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Senate Bill (S)

DIGEST

Attachments to electric distribution poles. Amends the statute concerning attachments of equipment by cable operators (attaching entities) to electric distribution poles owned or controlled by rural electric cooperatives or by municipalities providing electric service (pole owners) as follows: (1) Specifies that a pole owner's duty under the law to permit attachments to the pole owner's poles is subject to the terms of a written agreement between the pole owner and the attaching entity. (2) Provides that the written agreement between the attaching entity and the pole owner must establish the process by which the attaching entity may apply for access Attachments to electric distribution poles. Amends the statute concerning attachments of equipment by cable operators (attaching entities) to electric distribution poles owned or controlled by rural electric cooperatives or by municipalities providing electric service (pole owners) as follows: (1) Specifies that a pole owner's duty under the law to permit attachments to the pole owner's poles is subject to the terms of a written agreement between the pole owner and the attaching entity. (2) Provides that the written agreement between the attaching entity and the pole owner must establish the process by which the attaching entity may apply for access to the pole owner's poles. (3) Sets forth: (A) a time frame for the pole owner to respond to the attaching entity's application based on the number of poles included in the application; and (B) a pole owner's duty to do one of the following within that time frame: (i) Approve the application and authorize the attaching entity to make the attachments without the need for any make ready work. (ii) Submit to the attaching entity an invoice setting forth all necessary make ready work, the estimated make ready costs, and the estimated make ready completion date. (iii) Reject all or part of the attaching entity's application based on certain concerns that cannot be resolved by make ready work. (4) Specifies that an attaching entity must have the pole owner's written permission specifically authorizing an attachment for each pole on which the attaching entity seeks to place an attachment. (5) Provides that if the attaching entity violates this requirement, the attaching entity shall pay to the pole owner accrued rental fees for each pole on which an unauthorized attachment is made, dating back to the date the attachment is considered to have been made under existing law, plus a $500 penalty for each pole on which an unauthorized attachment is made. (6) Provides that before January 1, 2023, if a contract granting the pole owner's written permission for an attachment to a particular pole does not exist at the time an attachment is made, the attaching entity shall pay to the pole owner accrued rental fees for each pole on which an attachment is made without a contract authorizing the attachment on that pole, dating back to the date the attachment is considered to have been made under existing law, plus any penalty that may be prescribed for such an attachment under any existing contract between the pole owner and the attaching entity. (7) Provides that if, after December 31, 2022, the attaching entity has not paid all accrued rental fees for such attachments made before January 1, 2023, the attaching entity shall, in addition to the accrued rental fees that remain outstanding, be liable for the $500 fine that otherwise applies for each pole on which such an attachment was made before January 1, 2023, and for which the attaching entity has not paid all accrued rental fees. (8) Changes from 90 days (under current law) to 60 days the amount of time by which an attaching entity is responsible for transferring an authorized attachment after receiving written notice from the pole owner to do so. Makes a corresponding change in the amount of time after which the pole owner may rearrange, transfer, or relocate the attaching entity's system (or portion of the system) after the attaching entity has failed to do so. (9) Provides that the pole owner is immune from civil liability for the pole owner's actions in rearranging, transferring, or relocating the attaching entity's system, as long as the pole owner exercises reasonable care in taking such actions, and unless the pole owner's actions constitute gross negligence or willful or wanton misconduct. (10) Creates the offense of unlawful pole attachment, a Class C misdemeanor, for the knowing and intentional attachment to a pole without the pole owner's written permission specifically authorizing the attachment. ... View more