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AB-1557 Communications: utility pole attachments.(2021-2022)



Current Version: 03/18/21 - Amended Assembly         Compare Versions information image


AB1557:v98#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  March 18, 2021

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2021–2022 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 1557


Introduced by Assembly Member Santiago

February 19, 2021


An act to amend Section 884 of add Section 767.6 to the Public Utilities Code, relating to telecommunications. communications.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1557, as amended, Santiago. Broadband services. Communications: utility pole attachments.
Under existing law, the Public Utilities Commission has regulatory authority over public utilities. Existing law authorizes the commission to fix the rates and charges for every public utility and requires that those rates and charges be just and reasonable. Existing law includes legislative findings that public utilities have dedicated a portion of their utility pole support structures to cable television corporations for pole attachments and declares that the provision by public utilities of surplus space and excess capacity for those pole attachments is a public utility service delivered by public utilities to cable television corporations and is in the interests of the people of California. Under existing law, whenever a public utility and a cable television corporation or association of cable television corporations are unable to agree upon the terms, conditions, or annual compensation for pole attachments, or for creating surplus space and excess capacity for pole attachments, the commission is required to establish and enforce the rates, terms, and conditions for those pole attachments and capacity enhancements so as to assure the public utility the recovery of specified funds.
This bill would require a public utility that receives a request for pole attachment from a cable television corporation to notify the cable television corporation, as soon as possible, but by no later than 10 days after receipt of the request, of any additional information needed to respond to the request. The bill would require the public utility to notify the cable television corporation, as soon as possible, but by no later than 45 days after receipt of the request, if the attachment request is accepted or denied. If the request is denied, the bill would require the public utility to state all of the reasons for the denial and the remedy to gain access to the pole for attachment. If the request is accepted, the bill would require the public utility to include a cost estimate, based on actual cost, for any necessary make-ready work required to accommodate the requested attachment. If the public utility determines that a pole replacement is necessary, the bill would authorize the public utility and the cable television corporation to negotiate terms and conditions for the requested attachment and if the public utility is an electrical corporation, would authorize the electrical corporation to recover the cost of the pole replacement in a general rate case or, if applicable, a wildfire mitigation plan approval proceeding.
Under existing law, a violation of the Public Utilities Act or any order, decision, rule, direction, demand, or requirement of the commission is a crime.
Because the provisions of this bill would be a part of the act and because a violation of an order or decision of the commission implementing its requirements would be a crime, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program by creating a new crime.
The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.

Existing law creates the California Teleconnect Fund Administrative Committee Fund in the State Treasury, requires that moneys from the fund be expended only upon appropriation in the annual Budget Act or upon supplemental appropriation, and requires that the moneys appropriated be used exclusively by the Public Utilities Commission for authorized teleconnect programs. Existing law authorizes the commission to expend up to $2,000,000 of the unencumbered amount of moneys in that fund for the nonrecurring installation costs for high-speed broadband services for community organizations that are eligible for discounted rates, as specified. Existing law declares the intent of the Legislature that any program administered by the commission that addresses the inequality of access to high-speed broadband services by providing those services to schools and libraries at a discounted price provide comparable discounts to a nonprofit community technology program.

This bill would make nonsubstantive changes to the provisions declaring this intent and defining terms for those purposes.

Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NOYES   Local Program: NOYES  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 767.6 is added to the Public Utilities Code, to read:

767.6.
 (a) The definitions in Section 767.5 apply to this section.
(b) A public utility shall respond to a request for pole attachment by a cable television corporation as follows:
(1) As soon as possible, but by no later than 10 days after receipt of the request, the public utility shall notify the cable television corporation of any additional information needed to respond to the attachment request.
(2) (A) As soon as possible, but by no later than 45 days after receipt of the request, the public utility shall notify the cable television corporation if the attachment request is accepted or denied.
(B) If denied, the notice shall state all of the reasons for the denial and the remedy to gain access to the pole for attachment.
(C) If accepted, the notice shall include a cost estimate, based on actual cost, for any necessary make-ready work required to accommodate the requested attachment.
(c) Notwithstanding subdivision (c) of Section 767.5, if the public utility determines that a pole replacement is necessary to accommodate a requested attachment, the public utility and cable television corporation may negotiate terms and conditions for the requested attachment. If the public utility is an electrical corporation, it may recover the cost of the pole replacement in a general rate case or, if applicable, a wildfire mitigation plan approval proceeding pursuant to Chapter 6 (commencing with Section 8385) of Division 4.1.

SEC. 2.

 No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution.
SECTION 1.Section 884 of the Public Utilities Code is amended to read:
884.

(a)It is the intent of the Legislature that any program administered by the commission that addresses the inequality of access to high-speed broadband services by providing those services to schools and libraries at a discounted price provide comparable discounts to a nonprofit community technology program.

(b)Notwithstanding any other law or existing program of the commission, but consistent with the purposes for which those funds were appropriated from the California Teleconnect Fund Administrative Committee Fund in Item 8660-001-0493 of Section 2.00 of the Budget Act of 2003 (Chapter 157 of the Statutes of 2003), and reappropriated in Item 8660-491 of Section 2.00 of the Budget Act of 2006 (Chapter 47 of the Statutes of 2006), the commission may expend up to two million dollars ($2,000,000) of the unencumbered amount of those funds for the nonrecurring installation costs for high-speed broadband services for community organizations that are eligible for discounted rates pursuant to Section 280.

(c)For purposes of this section, the following terms have the following meanings:

(1)“High-speed broadband services” means a system for the digital transmission of information over the internet at a speed of at least 384 kilobits per second.

(2)“Nonprofit community technology program” means a community-based nonprofit organization that is exempt from taxation under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and engages in diffusing technology into local communities and training local communities that have no access to, or have limited access to, the internet and advanced telecommunications technologies.