AN ACT TO AUTHORIZE THE DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION OF TELECOMMUNICATIONS CONDUIT WITHIN THE STATE RIGHT-OF-WAY.
Amends GS 136-18 to give the Department of Transportation (DOT) authority to construct conduits for telecommunications cables within the State right-of-way, with construction borne through the leasing of the conduit to private telecommunications companies, provided that the construction and leasing is not otherwise prohibited by any other federal or State law. Creates the Conduit Installation Account in the Information Technology Fund to receive revenues from conduit leasing with funds in the Account used to fund the installation and maintenance of telecommunications conduit within the State right-of-way and to support the administration of this new subdivision. Requires excess revenues in the fund to remain in the fund to advance additional projects across the state.
Enacts GS 136-44.18 to require DOT, in collaboration with the North Carolina Department of Information Technology, to include in its planning for roads with a minimum length of 2,500 feet the installation of conduit for telecommunications cables when: (1) less than 90% of households in the county where the road project is located have access to high-speed data or telecommunications services and (2) before advertising the project, a provider of high-speed data Internet provides DOT with a letter indicating its interest in leasing the conduit and enters into a lease agreement or provides a bond in the amount of the anticipated construction costs.
Requires DOT, in collaboration with the Department of Information Technology, to report annually beginning by May 1, 2022, to the specified NCGA committee on its progress in implementing the program to install telecommunications conduit authorized by this act. Specifies information that is to be included in the initial and subsequent reports.
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