Broadband/Telecom Legislation that Passed both Chambers


HB 3743 – Omnibus Telecommunications Legislation (Passed both Chambers)
House Bill 3743 incorporates language from several bills updating and extending four communications laws in Illinois: The Telecommunications Act, Cable and Video Competition Law, Small Wireless Facilities Deployment Act, and the Emergency Telephone System Act (9-1-1). The measure also included changes to the Prevailing Wage Act impacting telecommunications carriers.

Telecommunications Act:

  • Telecommunications Act extended to Dec. 31, 2026.
  • Provides Carrier of Last resort relief for a small electing provider that has 40,000 or fewer subscriber access lines as of Jan. 1, 202 under the same process and requirements established for a large electing provider in 2017.

 Cable and Video Competition Law:

  • Cable and Video Competition Law extended to Dec. 31, 2026.
  • Cable and Video State Authorizations extended to Dec. 31, 2029.

 Small Wireless Facilities Deployment Act:

  • Small Wireless Facilities Deployment Act extended to Dec. 31, 2024.
  • Adds to information required when seeking a permit, certification from a radio engineer the wireless provider operates the small wireless facility within all applicable FCC standards.
  • Allows a local authority to propose the small wireless facility be collocated on an existing utility pole or existing wireless support structure within 200 feet of the proposed collocation (rather than 100 feet).
  • Adds “acoustic regulations” to the generally accepted standards a local authority may require a wireless provider to comply.
  • Requires certification from a radio engineer that the continuing operation of a small wireless facility complies with all applicable FCC standards when a wireless provider replaces or adds a new radio transceiver or antennas to an existing small wireless facility.

 Emergency Telephone System Act:

  • Emergency Telephone System Act extended to December 31, 2023.
  • No change in 9-1-1 surcharge
  • Changes the amount a carrier may deduct and retain for the expense of collecting and remitting the surcharge from 3% to 1.74%
  • Provides for training and certification of public safety telecommunicators and supervisors.
  • Updates law, terminology, and definitions for NG911
  • Requires every 9-1-1 system in Illinois, except in the City of Chicago, to provide NG911 Services with 18 months of the execution of the contract with the statewide NG911 System Provider. Chicago is required to implement NG911 by Dec. 31, 2023.
  • Every 911 system in Illinois must be able to accept text to 911 by Jan. 1, 2023.
  • Carriers aggregating 9-1-1 traffic must provide the 911 Administrator a list of Originating Service Providers for whom the aggregator transports 911 calls.
  • Aggregators and OSPs are required to establish procedures with the 911 system provider to prevent and resolve No Record Found errors
  • Establishes timeframes for Aggregators and deadlines for OSPs whose 911 traffic is carried by an aggregator for 911 transitions and migrations.

 Prevailing Wage Act:

  1. Applies the prevailing wage to construction projects performed by a third party contracted by any public utility as defined in Section 13-105 of the Public Utilities Act (electric, natural gas, and water utilities) in the public rights-of-way, whether or not done under public supervision or direction or paid for wholly or in part out of public funds.
  2. Also applies the prevailing wage to construction projects that exceed 15 aggregate miles of new fiber optic cable, performed by a third party contracted by any public utility as described below in the public rights-of-way, whether or not done under public supervision or direction or paid for wholly or in part out of public funds.
    1. telecommunications carriers as defined in Section 13-202 of the PUA, but not including incumbent local exchange carriers that serve fewer than 20,000 access lines.
    2. providers of cable service or video service, as defined in Section 21-202 of the PUA.
    3. providers of wireless services, including but not limited to, private radio service, public mobile service, or commercial mobile service within the meaning of Section 332 of the federal Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 332)
    4. interconnected VoIP providers as defined in Section 13-235 of the PUA.
    5. providers of broadband service, as defined in 21-201 of the PUA; and
    6. persons or entities engaged in the installation, repair or maintenance of fiber optic cable that is or will be used by persons described in 1-5

Broadband Adoption Program (Passed both Chambers)
SB 2290 creates the Illinois Broadband Adoption Program for the purpose of expanding availability of broadband Internet connectivity throughout the State. The bill provides for the creation of the Illinois Broadband Adoption Fund for the purpose of providing financial assistance under the Act. The Department of Human Services may determine qualifications for broadband Internet provider participation and enter into an agreement with each provider and sets eligibility requirements for financial assistance. DHS may provide financial assistance to the individual or to the broadband Internet provider designated by the individual in the form of one or more vouchers up to $50 to pay for specified expenses including fees charged by an internet service provider for installation costs, equipment charges, monthly subscription fees and past due amounts owed to the provider. The fund may consist of money received through the federal American rescue Plan and other vehicles designed to address and relieve economic hardship, money appropriated by the General assembly, money transferred to the fund by the State Treasurer, and any donation and gifts.

Early Cancellation Fees – Death (Passed both Chambers)
HB 122 prohibits providers of telephone, cellular telephone, television, Internet, energy, medical alert system, or water services from imposing a fee for termination or early cancellation of a service contract in the event the customer has deceased before the end of the contract.

IEMA – Cyber Attack (Passed both Chambers)
HB 3523 amends the Illinois Emergency management Agency Act to include “Cyber Attack” to the list of events and disasters to which the Governor, to the greatest extent practicable, may delegate or assign command authority to the Director of IEMA by orders issued at the time of a disaster.

Wireless Service – Call Location (Passed both Chambers)
SB 2530 provides that upon request of a law enforcement agency or a public safety answering point on behalf of a law enforcement agency, a wireless service provider shall provide call location information concerning the telecommunications device of a user to the requesting law enforcement agency or public safety answering point. A law enforcement agency or public safety answering point may not request information under this provision unless for the purposes of responding to a call for emergency services or in an emergency situation that involves the risk of death or serious physical harm. A wireless service provider may establish protocols by which the carrier voluntarily discloses call location information. A claim for relief may not be brought in a court against a wireless service provider or any other person for providing call location information if acting in good faith.


Broadband Funding Included in State Budget (Passed Both Chambers)
$716 Million in State Broadband Funding Overall through State Budget & Capital Budget

  • $300 Million ARPA funding to DECO’s Broadband Grant Program
  • $351Million reauthorization of the Re-Build Illinois Act
  • $25 Million ARPA funding to DECO Broadband Office
  • $20 Million as a direct capital appropriation to Alton Works
  • $20 Million to Illinois Century Network
  • Does not include E-Rate funding - no clear broadband investment amount