|(a) A broadband service provider or a political subdivision
of this state may petition the office to reclassify a designated area
as eligible or ineligible for funding. A petition seeking reclassification
of a designated area shall be submitted to the office not later than
the 60th day after the broadband development map is published on the
comptroller's website. The office shall provide notice of the petition
to each impacted political subdivision, and each broadband service
provider that provides broadband service to the designated area, if
known to the office, and post notice of the petition on the comptroller's
website. For the purposes of this section, the office may provide
notice to an impacted political subdivision by posting the petition
on the comptroller's website and an impacted political subdivision
shall be deemed to have received notice on the date the notice of
the petition is posted on the comptroller's website.
(b) Not later than the 45th day after the date that
an impacted political subdivision or a broadband service provider
that provides broadband service to the designated area receives a
notice of a petition under subsection (a) of this section:
(1) an impacted political subdivision may provide information
to the office showing whether the designated area should or should
not be reclassified; and
(2) each broadband service provider that provides broadband
service to the designated area shall provide information to the office
showing whether the designated area should or should not be reclassified.
(c) Not later than the 75th day after the date that
a broadband service provider that provides broadband service to the
designated area receives the notice of a petition under subsection
(a) of this section, the office shall determine whether to reclassify
the designated area and update the map as necessary.
(d) The office shall consider the following criteria
in making a determination of whether to reclassify a designated area
under subsection (c) of this section:
(1) an evaluation of Internet speed test data and information
on end user addresses within the designated area;
(2) community surveys regarding the reliability of
Internet service within the designated area, where available;
(3) information related to the loss of funding from
the state or federal government through forfeiture or disqualification;
(4) other information the office determines may be
useful in determining funding eligibility.
(e) The office may reclassify a designated area that
is classified as ineligible for funding on account of the existence
of state or federal funding as eligible for funding if:
(1) funding from the state or federal government is
forfeited or the recipient of the funding is disqualified from receiving
the funding; and
(2) the designated area otherwise meets the qualifications
to be eligible for funding.
(f) A determination made by the office under this subsection
is not a contested case for purposes of Government Code, Chapter 2001.
(g) If after making an award the office determines
that at the time of making the award a designated area was not eligible
to receive funding under this subchapter, the office may rescind the
award and the grant recipient shall be required to return any grant
funds that were awarded. The office shall reduce the amount required
to be returned under this subsection if the office determines, in
its sole discretion, that the grant funds or any portion thereof were
expended in good faith.