Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 56. Public Service Companies
Chapter 15.1. Wireless Communications Infrastructure
11/30/2021

§ 56-484.28. Access to public rights-of-way operated and maintained by the Department for the installation and maintenance of small cell facilities on existing structures.

A. Upon application by a wireless services provider or wireless infrastructure provider, the Department shall issue a districtwide permit, consistent with applicable regulations that do not conflict with this chapter, granting access to public rights-of-way that it operates and maintains to install and maintain small cell facilities on existing structures in the rights-of-way. The application shall include a copy of the agreement under which the applicant has permission from the owner of the structure to the co-location of equipment on that structure. If the application is received on or after September 1, 2017, (i) the Department shall issue the districtwide permit within 30 days after receipt of the application and (ii) the districtwide permit shall be deemed granted if not issued within 30 days after receipt of the complete application. Within 10 days after receipt of an application and a valid electronic mail address for the applicant, the Department shall notify the applicant by electronic mail whether the application is incomplete and specify any missing information; otherwise, the application shall be deemed complete. A districtwide permit issued for the original installation shall allow the permittee to repair, replace, or perform routine maintenance operations to small cell facilities once installed.

B. The Department may require a separate single use permit to allow a wireless services provider or wireless infrastructure provider to install and maintain small cell facilities on an existing structure when such activity requires (i) working within the highway travel lane or requiring closure of a highway travel lane; (ii) disturbing the pavement, shoulder, roadway, or ditch line; (iii) placement on limited access rights-of-way; or (iv) any specific precautions to ensure the safety of the traveling public or the protection of public infrastructure or the operation thereof. Upon application by a wireless services provider or wireless infrastructure provider, the Department may issue a single use permit granting access to install and maintain small cell facilities in such circumstances. If the application is received on or after September 1, 2017, (a) the Department shall approve or disapprove the application within 60 days after receipt of the application, which 60-day period may be extended by the Department in writing for a period not to exceed an additional 30 days and (b) the application shall be deemed approved if the Department fails to approve or disapprove the application within the initial 60 days and any extension thereof. Any disapproval of an application for a single use permit shall be in writing and accompanied by an explanation of the reasons for the disapproval.

C. The Department shall not impose any fee for the use of the right-of-way on a wireless services provider or wireless infrastructure provider to attach or co-locate small cell facilities on an existing structure in the right-of-way. However, the Department may prescribe and charge a reasonable fee not to exceed $750 for processing an application for a districtwide permit or $150 for processing an application for a single use permit.

D. The Department shall not impose any fee or require a permit for the installation, placement, maintenance, or replacement of micro-wireless facilities that are suspended on cables or lines that are strung between existing utility poles in compliance with national safety codes. However, the Department may require a single use permit if such activities (i) involve working within the highway travel lane or require closure of a highway travel lane; (ii) disturb the pavement, shoulder, roadway, or ditch line; (iii) include placement on limited access rights-of-way; or (iv) require any specific precautions to ensure the safety of the traveling public or the protection of public infrastructure or the operation thereof, and either were not authorized in or will be conducted in a time, place, or manner that is inconsistent with terms of the existing permit for that facility or the structure upon which it is attached.

2017, c. 835.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.