Utility easements; pole attachments. (HB979)

Introduced By

Del. Dave LaRock (R-Loudoun)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Utility easements; pole attachments. Declares that a prescriptive easement, including the right to use such easement for both electric and communications services, exists in an area unserved by broadband when an electric cooperative has a utility map showing the placement, dating back not fewer than 20 years, of facilities owned, maintained, or controlled by the electric cooperative within an easement, and there is no documentation in those records of the electric cooperative or in the public record showing a grant of an inconsistent express easement by the landowner to the cooperative within the easement area. The measure entitles a third-party nongovernmental broadband service provider to use such a prescriptive easement at no charge by the electric cooperative for apportionment and lease of the real estate rights of the cooperative. The measure also provides that when a cooperative has acquired a prescriptive easement in an area unserved by broadband pursuant to which it has the right to install, maintain, and use poles and wires or underground conduits for a communications purpose, it shall be the public policy of the Commonwealth to encourage broadband expansion and to interpret such easement to also include the right of a nongovernmental broadband service provider to install, maintain, operate, repair, and replace broadband lines, systems, and facilities necessary for the provision and extension of broadband and other communications services within such easement. The measure gives the State Corporation Commission exclusive jurisdiction over any dispute as to the right of an electric cooperative or nongovernmental broadband service provider to use such a prescriptive easement. Read the Bill »


Bill Has Failed


01/07/2020Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/08/20 20104126D
01/07/2020Referred to Committee on Communications, Technology and Innovation
01/16/2020Assigned CT & I sub: Communications
01/17/2020Impact statement from SCC (HB979)
02/03/2020Subcommittee recommends laying on the table (9-Y 0-N)
02/11/2020Left in Communications, Technology and Innovation