The Vermont Statutes Online

Title 30: Public Service


Sub-Chapter 1: General Powers

30 V.S.A. § 202. Electrical energy planning

§ 8062. Purpose; powers and duties

(a) To achieve the goals under subsection 8060(b) of this title, the Authority is directed:

(1) to provide resources to local, regional, public, and private entities in the form of grants and other incentives funded through bonded capital and other resources;

(2) to inventory and assess the potential to use federal radio frequency licenses held by instrumentalities of the State to enable broadband service in unserved areas of the State; take whatever steps are consistent with the powers granted the Authority under this chapter to promote the use of those licensed radio frequencies for that purpose; and recommend to the General Assembly any further legislative measures with respect to ownership, management, and utilization of these licenses as would promote the general good of the State;

(3) to the extent not inconsistent with the goals of this chapter, to utilize existing buildings and structures, historic or otherwise, as sites for visually-neutral placement of mobile telecommunications and wireless broadband antenna facilities;

(4) to construct and install, or cause to be constructed and installed, fiber optic and wireless infrastructure through grants to providers and through direct investments in infrastructure to be owned by the Authority, in areas needed to meet the State's objectives as determined by the Secretary of Administration in the action plan developed under 3 V.S.A. § 2222b(b)(3), provided that direct investment is not undertaken in areas served by existing providers with comparable levels of broadband quality and speed or mobile telecommunications service; and

(5) to provide technical and such other support as the Secretary of Administration deems necessary.

(b) The Authority shall have the following powers, which shall be exercised to further the Authority's purpose, and shall have all other powers necessary to carry out the duties imposed on the Authority by law:

(1) to enter into contracts with providers of telecommunications services and related facilities to serve unserved or underserved people and areas of the State; and to provide financial and other assistance to providers who agree in return to provide mobile telecommunications or broadband services to unserved or underserved people and areas of the State; and to facilitate directly or indirectly the efforts of other entities to advance the availability of mobile voice and high speed data or broadband services.

(2) to provide financial assistance in the form of grants or, in accordance with section 8064 of this title, to issue bonds backed by project revenues, the State or its political subdivisions or both for the purpose of building infrastructure capable of delivering mobile telecommunications and broadband services to all Vermonters;

(3) to consult, contract, or partner with the Vermont Economic Development Authority and the Vermont Municipal Bond Bank to provide financial assistance for purposes authorized by this chapter;

(4) to receive and accept grants, gifts, loans, or contributions from any source subject to the provisions of 32 V.S.A. § 5;

(5) to incorporate one or more nonprofit corporations in Vermont to fulfill the goals of this chapter. Such corporations shall be empowered to borrow money and to receive and accept gifts, grants, or contributions from any source, subject to the provisions of 32 V.S.A. § 5, subject to the limitations imposed by law on the Authority. The board of directors of any nonprofit corporation created under this subsection shall be the Board of Directors of the Authority. The corporation shall be organized and operate under the nonprofit corporation laws of the State of Vermont. The Authority may contract with the corporation to provide staff and management needs of the corporation;

(6) to construct, install, own, acquire, sell, trade, and lease equipment, facilities, and other infrastructure that could be accessed and used by multiple service providers, the State and local governments, including fiber optic cables, towers, shelters, easements, rights-of-way, and wireless spectrum of frequencies; provided that any agreement by the Authority to sell infrastructure that is capable of use by more than one service provider shall contain conditions that will ensure continued shared use or colocation at reasonable rates, and provided that the proposed activity will not be in areas served by existing providers with comparable levels of broadband quality and speed or mobile telecommunications service;

(7) to apply for and obtain required permits for the construction of telecommunications infrastructure;

(8) in collaboration with the Agency of Administration, to lead the marketing of State properties to encourage and expedite collocation of infrastructure;

(9) to consult with agencies and departments on establishing charges or payments for use by wireless telecommunications and broadband service providers of State property, easements, and rights-of-way to the extent such charges or payments are required by law, and establish the criteria for waiver of such charges or payments when providers offer to furnish comparable value to the State to meet the public good;

(10) to sue and be sued in its own name and plead and be impleaded;

(11) to administer its own funds and to invest or deposit funds which are not needed currently to meet the obligations of the Authority;

(12) to borrow money and give other evidence of indebtedness or obligations and security consistent with the Authority's purpose and needs; and

(13) to pursue route and site identification for fiber optic and wireless infrastructure.

(c) Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to grant power to the Authority to offer the sale of telecommunications services to the public. (Added 2007, No. 79, § 1, eff. June 9, 2007; amended 2011, No. 53, § 17, eff. May 27, 2011.)