§31-15C-7. Retention of outside expert consultant.
In order to assist the council with the highly technical task
of categorizing the areas of the state and evaluating and
prioritizing projects, the council may retain an outside expert
consultant or consultants qualified to map the state on the basis
of broadband availability, to evaluate, categorize and prioritize
projects, to assist in public outreach and education in order to
stimulate demand, to advise the council on the granting or denying
of funding to projects, and to provide other support and assistance
as necessary to accomplish the purposes of this article. The
provisions of article three, chapter five-a of this code, shall not
apply to the retention of an outside expert consultant pursuant to
this section: Provided, that the council shall select the expert
or experts by a competitive selection process.