Utility easements; location of broadband and other communications facilities. (HB831)

Introduced By

Del. Jennifer Carroll Foy (D-Woodbridge) with support from co-patrons Del. Hala Ayala (D-Woodbridge), and Del. Kaye Kory (D-Falls Church)

Progress

Introduced
Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law

Description

Utility easements; location of broadband and other communications facilities. Declares that it is the policy of the Commonwealth that (i) easements for the location and use of electric and communications facilities may be used to provide or expand broadband or other communications services; (ii) the use of easements to provide or expand broadband or other communications services is in the public interest; (iii) the installation, replacement, or use of public utility conduit, including the costs of installation, replacement, or use of conduit of a sufficient size to accommodate the installation of infrastructure to provide or expand broadband or other communications services, is in the public interest; (iv) the use of easements to provide or expand broadband or other communications services (a) does not constitute a change in the physical use of the easement, (b) does not interfere with, impair, or take any vested or other rights of the owner or occupant of the servient estate, (c) does not place any additional burden on the servient estate other than a de minimis burden, if any; (iv) has value to the owner or occupant of the servient estate greater than any de minimis impact; and (v) the installation and operation of broadband or other communications services within easements, appurtenant or gross, are merely changes in the manner, purpose, or degree of the granted use as appropriate to accommodate a new technology. The measure further provides that (1) absent any express prohibition on the installation and operation of broadband or other communications services in an easement that is contained in a deed or other instrument by which the easement was granted, the installation and operation of broadband or other communications services within any easement shall be deemed, as a matter of law, to be a permitted use within the scope of every easement for the location and use of electric and communications facilities and (2) subject to compliance with any express prohibitions in a written easement, any incumbent utility or communications provider may use an easement to install, construct, provide, maintain, modify, lease, operate, repair, replace, or remove its communications equipment, system, or facilities, and provide communications services through the same, without such incumbent utility or communications provider paying additional compensation to the owner or occupant of the servient estate or to the incumbent utility, provided that no additional utility poles are installed. The measure provides that, in cases of a prescriptive easement, such easement is deemed to exist and that any incumbent utility or communications provider may use a prescriptive easement to install, construct, provide, maintain, modify, lease, operate, repair, replace, or remove its communications equipment, system, or facilities, and provide communications services through the same, without such incumbent utility or communications provider paying additional compensation to the owner or occupant of the servient estate or to the incumbent utility, provided that no additional utility poles are installed. Read the Bill »

Status

02/17/2020: passed committee

History

DateAction
01/07/2020Committee
01/07/2020Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/08/20 20104845D
01/07/2020Referred to Committee on Communications, Technology and Innovation
01/16/2020Assigned CT & I sub: Communications
01/20/2020House subcommittee amendments and substitutes offered
01/20/2020Subcommittee recommends reporting with substitute (6-Y 1-N)
01/20/2020Subcommittee recommends referring to Committee on Labor and Commerce
01/27/2020Reported from Communications, Technology and Innovation with substitute (18-Y 3-N) (see vote tally)
01/27/2020Committee substitute printed 20106174D-H1
01/27/2020Referred to Committee on Labor and Commerce
02/04/2020Impact statement from SCC (HB831H1)
02/06/2020House committee, floor amendments and substitutes offered
02/06/2020Committee substitute printed 20107797D-H2
02/06/2020Reported from Labor and Commerce with substitute (21-Y 1-N) (see vote tally)
02/09/2020Read first time
02/10/2020Read second time
02/10/2020Committee on Communications, Technology and Innovation substitute rejected 20106174D-H1
02/10/2020Committee Labor and Commerce substitute agreed to 20107797D-H2
02/10/2020Engrossed by House - committee substitute HB831H2
02/11/2020Read third time and passed House (93-Y 2-N 1-A)
02/11/2020VOTE: Passage (93-Y 2-N 1-A) (see vote tally)
02/12/2020Impact statement from SCC (HB831H2)
02/12/2020Constitutional reading dispensed
02/12/2020Referred to Committee on Commerce and Labor
02/17/2020Reported from Commerce and Labor with substitute (11-Y 2-N 2-A) (see vote tally)
02/17/2020Committee substitute printed 20108365D-S1
02/19/2020Constitutional reading dispensed (39-Y 0-N)

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