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BILL AS INTRODUCED 2007-2008

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H.671

Introduced by Representatives Botzow of Pownal, Bissonnette of Winooski, Browning of Arlington, Clerkin of Hartford, Consejo of Sheldon, Davis of Washington, Livingston of Manchester, Malcolm of Pawlet, Marcotte of Coventry and Shand of Weathersfield

Referred to Committee on

Date:

Subject:  Telecommunications; broadband; extension

Statement of purpose:  This bill would amend the state’s telecommunications policies and requirements to:

     (1)  amend cable television line extension requirements to eliminate and prohibit any “satellite dish exemption” under which a cable company may count a premises with a satellite dish as less than one unit in meeting minimum housing density requirements for cable line extensions;

     (2)  require all new electric utility construction to be open to bid or use by broadband service providers;

     (3)  amend the broadband speed requirements (minimal technical service characteristic objectives) to require that broadband speed shall be based on an application standard such as that required for a person to conduct business or on-line training.

AN ACT RELATING TO EXPANSION OF TELECOMMUNICATIONS SERVICES IN THE STATE

It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:

Sec. 1.  30 V.S.A. § 517(g) is added to read:

(g)  Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any line extension construction obligation for additional miles contained in a certificate of public good granted by the public service board, or any other similar agreement or commitment, may not contain any provisions under which a cable company may count a premises with a satellite dish as less than one unit in meeting minimum housing density requirements for cable line extensions.

Sec. 2.  Sec. 18 of No. 79 of the Acts of 2007 is amended to read:

Sec. 18.  ROLE OF VERMONT’S ELECTRIC UTILITIES TO FURTHER
  TELECOMMUNICATIONS DEPLOYMENT THROUGHOUT
  VERMONT

(a)  The public service board shall convene a proceeding within 60 days of the effective date of this act to examine regulatory policy regarding the use or role of Vermont’s electric utilities to facilitate deployment of telecommunications infrastructure and services, whether wireless, broadband, or otherwise, throughout the state and take whatever action the board finds is consistent with the public good and within its existing authority.  The board shall provide notice of the proceeding to the state’s electric utilities and certificated telecommunications carriers.  The department of public service shall provide a report to the general assembly by January 15, 2008 with the department’s recommendations for any necessary legislative action. 

(b)  The public service board shall also convene a proceeding prior to

June 30, 2008 to examine regulatory policy regarding the use or role of Vermont’s electric utilities to facilitate deployment of telecommunications infrastructure and services, whether wireless, broadband, or otherwise, throughout the state by requiring that all new electric utility construction be open to bid or use by broadband service providers and take whatever action the board finds is consistent with the public good and within its existing authority for this purpose.

Sec. 3.  30 V.S.A. § 8077(c) is amended to read:

(c)  Until the department of public service adopts a revision to the state telecommunications plan, the authority shall give priority to the expansion of broadband services which deploy equipment capable of a data transmission rate of not less than 3 megabits per second and offer a service plan with a data transmission rate of not less than 1.5 megabits per second in at least one direction to unserved areas.  In no case shall the transmission rate be less than that required for a person to conduct on-line business or on-line training.



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us