Florida Senate - 2021                      CS for CS for SB 1592
       By the Committees on Appropriations; and Finance and Tax; and
       Senators Burgess, Diaz, and Albritton
       576-04452-21                                          20211592c2
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to broadband Internet infrastructure;
    3         providing a short title; creating s. 364.0137, F.S.;
    4         providing legislative findings; defining terms;
    5         requiring municipal electric utilities to provide a
    6         specified promotional rate to broadband providers for
    7         wireline attachments made in unserved or underserved
    8         areas within the utility’s service area; requiring the
    9         broadband provider to submit an application that meets
   10         certain requirements to receive the promotional rate;
   11         requiring municipal electric utilities to provide
   12         certain information regarding connections made
   13         available to broadband providers to the Office of
   14         Broadband within the Department of Economic
   15         Opportunity; providing requirements for the
   16         promotional rate; requiring the local technology
   17         planning teams within the office to provide support to
   18         rural communities regarding broadband service
   19         availability; requiring wireline attachments to comply
   20         with certain safety and engineering standards;
   21         authorizing a municipal electric utility to require a
   22         broadband provider to reimburse the electric utility
   23         for the replacement of utility poles under certain
   24         circumstances; defining the term “useful life”;
   25         prohibiting a municipal electric utility from
   26         increasing pole attachment fees during a specified
   27         timeframe; providing an effective date.
   29  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   31         Section 1. This act may be cited as the “Florida Broadband
   32  Deployment Act of 2021.”
   33         Section 2. Section 364.0137, Florida Statutes, is created
   34  to read:
   35         364.0137Attachment of broadband facilities to municipal
   36  electric utility poles.—
   37         (1)The Legislature finds that there is a need for
   38  increased availability of broadband Internet access throughout
   39  this state, particularly in areas where residents do not have
   40  access to acceptable Internet download and upload speeds, or any
   41  access at all. The lack of Internet connectivity and widespread
   42  broadband availability is detrimental to the growth of the
   43  economy, access to telehealth, and educational opportunities.
   44  The federal government has provided vast resources for private
   45  cable and other broadband providers to expand the deployment of
   46  broadband infrastructure in areas where Internet access and
   47  broadband service are inadequate or nonexistent.
   48         (2)As used in this section, the term:
   49         (a)“Broadband provider” means a person or an entity who
   50  provides fixed broadband service.
   51         (b)“Broadband service” means a service that provides high
   52  speed access to the Internet at a rate of at least 25 megabits
   53  per seconds for downloading and at least 3 megabits per second
   54  for uploading.
   55         (c)“Underserved” means that retail access to the Internet
   56  is not available at speeds of at least 25 megabits per seconds
   57  for downloading and 3 megabits per second for uploading.
   58         (d)“Unserved” means that retail access to the Internet is
   59  not available at speeds of at least 10 megabits per seconds for
   60  downloading and 1 megabit per second for uploading.
   61         (e)“Wireline attachment” means a wire or cable and
   62  associated equipment affixed to a utility pole in the
   63  communications space of the pole.
   64         (3)From July 1, 2021, to July 1, 2024, a municipal
   65  electric utility shall provide a broadband provider with a
   66  promotional rate of $1 per wireline attachment per pole per year
   67  for any new attachment necessary to make service available to an
   68  unserved or underserved end user within the municipal electric
   69  utility’s service territory during such time period.
   70         (a)A broadband provider that wishes to make wireline
   71  attachments subject to the promotional rate shall submit an
   72  application, including a route map, to the municipal electric
   73  utility specifying which wireline attachments on which utility
   74  poles are necessary to extend broadband service to unserved or
   75  underserved end users and therefore qualify for the promotional
   76  rate under this subsection, together with such information
   77  necessary to identify which unserved or underserved end users
   78  within the municipal electric utility’s service territory will
   79  have access to broadband service as a result. The broadband
   80  provider shall also submit a copy of such application and plan
   81  simultaneously to the Office of Broadband within the Department
   82  of Economic Opportunity.
   83         (b)A municipal electric utility shall report to the Office
   84  of Broadband which connections on which utility poles were made
   85  available to broadband providers subject to the promotional
   86  rate, together with any information available to it regarding
   87  which of its municipal electric utility customers do and do not
   88  have access to broadband service and whether they are unserved
   89  or underserved.
   90         (c)A broadband provider who makes an application to attach
   91  under the promotional rate shall make all reasonable efforts to
   92  make broadband service available to the unserved or underserved
   93  municipal electric utility customers identified in the
   94  application. If the broadband provider fails to make broadband
   95  service available to those customers within 12 months, the
   96  broadband provider may be required to pay the prevailing rate
   97  for those attachments that failed to make broadband service
   98  available to the intended customers.
   99         (d)Except to the extent provided in this section, wireline
  100  attachments subject to the promotional rate must conform to all
  101  other terms and conditions of existing pole attachment
  102  agreements between the broadband provider and the municipal
  103  electric utility. If no such agreement exists, the parties have
  104  90 days to enter into a pole attachment agreement for all other
  105  terms and conditions of attachment.
  106         (4)The local technology planning teams within the Office
  107  of Broadband shall work with rural communities to help the
  108  communities determine their current broadband availability,
  109  locate unserved and underserved customers, identify assets
  110  relevant to broadband deployment, build partnerships with
  111  broadband service providers, and identify opportunities to
  112  leverage assets and reduce barriers to the deployment of public
  113  and private broadband service in the community. In fiscally
  114  constrained counties, the teams or partnerships must be
  115  proactive in identifying and providing assistance with applying
  116  for federal grants for broadband service.
  117         (5)All wireline attachments must comply, at a minimum,
  118  with the safety and engineering standards for pole attachments
  119  specified in the National Electrical Safety Code. A municipal
  120  electric utility may adopt publicly available, reasonable, and
  121  nondiscriminatory safety and engineering standards for the
  122  protection of the public health, safety, or welfare which exceed
  123  specifications in the National Electrical Safety Code. If a
  124  municipality has adopted or adopts such standards that exceed
  125  such specification in the National Electrical Safety Code, the
  126  broadband provider must meet the stricter standards.
  127         (6)If the municipal electric utility is required to
  128  replace a utility pole due to a broadband provider’s attachment,
  129  the municipal electric utility may require, as a condition of
  130  pole attachment, a broadband provider to reimburse all
  131  reasonable and nondiscriminatory costs attributable solely to
  132  the new attachment minus the salvage value of the removed pole,
  133  if such value is positive. The municipal electric utility may
  134  not require a utility pole to be replaced to accommodate a
  135  broadband provider’s attachment except where necessary to comply
  136  with applicable engineering and safety standards. With respect
  137  to such replacement poles, if pole replacement is necessary to
  138  correct an existing violation, to bring the pole into compliance
  139  with any changes in applicable standards, or because the pole is
  140  at the end of its useful life, such replacement cost may not be
  141  charged to the broadband provider. As used in this subsection,
  142  the term “useful life” means not less than 30 years for a wood
  143  utility pole and not less than 50 years for a concrete, steel,
  144  or ductile iron pole and all other utility poles.
  145         (7)A municipal electric utility may not increase the fees
  146  charged to broadband providers for pole attachments made between
  147  July 1, 2021, and July 31, 2022.
  148         Section 3. This act shall take effect July 1, 2021.