HB4619 SFAT #1 Maynard 3-6

Bailey  7853


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

Eng. Com. Sub. for House Bill No. 4619 -- A Bill to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by adding thereto a new section, designated §24-2-1o; to amend and reenact §31G-4-5 of said code; and to amend said code by adding thereto a new section, designated §31G-4-5a, all relating to broadband enhancement; excepting certain middle-mile fiber broadband infrastructure from consideration as a public utility; making legislative findings; defining terms; establishing the Middle-Mile Fiber Broadband Infrastructure Expansion Program; authorizing certain electric utilities to participate in said program; setting forth powers and duties of the Public Service Commission in reviewing and considering written plans and amendments thereto submitted pursuant to said program; requiring certain electric utilities to file written plans and application with the Public Service Commission upon a determination by the Broadband Enhancement Council that a proposed project is feasible; establishing that such a written plan and application is in lieu of a proceeding pursuant to § 24-2-11; setting forth the required contents of said written plan and application; requiring that an electric utility publish in certain publication areas the anticipated monthly and yearly electric rate increase, if any, and actual rates under the proposal, as a Class I legal advertisement in compliance with the provisions of § 59-3-1, et seq. of this code; requiring that a public hearing be held within 90 days of the publication of said notice; setting forth instances when no such public hearing is necessary; requiring that the Public Service Commission issue a final order within 150 days of the application filing date; setting forth instances when the Public Service Commission must approve such a written plan; authorizing an electric utility to implement such a plan upon approval by the Public Service Commission; setting forth project costs that an electric utility is entitled to recover as part of the implementation of an approved project; authorizing an electric utility to make certain accounting accruals; providing that electric utilities shall control the scope, scheduling and execution of a project; authorizing an electric utility to reestablish electric service and assure safety of its workers prior to restoration of middle-mile fiber broadband service; authorizing electric utilities to use contractors chosen by the electric utility to construct, install, operate, maintain and repair middle-mile fiber assets; providing an electric utility with sole control of the location and method of attachment and connection of certain middle-mile fiber infrastructure; requiring electric utilities to manage and document the entities that lease middle-mile fiber assets for last-mile operations; allowing an electric utility to own, manage, or control certain broadband capacity, fiber strands, equipment and electronics; allowing an electric utility to lease certain broadband capacity, fiber strands, equipment and electronics to certain Internet service providers and other third parties; allowing an electric utility to provide access points that are outside the electric utility’s power supply zone to allow connection between the electric utility’s broadband capacity system or fiber strands and non-governmental Internet service provider’s or other third party’s system; removing certain references to underserved areas of the state from feasibility studies of proposed broadband projects; and authorizing certain electric cooperatives to utilize their distribution system, poles, or rights of way to provide for critical infrastructure.