4)(a) There is established the Public Access Account within the Connecting Oregon Communities Fund. The purpose of the Public Access Account is to improve access to advanced telecommunications services for community colleges, universities, public libraries and rural health care providers.

(b) If funding has not been provided from other sources, the first $3 million available in the Public Access Account shall be transferred to the Higher Education Coordinating Commission for the purpose of funding the Oregon Wide Area Network project to provide and expand Internet access for public universities listed in ORS 352.002 (Public universities).

(c) Following the transfer of funds described in paragraph (b) of this subsection, the next $1 million available in the Public Access Account shall be transferred to the Higher Education Coordinating Commission for Oregon State University for the purpose of providing virtual access to persons with disabilities.

(d) Following the transfer of funds as described in paragraphs (b) and (c) of this subsection, the next $2 million available in the Public Access Account shall be transferred to the Higher Education Coordinating Commission for distribution to community colleges for the purpose of developing connectivity and distance education programs.

(e) Following the transfer of funds described in paragraphs (b) to (d) of this subsection, the next $4 million available in the Public Access Account shall be transferred to the Higher Education Coordinating Commission for video transport and network management services for public universities.

(f) Following the transfer of funds described in paragraphs (b) to (e) of this subsection, the next $5.5 million available in the Public Access Account shall be transferred to the Oregon Public Broadcasting Corporation for the purpose of digitizing the state television network, using the Oregon Enterprise Network when possible.

(g) Following the transfer of funds described in paragraphs (b) to (f) of this subsection, the next $500,000 available in the Public Access Account shall be transferred to the Southern Oregon Public Television Corporation for the purpose of digitizing the state television network, using the Oregon Enterprise Network when possible.

(h) Following the transfer of funds described in paragraphs (b) to (g) of this subsection, a public university listed in ORS 352.002 (Public universities) or the Oregon Health and Science University may apply for one-time matching funds up to $1 million from the Public Access Account to endow a telecommunications chair for the purpose of increasing research and development of advanced telecommunications services applications. Only one chair may be endowed under this paragraph.

(5)(a) The Oregon Business Development Commission shall approve expenditure of any remaining moneys in the Public Access Account consistent with this section and ORS 759.430 (Approval of projects funded by carrier’s Telecommunications Infrastructure Account).

(b) Community colleges, public universities listed in ORS 352.002 (Public universities), public libraries, public television corporations and rural health care providers may apply to the Oregon Business Development Commission for funding from the Public Access Account under this subsection.

(c) Funds received from the account shall be used for the purchase of advanced telecommunications services, equipment or recurring costs of telecommunications connectivity. Priority shall be given to collaborative projects that improve access to advanced telecommunications services.

(d) Funds available in the Public Access Account under this subsection are continuously appropriated to the Oregon Business Development Department for the purposes described in this subsection.

(6) Public libraries and rural health care providers must apply for federal universal service support in order to be eligible for a grant from the Public Access Account.

(7) The video transport and network management services purchased with funds made available under this section shall be purchased through the Oregon Department of Administrative Services.

(8) Any moneys deposited in the Connecting Oregon Communities Fund under subsection (1) of this section pursuant to a performance assurance plan implemented by a telecommunications carrier in connection with an application under 47 U.S.C. 271, as in effect on January 1, 2002, shall be placed in the School Technology Account to be expended as provided in section 34, chapter 1093, Oregon Laws 1999. [1999 c.1093 §33; 2001 c.966 §7; 2009 c.762 §89; 2011 c.637 §290; 2015 c.366 §98; 2015 c.767 §209]

1 Legislative Counsel Committee, CHAPTER 759—Telecommunications Utility Regulation, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ors759.­html (2017) (last ac­cessed Mar. 30, 2018).
 
2 OregonLaws.org contains the con­tents of Volume 21 of the ORS, inserted along­side the per­tin­ent statutes. See the preface to the ORS An­no­ta­tions for more information.
 
3 OregonLaws.org assembles these lists by analyzing references between Sections. Each listed item refers back to the current Section in its own text. The result reveals relationships in the code that may not have otherwise been apparent.