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Introduced Version House Bill 2294 History

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hb2294 intr
H. B. 2294


(By Delegates Hrutkay, Butcher and Tucker)
[Introduced February 14, 2005; referred to the
Committee on Government Organization then Finance.]




A BILL to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by adding thereto a new chapter, designated §24G-1-1, §24G-1-2, §24G-1-3, §24G-1-4, §24G-1-5, §24G-1-6, §24G-1-7, §24G-1-8, §24G-1-9 and §24G-1-10, all relating to expanding wireless infrastructure within this State; legislative findings and purpose; definitions; wireless infrastructure council created; council powers and duties; long term leases of state-owned property authorized for construction, placement and operation of wireless infrastructure; exemption from Purchasing Division requirements; lease requirements; revolving fund created; deposits; fund use; and disbursements.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended by adding thereto a new chapter, designated §24G-1-1, §24G-1-2, §24G-1-3, §24G-1-4, §24G-1-5, §24G-1-6, §24G-1-7, §24G-1-8, §24G-1-9 and §24G-1-10, all to read as follows:
CHAPTER 24G. WIRELESS INFRASTRUCTURE ACT.

ARTICLE 24G. WIRELESS INFRASTRUCTURE COUNCIL.
§24G-1-1. Legislative findings; purpose.

The Legislature finds that there is a public and private demand for increased wireless services within this State and a lack of wireless infrastructure to meet the demand. One pressing public need is to develop and implement wireless infrastructure that supports homeland security, public safety and citizen activated emergency response capabilities. Expanding the State's wireless infrastructure also promotes economic development given that company executives rank wireless services as one of the top variables for choosing business locations. Wireless infrastructure also increases the availability of commercial wireless services to the citizens of this State. The rural and mountainous nature of West Virginia presents technical and economic challenges to wireless implementation. Accordingly, the State needs to implement strategies to facilitate the construction, placement and operation of wireless infrastructure.
The purposes of this article are to establish the wireless infrastructure council to ensure that the proper wireless infrastructure is in place; to authorize state agencies, institutions and departments which hold real property owned by the State to enter into long-term leases with eligible wireless entities for the construction, placement and operation of wireless infrastructure; and to create a revolving loan fund to provide financial assistance in underserved rural areas of this State.
§24G-1-2. Definitions.
For purposes of this article:
(1) "Council" means the wireless infrastructure council.
(2) "Eligible wireless entity" means a wireless carrier, a telecommunications service provider and any other entity which constructs, places or operates wireless infrastructure.
(3) "Long term" means a period of not less than fifteen years nor more than twenty-five years.
(4) "Wireless" means wireless technology used to carry voice, video, audio or data.
(5) "Wireless infrastructure" means the infrastructure needed to transmit voice, video, audio or data using wireless technology.
§24G-1-3. Council created; membership.
(a) The wireless infrastructure council is hereby created.
(b) The standing council shall consist of seven members. The council may create ad hoc working groups necessary to accomplish the purposes of this article. A working group may include members of the council and also individuals having expertise in wireless technology, telecommunications and other relevant professions.
(c) Members of the council are:
(1) The chairperson of the Public Service Commission or his or her designee who will also serve as chairperson of the council;
(2) The Governor's chief technology officer or his or her designee;
(3) The Governor's E911 coordinator or his or her designee;
(4) The Secretary of the Department of Military Affairs or his or her designee;
(5) The Secretary of the Department of Transportation or his or her designee; and
(6) Two wireless industry members experienced in wireless public policy issues or wireless technology selected by the other members of the council.
§24G-1-4. Powers and duties of council.
(a) The council shall prepare a report and present it to the Joint Committee on Government and Finance at its January two thousand six meeting which:
(1) Identifies state-owned real property and structures available for and relevant to construction, placement and operation of wireless infrastructure;
(2) Inventories existing wireless infrastructure, including public and private structures and colocation sites;
(3) Surveys and assesses needed wireless infrastructure within this State;
(4) Recommends uniform criteria for construction of wireless infrastructure throughout the State and identifies the need for legislation necessary to effectuate its recommendations; and
(5) Provides other information the council deems pertinent.
(b) The council shall establish all requirements of a long term lease of state-owned property used for wireless infrastructure and all requirements for the construction, placement and operation of wireless infrastructure on leased state-owned property.
(c) The council may enter into collaborative efforts with educational institutions and wireless businesses to achieve the purposes of this article.
(d) The council may receive, administer and disburse funds to support the purposes set forth in this article.
(e) The council may, subject to the availability of funds, enter into loan agreements with eligible wireless entities for the construction, placement and operation of wireless infrastructure.
(f) The council may make contracts and execute all instruments necessary to carry out the purposes of this article.
(g) The council may propose rules for legislative approval in accordance with the provisions of article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code necessary to accomplish the purposes of this article.
(h) The council may contract with private businesses for services needed to implement the provisions of this article.
(i) The council may exercise additional powers necessary to carry out the provisions of this article.
§24G-1-5. Long-term leases authorized; exemption from Purchasing Division requirements.

(a) Not withstanding any provision of this code to the contrary, a state agency, institution or department, subject to the provisions of this article, may grant a long-term lease to an eligible entity of real property which the agency, institution or department holds and in which title is vested in the State for the construction, placement or operation of wireless infrastructure facilities.
(b) The provisions of article three, chapter five-a of this code do not apply to the lease agreements executed under the provisions of this article, except that the lease agreements shall be approved as to form and conformity with applicable law by the Attorney General.
§24G-1-6. Lease requirements.
A lease granted pursuant to section five of this article is subject to each of the following requirements:
(1) The wireless infrastructure facility must be designed to accommodate multiple telecommunications applications;
(2) An eligible entity must agree to permit other service providers to colocate telecommunications equipment on the wireless infrastructure facility and agree to the terms and conditions of the colocation;
(3) The eligible entity is required to indemnify the State from liability for damages arising from the construction, placement and operation of the wireless infrastructure facility;
(4) No less than five percent of the wireless infrastructure facility space and structural capacity must be reserved for use by the State for telecommunications purposes;
(5) Construction of the wireless infrastructure facility must be in compliance with all State and federal regulations and permitting requirements; and
(6) All other requirements established by the council.
§24G-1-7. Fund created.
There is hereby created in the State Treasury the "wireless infrastructure assistance fund" which shall be a continuing revolving fund to be expended by the council in accordance with the provisions of and for the purposes of this article. Nothing contained herein may be construed to require any level of funding by the Legislature.
§24G-1-8. Deposits created.
The council shall deposit all amounts received from the long-term leases of state-owned real property and all amounts paid, appropriated or granted to it, including interest accrued on loan balances, fees charged and funds received in repayment of loans, into the revolving loan fund.
§24G-1-9. Fund use.
The moneys in the revolving loan fund shall be used and reused only for the purposes set forth in this article including loans to eligible wireless entities for construction, placement and operation of wireless infrastructure facilities.
§24G-1-10. Disbursements.
Loans may be made in amounts determined by the council. The loan must be used to develop wireless infrastructure within this State.

Note: The purpose of this bill is to establish the wireless infrastructure council to ensure that needed wireless infrastructure is in place within this State. The bill authorizes state agencies, institutions and departments which hold real property owned by the State to enter into long term leases with eligible wireless entities for the construction, placement and operation of wireless infrastructure and creates a revolving loan fund to provide financial assistance for the construction of wireless infrastructure in underserved rural areas of this State.

This chapter is new; therefore, underscoring and strike-throughs have been omitted.

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