HB4447 H R&T AM #1 2-12

Reed 3253


The Committee on Roads and Transportation moves to amend the bill on page one, by striking out everything after the enacting clause and inserting in lieu thereof the following:


§31G-5-1. Definitions.

As used in this article, unless the context otherwise requires:

(1) “Broadband conduit” means a conduit, innerduct or microduct for fiber optic cables that support broadband and wireless facilities for broadband service;

(2) “Broadband service” has the same meaning as defined in §31G-1-2 of this code;

(3) “Cost-based rate” means a lease rate that is only comprised of direct and actual associated indirect costs of obtaining and maintaining the associated right-of-way and broadband conduit and must be equitably allocated among users of the associated right-of-way, broadband conduit and innerduct or microduct;

(4) “Council” means the Broadband Enhancement Council established in §31G-1-3 of this code;

(5) “Covered highway construction project” or “project” means a project to construct a new highway or bridge or to construct or relocate an additional lane or shoulder for an existing highway that is commenced after the effective date of this section and that receives funding from state or federal monies, including, but not limited to, surface mounting on bridges, overpasses, and other facilities where below ground placement is impossible or impractical; and

(6) “Provider” means an entity that provides for the sale or resale of wholesale or retail broadband services in this state.

§31G-5-2. Broadband conduit installation; highway construction projects.

(a) Upon the recommendation of the Broadband Enhancement Council as hereinafter provided, the Division of Highways shall install vacant broadband conduit as part of a covered highway construction project in accordance with this article and in accordance with the recommendations of the Council.  All work performed must be in accordance with the National Electrical Safety Code and all other safety codes required by law that are applicable thereto.

(b) The Division of Highways shall, prior to issuing a request for proposal or a request for qualifications for a covered highway project, provide to the Council a description of the project adequate to make a determination by the Council of the necessity to include broadband conduit in the project and to determine the specifications of the broadband conduit to be included in the project. Upon review of the proposed project, the council shall determine whether the installation would provide or enhance the potential for the deployment and development of broadband service and broadband facilities that could reasonably utilize the broadband conduit. Upon making a positive determination, the Council shall recommend the installation of the broadband conduit to the Division of Highways. The recommendation may include installation of the broadband conduit throughout the entire project, or only in portions of the project.

(c) The Broadband Enhancement Council shall prescribe specifications for such installation, including the depth of installation of conduit, the size and type of said conduit, the materials used in the conduit,  the placement of hand holes, manholes and other access points for fiber access, the location and access to pull tape, the interval between access points, accommodations for the installation of regeneration building stations and other such considerations are to be in accordance with industry best practices.

(d) Providers desiring use of this conduit may apply to make use of this vacant conduit to the Division of Highways.  If the Division of Highways approves, the Division may then lease the broadband conduit to providers at a cost-based rate and coordinate with providers regarding planning and relocating of broadband conduit and any related provider facilities within the right-of-way at the provider's expense if future highway improvements make the relocations necessary. The Division of Highways shall take reasonable steps to ensure market-based, nondiscriminatory pricing.  The Division of Highways may limit provider access to any broadband facilities within the right-of-way for initial installation and infrequent access for maintenance purposes and may take other actions necessary to maintain highway safety.

(e) The Division of Highways may install broadband conduit without regard to the timing of a related existing construction project, based on a request and receipt of funding from the Broadband Enhancement Council.

§31G-5-3.  Infrastructure development.

(a) The Broadband Enhancement Council shall, in collaboration with the Department of Transportation, Division of Highways, and private entities, encourage and coordinate “dig once” efforts for the planning, relocation, installation, or improvement of broadband conduit within a right-of-way in conjunction with any current or planned construction, including, but not limited to, highways and bridges. To the extent necessary, the Broadband Enhancement Council shall, in collaboration with the Department of Transportation and Division of Highways, evaluate engineering and design standards, procedures and criteria for contracts or lease agreements with private entities, and pricing requirements, and provide for allocation of risk, costs, and any revenue generated.

(b) The Broadband Enhancement Council shall, in collaboration with other state departments and agencies the Broadband Enhancement Council considers necessary, develop a strategy to facilitate the timely and efficient deployment of broadband conduit or other broadband facilities on state-owned lands and buildings.

(c) To the extent practicable, the Broadband Enhancement Council shall encourage and assist local units of government to adopt and implement policies similar to those under subsections (a) and (b) of this section for construction or other improvements to county and municipal building projects, and any other right-of-way under the local unit of government's jurisdiction, and to other lands or buildings owned by the local unit of government.

§31G-5-4. Rulemaking authority.

The Broadband Enhancement Council and the Commissioner of the Division of Highways shall jointly promulgate emergency rules pursuant to the provisions of §29A-3-15 of this code and shall propose rules for legislative approval in accordance with the provisions of §29A-3-1 et seq. of this code as may be necessary to carry out the purposes of this article.