HB2002 H T&I AMT
The Committee on Technology and Infrastructure moved to amend the bill by striking out the title and substituting therefor a new title, to read as follows:
Com. Sub. for H. B. 2002 -- A BILL to repeal §17-2E-6 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended; to repeal §31G-1-6, §31G-1-9, and §31G-1-12 of said code; to amend and reenact §17-2E-2, §17-2E-3, §17-2E-5, §17-2E-7, §17-2E-8, and §17-2E-9 of said code; to amend and reenact §24D-1-1, §24D-1-2, §24D-1-9, §24D-1-15, §24D-1-16, §24D-1-21, and §24D-1-26 of said code; to amend and reenact §31G-1-2 and §31G-1-4 of said code; to amend and reenact §31G-4-1 and §31G-4-2 of said code; to amend said code by adding thereto a new article, designated §31G-1A-1, §31G-1A-2, §31G-1A-3, §31G-1A-4, §31G-1A-5, §31G-1A-6, §31G-1A-7, §31G-1A-8, §31G-1A-9, and §31G-1A-10; to amend said code by adding thereto a new section, designated §31G-3-3; and to amend said code by adding thereto a new article, designated §31G-6-1, §31G-6-2, and §31G-6-3 of said code, all relating to providing statutory framework to support, encourage, and expedite the expansion of broadband throughout the state of West Virginia; modifying the definition of “permit”; establishing requirements for agreements between the Division of Highways and an entity seeking to install telecommunications facilities; providing that if such installation can be accommodated as a utility pursuant to federal and state law, the division will issue a permit for access to, and occupation of, division’s right-of-way consistent with this section and applicable division policy; requiring that, the division will, within sixty business days, advise applicant in writing of any major deficiencies with the planned project; providing the applicant may correct any deficiencies and resubmit the application, which shall be reviewed by the division and either approved or denied within thirty days of the resubmittal; providing that if the division approves a permit application, the division shall issue a specific district level construction authorization for the approved project within ten business days; requiring that compliance with applicable environmental laws shall at all times be the responsibility of the applicant; providing that division will create and make available for potential applicants an informational notice specific to in-ground telecommunications facility construction and installation that explains routine issues for such projects including legal, regulatory and division requirements; requiring notice to the Office of Broadband of a telecommunication entity’s intent to seek construction in division’s right-of way; providing the Office of Broadband is responsible for ensuring compliance with certain terms and will provide the Division of Highways and the applicant with certification of such compliance; allowing a utility to apply to share trench with telecommunications carrier; providing for dispute resolution by informal complaint process by the Public Service Commission; providing the Office of Broadband the authority to issue certificates of compliance to the Division of Highways and applicant; providing Division of Highways the authority to allow carriers the use of excess telecommunications facilities; allowing Division of Highways to transfer or assign ownership of excess telecommunications facilities to another state agency upon approval by Governor; providing rulemaking authority to Division of Highways; adding broadband telecommunications to Chapter on cable television and cable television system act for certain purposes; defining “broadband” or “broadband service” and “broadband operator”; establishing requirements for broadband operators related to installation and construction; requiring broadband operators to indemnify the state for installation, operation, and maintenance; establishing requirements for broadband operator related to easement; providing installations in railroad rights of way and trackways do not have any greater or lesser requirement to comply with stated railroad safety requirements; providing requirements for broadband operators to restore interrupted service; providing electric utilities that lease fiber to broadband providers shall not be required to provide refunds to broadband providers who lease the fiber for service outages; requiring broadband operator to credit subscribers for interruptions in service of more than 24 hours; establishing that broadband providers may not deny access based upon certain factors; providing that a cable or broadband system operator shall provide subscribers 30 days advance written notice of any changes to rates or charges, including the expiration of any promotion or special pricing that would result in an increase in the subscribers billing or cost of service; providing that a broadband system operator shall inform subscribers and provide written notice to subscribers that disputes regarding interrupted or substandard service or billing issues, which are unresolved to satisfaction of the subscriber, can be filed as a complaint with the consumer protection division of the WV Attorney General's Office; providing that broadband service is not a utility or subject to utility regulation; defining “applicable codes”, “unserved area”, and “underserved”; defining powers and duties of Broadband Enhancement Council; providing the Broadband Enhancement Council and Office of Broadband coordinate on bringing broadband service to unserved and underserved areas; providing Broadband Enhancement Council publicly report to the Secretary of Commerce on or before December 1 annually; creating the Office of Broadband within the Economic Development Office and under the Department of Commerce; creating the position of, and requirements for, the Director of the Office of Broadband; establishing the powers and duties of the Office of Broadband; requiring the Office of Broadband report annually to the Joint Committee on Government and Finance; requiring the Office of Broadband to map broadband in the state and establish an interactive public map; requiring certain executive agencies to cooperate and provide information to the Office of Broadband regarding AREA maps; requiring Office of Broadband Report to the Joint Committee on Technology regarding AREA maps at specified times; allowing Office of Broadband to retain outside expert consultants; providing authority to Office of Broadband to educate public on broadband service issues; allowing Office of Broadband to establish a voluntary data collection program; providing that information collected in program not subject to the Freedom of Information Act; establishing, by Office of Broadband, requirements of data collection program to be submitted to the Legislature; requiring the Office of Broadband to create guidelines for voluntary donation of rights away and similar structures to facilitate broadband development; allowing Office of Broadband to create guidelines and recommend to legislature an easement program to facilitate broadband service; allowing Office of Broadband to seek funding and grants; establishing process to protect proprietary business information provided to the Office of Broadband; excluding proprietary business information from production under the Freedom of Information Act; providing criminal penalties for unauthorized disclosure of confidential and proprietary information; providing rulemaking authority to the Office of Broadband; establishing requirements for counites, municipalities, and political subdivisions regarding installation of conduit; defining “applicable codes” and “digital equality of opportunity”; requiring that an ILEC pole owner who requires and accepts payment for make-ready work, and fails to perform that work within 45 days, shall immediately return and refund the moneys paid for that work which was not completed, and providing remedies and exceptions in such instances; providing for preemption of West Virginia Code and Code of State Rules and ordinances relating to installation of certain broadband equipment; providing private agreements, promulgated or effective after the effective date of this legislation, may not regulate or prevent the exterior installation of antennas and equipment necessary to or typically utilized for broadband deployment; providing for scheme of construction of such language in favor of encouraging and assisting broadband installation and deployment; providing for preemption of West Virginia Code and Code of State Rules and ordinances relating to pole attachment of certain broadband equipment; providing for scheme of construction of language of private agreements relating to pole attachment; and requiring broadband operators receiving public funds to testify, upon request, under oath before the Legislature.