Code of Virginia

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

§ 56-484.31. Attachment of small cell facilities on government-owned structures.

A. If the Commonwealth or a locality agrees to permit a wireless services provider or a wireless infrastructure provider to attach small cell facilities to government-owned structures, both the government entity and the wireless services or wireless infrastructure provider shall negotiate in good faith to arrive at a mutually agreeable contract terms and conditions.

B. The rates, terms, and conditions for such agreement shall be just and reasonable, cost-based, nondiscriminatory, and competitively neutral, and shall comply with all applicable state and federal laws. However, rates for attachments to government-owned buildings may be based on fair market value.

C. For utility poles owned by a locality or the Commonwealth that support aerial cables used for video, communications, or electric service, the parties shall comply with the process for make-ready work under 47 U.S.C. § 224 and implementing regulations. The good faith estimate of the government entity owning or controlling the utility pole for any make-ready work necessary to enable the utility pole to support the requested co-location shall include pole replacement if necessary.

D. For utility poles owned by a locality or the Commonwealth that do not support aerial cables used for video, communications, or electric service, the government entity owning or controlling the utility pole shall provide a good faith estimate for any make-ready work necessary to enable the utility pole to support the requested co-location, including pole replacement, if necessary, within 60 days after receipt of a complete application. Make-ready work, including any pole replacement, shall be completed within 60 days of written acceptance of the good faith estimate by the wireless services provider or a wireless infrastructure provider.

E. The government entity owning or controlling the utility pole shall not require more make-ready work than required to meet applicable codes or industry standards. Charges for make-ready work, including any pole replacement, shall not exceed actual costs or the amount charged to other wireless services providers, providers of telecommunications services, and nonpublic providers of cable television and electric services for similar work and shall not include consultants' fees or expenses.

F. The annual recurring rate to co-locate a small cell facility on a government-owned utility pole shall not exceed the actual, direct, and reasonable costs related to the wireless services provider's or wireless infrastructure provider's use of space on the utility pole. In any controversy concerning the appropriateness of the rate, the government entity owning or controlling the utility pole shall have the burden of proving that the rates are reasonably related to the actual, direct, and reasonable costs incurred for use of space on the utility pole for such period.

G. This section shall not apply to utility poles, structures, or property of an electric utility owned or operated by a municipality or other political subdivision.

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.