S.B. NO.



S.D. 1


H.D. 3














    SECTION 1.  Act 199, Session Laws of Hawaii 2010, established a broadband working group to develop procedures for streamlining permitting functions that are applicable to the development of broadband services and broadband technology.  One of the discussion items of the working group is to exempt from many of the permitting requirements the installation of new or upgraded broadband infrastructure along existing conduits that are already used for telecommunications.  Another discussion item of the working group is to streamline the processing of pole and duct applications.

     The purpose of this Act is to expedite the deployment of high-speed broadband technology in Hawaii by exempting the construction of broadband infrastructure from certain permitting requirements, and reducing the time and costs associated with requests for access to utility poles.

     SECTION 2.  From January 1, 2012, to January 1, 2017, actions relating to the installation, improvement, construction, or development of infrastructure relating to broadband service or broadband technology, including the interconnection of telecommunications cables, shall be exempt from county permitting requirements and state permitting and approval requirements, including but not limited to the requirements of chapters 343, 171, and 205A, Hawaii Revised Statutes; provided that the installation, improvement, construction, or development of infrastructure shall:

     (1)  Take place within existing public rights-of-way or public utility easements or use existing telecommunications infrastructure; and

     (2)  Make no significant changes to the existing public rights-of-way, public utility easements, or telecommunications infrastructure.

     SECTION 3.  No person or entity shall be required to upgrade or replace an existing utility pole when using that utility pole to install new telecommunications cables or to improve existing telecommunications cables; provided that, in addition to other safety and engineering requirements:

     (1)  The overall weight load on the utility pole following the installation or improvement is not greater than the weight load prior to the installation or improvement;

     (2)  The overall weight load on the utility pole does not exceed maximum utility pole safe weight capacities established by the Federal Communications Commission and the Hawaii public utilities commission; and

     (3)  The utility pole is not damaged due to the installation or improvement of telecommunications cables.

     Public utilities and broadband providers shall be allowed to recover prudently incurred costs related to the planning, engineering, construction, installation, or replacement of utility poles to accomplish the objectives of this Act.

     If access to a utility pole is not granted within forty-five days of a utility's receipt of a written request for access, the utility shall confirm the denial in writing by the forty-fifth day.  The utility's denial of access shall be specific, including all relevant evidence and information supporting the denial, and shall explain how the evidence and information relate to a denial of access for reasons of capacity, safety, reliability, or engineering standards.

     SECTION 4.  No later than January 1, 2016, the director of commerce and consumer affairs, in consultation with the administrator of the cable television division, shall:

     (1)  Review the state of broadband communications in Hawaii and the exemptions made pursuant to this Act; and

     (2)  Make a recommendation whether to extend the exemptions provided by this Act.

The director of commerce and consumer affairs shall submit a report of the director's findings and recommendations, along with any proposed legislation, to the legislature no later than twenty days prior to the convening of the regular session of 2016.

     SECTION 5.  This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2112.



Report Title:

Broadband; Permit Exemptions



Exempts certain broadband infrastructure improvements from state and county permitting requirements.  Exempts a person or entity from any requirement to upgrade or replace existing utility poles when using that pole to install new or improve existing telecommunications cables, under certain conditions that includes safety and engineering requirements.  Allows public utilities and broadband providers to recover prudently incurred costs related to the planning, engineering, construction, installation, or replacement of utility poles.  Establishes requirements for utilities in cases where access to a utility pole is denied.  Effective July 1, 2112.  (SB1161 HD3)




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