SB445 SFAT Plymale 2-28

Baker 7816


Senator Plymale moved to amend the bill by striking out the title and substituting therefor a new title, to read as follows:

Eng. Com. Sub. for Senate Bill No. 445--A Bill to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by adding thereto a new section, designated §17-2A-17a; to amend said code by adding thereto a new article, designated §17-2E-1, §17-2E-2, §17-2E-3, §17-2E-4, §17-2E-5, §17-2E-6, §17-2E-7 and §17-2E-8; to amend said code by adding thereto two new sections, designated §17-4-17b and §17-4-17e; and to amend said code by adding thereto a new section, designated §24-2-20, all relating to public utilities; creating new legislative findings; defining terms; providing for longitudinal access on Division of Highways rights-of-way; setting forth terms for certain agreements including how they must relate to other telecommunications carriers; requiring the Division of Highways comply with certain federal requirements as to fair market value and obtaining certain Federal Highway Administration approvals; setting forth requirements for fair and reasonable compensation for access to the right-of-way; authorizing compensation to be monetary, in-kind, or a combination of both; providing for reevaluation of the compensation every five years; providing that the Division of Highways has sole discretion to deny access if the safe, efficient and convenient use of highway, road or interstate would be compromised; providing that the access granted herein does not affect previous access granted by the division; promoting joint use and proportionate cost sharing; requiring a carrier seeking a permit to notify the Broadband Enhancement Council and other carriers of record of the permit application; setting forth notice requirements; providing that a carrier seeking the permit must resolve any disputes among other carriers seeking access; providing that the Public Service Commission will resolve disputes the carriers are not able to resolve; requiring all carriers sharing a trench to share the cost and benefits; requiring the division deposit any compensation collected for access to its right-of-way be deposited in the State Road Fund; authorizing in-kind compensation and listing allowable telecommunications facilities for in-kind payment; requiring the division to value in-kind compensation at fair market value; providing that in-kind compensation may be disposed of after 10 years if it is not being used; giving the carrier providing the in-kind compensation right of first refusal; providing for public auction in certain circumstances; providing that multiple carriers in the same trench have obligation to compensate the division; allowing the division to hold each carrier jointly and severally liable for obligations owed to the division; requiring carriers allow the division to audit records and contracts to ensure compliance; providing that existing policies, rules and procedures relating to other utilities within the right-of-way are not altered by this act; allowing the division to consider the financial and technical qualifications of a carrier when setting insurance requirements; allowing the division to require carriers to install telecommunications in the same general location, coordinate planning and work with other contractors in the same area; requiring placement, installation, maintenance, repair, use, operation and related activities on the right-of-way be in compliance with the division’s rules, policies and guidelines; and requiring that access to a right-of-way be administered in compliance with the Telecommunications Act of 1996, 47 U.S.C. §151, et seq.; establishing a method by which the Commissioner of the Division of Highways may acquire certain rights-of-way and easements for the purpose of increasing public access to utilities; establishing a procedure for the Division of Highways to lease acquisitions to utilities for fair market value; and establishing a cost-sharing procedure for determining how relocation costs are to be paid by the utility.