AN ACT AUTHORIZING CERTAIN COUNTIES TO PROVIDE HIGH-SPEED INTERNET ACCESS SERVICE AS A PUBLIC ENTERPRISE.
Enacts GS 153A-275.1 authorizing the specified counties to provide infrastructure for the purpose of expanding high-speed internet access service in unserved areas of the county. Defines high-speed internet access service and unserved area. Specifies that the infrastructure can include, but is not limited to, conduit, fiber-optic cable, and fiber-optic wire. Authorizes the county to lease the infrastructure to unaffiliated, qualified private providers of high-speed internet access service. Requires any leases under this statute to comply with the provisions of Article 8 of GS Chapter 143 (concerning county property), and to be awarded on a technology-neutral basis. Clarifies that the statute does not permit a county to provide internet service.
Makes conforming changes to amend GS 153A-274 to include high-speed internet access service to the defined term public enterprise, as used in Article 15 of GS Chapter 153A (Public Enterprises).
Applies only to Avery, Cherokee, Clay, Cleveland, Graham, Haywood, Jackson, Macon, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Polk, Rutherford, and Swain counties.
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