HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

H.B. NO.

2256

TWENTY-NINTH LEGISLATURE, 2018

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

 

relating to broadband service.

 

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

 


SECTION 1. The legislature finds that it is essential to ensure that people can access websites and information freely and fairly over the Internet, which provides worldwide communication and a platform for a global marketplace where even the smallest businesses can participate. In 2015, the Federal Communications Commission adopted strong rules and regulations to protect internet users, as all content over the internet was treated equally and without preferential treatment. However, the more recent Federal Communications Commission's ruling to repeal net neutrality deregulates the internet service industry, jeopardizing the future of access to websites and information and creating an environment that could allow internet service providers the opportunity to limit or prioritize certain access to information at their discretion.

The purpose of this Act is to ensure that the Internet remains free and open in the State by:

(1) Requiring providers of broadband internet access services to be transparent with network management practices, performance, and commercial terms of its broadband internet access services;

(2) Prohibiting providers of broadband internet access services from:

(A) Blocking lawful websites;

(B) Impairing or degrading lawful internet traffic;

(C) Engaging in paid prioritization; or

(D) Unreasonably interfering with or unreasonably disadvantaging users of broadband internet access services; and

(3) Requiring an applicant for a broadband-related permit seeking a state-granted right to attach small cell or other broadband wireless communication devices to utility poles to comply with certain practices.

SECTION 2. The Hawaii Revised Statutes is amended by adding a new chapter to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"CHAPTER

BROADBAND INTERNET ACCESS SERVICE

   -1 Definitions. As used in this chapter, unless the context otherwise requires:

"Broadband internet access service" means a mass-market retail service, including any service that the Federal Communications Commission finds to be functionally equivalent, by wire or radio that provides the capability to transmit data to and receive data from all or substantially all internet endpoints, including any capabilities that are incidental to and enable the operation of the communications service, but excluding dial-up internet access service.

"Edge provider" means any individual or entity that provides any content, application, or service over the Internet, and any individual or entity that provides a device used for accessing any content, application, or service over the Internet.

"End user" means any individual or entity that uses a broadband internet access service.

"Mobile broadband internet access service" means a broadband internet access service that serves end users primarily using mobile stations.

"Paid prioritization" means the management of a broadband provider's network to directly or indirectly favor some traffic over other traffic, including through the use of techniques such as traffic shaping, prioritization, resource reservation, or other forms of preferential traffic management, either:

(1) In exchange for consideration, monetary or otherwise, from a third party; or

(2) To benefit an affiliated entity.

"Reasonable network management" means a practice that has a primarily technical network management justification, but does not include other business practices. A network management practice is reasonable if it is primarily used for and tailored to achieving a legitimate network management purpose, taking into account the particular network architecture and technology of the broadband internet access service.

   -2 Broadband internet access service; disclosure; protections. (a) A person engaged in the provision of broadband internet access service in the State shall publicly disclose accurate information regarding the network management practices, performance, and commercial terms of its broadband internet access services sufficient for consumers to make informed choices regarding use of such services and for content, application, service, and device providers to develop, market, and maintain internet offerings.

(b) A person engaged in the provision of broadband internet access service in the State, insofar as such a person is so engaged, shall not:

(1) Block lawful content, applications, services, or nonharmful devices, subject to reasonable network management;

(2) Impair or degrade lawful internet traffic on the basis of internet content, application, or service, or use of a nonharmful device, subject to reasonable network management;

(3) Engage in paid prioritization; or

(4) Unreasonably interfere with or unreasonably disadvantage:

(A) End users' ability to select, access, and use broadband internet access service or the lawful internet content, applications, services, or devices of their choice; or

(B) Edge providers' ability to make lawful content, applications, services, or devices available to end users;

provided that the prohibition on paid prioritization pursuant to paragraph (3) of this subsection may be permitted if a petitioner demonstrates that the practice would provide some significant public interest benefit and would not harm the open nature of the internet in the State."

SECTION 3. Section 27-45, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"[[]27-45[]] Broadband-related permits; automatic approval. (a) The State shall approve, approve with modification, or disapprove all applications for broadband-related permits within sixty days of submission of a complete permit application and full payment of any applicable fee; provided that this subsection shall not apply to a conservation district use application for broadband facilities. If, on the sixty-first day, an application is not approved, approved with modification, or disapproved by the State, the application shall be deemed approved by the State.

(b) The State shall approve, approve with modification, or disapprove use applications for broadband facilities within the conservation district within one hundred forty-five days of submission of a complete application and full payment of any applicable fee. If, on the one hundred forty-sixth day, an application is not approved, approved with modification, or disapproved by the State, the application shall be deemed approved by the State.

(c) Permits issued pursuant to this section shall contain the following language: "This is a broadband-related permit issued pursuant to section 27-45, Hawaii Revised Statutes."

(d) An applicant and a public utility shall comply with all applicable safety and engineering requirements relating to the installation, improvement, construction, or development of infrastructure relating to broadband service or broadband technology.

(e) No action shall be prosecuted or maintained against the State, its officials, or employees on account of actions taken in reviewing, approving, modifying, or disapproving a permit application pursuant to this section, or against public utilities resulting from such actions.

(f) The sixty day time period established by subsection (a) shall be extended in the event of a natural disaster, state emergency, or union strike that prevents the applicant, agency, or department from fulfilling application review requirements.

(g) If an application is incomplete, the State shall notify the applicant in writing within ten business days of submittal of the application. The notice shall inform the applicant of the specific requirements necessary to complete the application. The sixty-first day automatic approval provisions under subsection (a) shall continue to apply to the application only if the applicant satisfies the specific requirements of the notice and submits a complete application within five business days of receipt of the notice.

(h) Nothing in this section shall affect the provisions of section 3 of Act 151, Session Laws of Hawaii 2011.

(i) Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, all broadband-related permits approved pursuant to this section that allow an applicant a state-granted right to attach small cell or other broadband wireless communication devices to utility poles shall be contingent upon the applicant complying with the practices set forth pursuant to chapter      .

[(i)] (j) For the purposes of this section, "broadband-related permits" means all state permits required to commence actions with respect to the installation, improvement, construction, or development of infrastructure relating to broadband service or broadband technology, including the interconnection of telecommunications cables, cable installation, tower construction, placement of broadband equipment in the road rights-of-way, and undersea boring, or the landing of an undersea communications cable. The term does not include any state permit for which the approval of a federal agency is explicitly required pursuant to federal law, rule, or regulation, prior to granting final permit approval by the State."

SECTION 4. Section 46-89, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"46-89 Broadband-related permits; automatic approval. (a) A county shall approve, approve with modification, or disapprove all applications for broadband-related permits within sixty days of submission of a complete permit application and full payment of any applicable fee. If, on the sixty-first day, an application is not approved, approved with modification, or disapproved by the county, the application shall be deemed approved by the county.

(b) Permits issued pursuant to this section shall contain the following language: "This is a broadband-related permit issued pursuant to section 46-89, Hawaii Revised Statutes."

(c) An applicant and a public utility shall comply with all applicable safety and engineering requirements relating to the installation, improvement, construction, or development of infrastructure relating to broadband service or broadband technology.

(d) No action shall be prosecuted or maintained against any county, its officials, or employees on account of actions taken in reviewing, approving, modifying, or disapproving a permit application pursuant to this section, or against public utilities resulting from such actions.

(e) The sixty day time period established by subsection (a) shall be extended in the event of a natural disaster, state emergency, or union strike that prevents the applicant, agency, or department from fulfilling application review requirements.

(f) If an application is incomplete, the county agency shall notify the applicant in writing within ten business days of submittal of the application. The notice shall inform the applicant of the specific requirements necessary to complete the application. The sixty-first day automatic approval provisions under subsection (a) shall continue to apply to the application only if the applicant satisfies the specific requirements of the notice and submits a complete application within five business days of receipt of the notice.

(g) Nothing in this section shall affect the provisions of section 3 of Act 151, Session Laws of Hawaii 2011.

(h) Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, all broadband-related permits approved pursuant to this section that allow an applicant a county-granted right to attach small cell or other broadband wireless communication devices to utility poles shall be contingent upon the applicant complying with the practices set forth pursuant to chapter      .

[(h)] (i) For the purposes of this section, "broadband-related permits" means all county permits required to commence actions with respect to the installation, improvement, construction, or development of infrastructure relating to broadband service or broadband technology, including the interconnection of telecommunications cables, cable installation, tower construction, placement of broadband equipment in the road rights-of-way, and undersea boring, or the landing of an undersea communications cable. The term does not include any county permit for which the approval of a federal agency is explicitly required pursuant to federal law, rule, or regulation, prior to granting final permit approval by the county."

SECTION 5. If any provision of this Act, or the application thereof to any person or circumstance, is held invalid, the invalidity does not affect other provisions or applications of the Act that can be given effect without the invalid provision or application, and to this end the provisions of this Act are severable.

SECTION 6. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 7. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.

 

INTRODUCED BY:

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Report Title:

Broadband Internet Access Service; Protections; Net Neutrality

 

Description:

Requires a provider of broadband internet access services to be transparent with network management practices, performance, and commercial terms of its broadband internet access services. Prohibits a provider of broadband internet access services from blocking lawful websites, impairing or degrading lawful internet traffic, engaging in paid prioritization, or interfering with or disadvantaging users of broadband internet access services. Requires an applicant of a broadband-related permit seeking a state-granted or county-granted right to attach small cell or other broadband wireless communication devices to utility poles to comply with certain practices.

 

 

 

The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.