Bill Summaries: H431 FIBER NC ACT.

Tracking:
  • Summary date: Aug 7 2019 - More information

    House committee substitute deletes the provisions of the 1st edition and provides the following.

    Enacts GS 153A-458 and GS 160-499.5, authorizing counties and cities to install or maintain broadband infrastructure to be leased to a private provider pursuant to GS 160A-272.5, as enacted. Defines broadband infrastructure to mean wireline or wireless infrastructure capable of providing terrestrially deployed internet access service with specified minimum transmission speeds. Limits the authority granted to counties to instances in which (1) the lessee is a person operating for profit in NC to provide broadband services and (2) the county either has more than 4.75% of the county without a broadband infrastructure provider or has a major military installation. Limits the authority granted to cities to instances in which the lessee is a person operating for profit in this state to provide broadband services to customers and the city has at least 60% of its population lying in a county described in GS 153A-458 as authorized to install or maintain broadband infrastructure  to be leased (one that has either 4.75% of the county without a broadband infrastructure provider or a major military installation). Authorizes boards of commissioners and cities to use ad valorem taxes, grants, or any other unencumbered funds in exercising authority granted under the statute. Prior to installation, requires a county or city to prepare a report containing a business plan for providing broadband infrastructure and the results of a feasibility study determining the needs and available resources, as specified, including a map of the location and type of broadband infrastructure proposed to be installed. Requires the report be available in the office of the clerk for at least 90 days prior to the date of the public hearing. Requires the board of commissioners or city to hold a public hearing with at least one week's public notice, stating the intent to install and lease the broadband infrastructure. Clarifies that the statute does not authorize a county or city to use broadband infrastructure constructed pursuant to the statute to provide communications services pursuant to Article 16A of GS Chapter 160A. 

    Makes conforming changes to GS 153A-149 and GS 160A-209, adding construction of broadband infrastructure to the purposes for which counties and cities can levy property taxes. Effective for taxes imposed for taxable years beginning on or after July 1, 2020.

    Amends GS 159-81 to authorize broadband services for the purpose of leasing in accordance with GS 160A-272.5 to be revenue bond projects.

    Enacts GS 160A-272.5 to set forth requirements for the lease of broadband infrastructure installed or maintained pursuant to GS 153A-458 or GS 160A-499.5, as enacted, to private providers for delivery of services to customers. Requires the appropriate governing board to authorize the execution of the lease agreement by adopting a resolution at a regular board meeting upon 30 days' public notice. Limits lease terms to 25 years, inclusive of any options to renew or extend the lease. Details further requirements, including that the lease be entered into on a technology-neutral basis, the lease be open to similarly situated private providers on comparable terms and conditions, and the appropriate governing board solicit requests for proposals prior to adopting the authorizing resolution in accordance with the specified procedures, which provide for advertisement parameters and allow proposals to be rejected for any reason. Applies to leases entered into on or after October 1, 2019.

    Amends GS 153A-349.60 to allow counties to provide grants to qualified private providers of highspeed Internet access to expand service in unserved areas in the county (previously, more narrowly limited to expanding service in unserved areas for economic development in the county). Makes further clarifying changes.

    Amends GS 160A-321 to prohibit cities from selling, leasing, or discontinuing a city-owned public enterprise in its entirety without approval from a majority of voters (previously, did not specify that the prohibition applies to the sale, lease, or discontinuance of the public enterprise in its entirety). Makes further clarifying and organizational changes.

    Makes confomring changes to GS 160A-340.2 to explicitly prohibit cities from using broadband infrastructure constructed by the city pursuant to new GS 160A-272.5 from being used to provide communications services under Article 16A.

    Effective October 1, 2019.

    Makes conforming changes to the act's long title.


  • Summary date: Mar 21 2019 - More information

    Enacts GS 153A-458 and GS 160-499.5, authorizing counties and cities to construct facilities or equipment of a broadband service for the purpose of leasing the facilities or equipment in accordance with GS 160A-272, to one or more lessees who are not a governmental unit. Authorizes boards of commissioners and cities to use ad valorem taxes, grants, or any other unrestricted funds in exercising authority granted under the statute. Details four requirements that a county or city must satisfy before beginning construction, including: conducting a feasibility study; adopting a resolution at a regular meeting, which had 10 days' public notice, stating the intent to construct and lease the facilities or equipment; notifying the Local Government Commission of any commitment to expend funds for construction over more than one fiscal year; and notifying the State Chief Information Officer, or their designee, of the location and type of facilities or equipment constructed. Adds building facilities and equipment of broadband services to the purposes for which counties and cities may levy property taxes under GS 153A-149 and GS 160A-209. Effective for taxable years beginning on or after July 1, 2019.

    Amends GS 159-81 to authorize facilities or equipment of broadband services for the purpose of leasing the facilities or equipment in accordance with GS 160A-272 to be revenue bond projects.

    Amends GS 160A-272, concerning the lease or rental of city property. Current law limits the term of such lease or rental to 10 years, with leases for terms of more than 10 years treated as a sale of property. Removes the specification that the notice of a city council's intent to authorize the lease or rental of city property state that the proposed resolution will be at its next regular meeting. Now provides for a city council to approve a lease beyond ten years without treating the lease as a sale of property if the lease is for the operation and use of any facilities and equipment of a broadband service for a term up to 25 years (previously, for the operation and use of components of a wired or wireless network for a term of up to 25 years, and provided certain restrictions). Further, now provides for any lease by a city of any duration for facilities and equipment of broadband service to satisfy four requirements, including inviting and advertising proposals by newspaper or electronically, as specified. Authorizes proposals to be rejected for any reason determined by the governing body to be in the best interest of the city. Additionally, does not require a city to submit to its voters the question of whether to enter into a lease of part of a city-owned public enterprise to be operated and used as facilities or equipment of broadband service. Maintains and reorganizes the provision requiring periods that can be added to the original term of the lease or rental period by options to renew or extend to be included in determining the term of a proposed lease for purposes of the statute. Makes clarifying changes. Applies to leases entered into on or after July 1, 2019.

    Amends GS 160A-340.2 to exempt facilities and equipment of a broadband service constructed by a city for the purpose of leasing the facilities and equipment in accordance with GS 160A-272 from the provisions of Article 16A, Provision of Communications Service by Cities.

    Adds to GS 143-128.1C concerning public-private partnership construction contracts, to specify that public-private project includes a capital improvement project undertaken for the benefit of a city or county that includes construction of facilities or equipment of a broadband service in conjunction with, or as part of, another construction project undertaken by the city or county.

    Effective July 1, 2019.


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