Idaho Statutes

Idaho Statutes are updated to the web July 1 following the legislative session.


40-520.  Rights-of-Way for Broadband. (1) Except as provided in subsection (5) of this section, the department shall allow a broadband provider longitudinal use and access to the rights-of-way of a highway for the installation, operation, and maintenance of broadband infrastructure.
(2)  The department shall enter into a license agreement with a broadband provider and issue a permit before granting it any longitudinal access under this section. Except as specifically provided by the agreement, a property interest in a right-of-way may not be granted under the provisions of this section. An agreement entered into by the department under this section:
(a)  Shall include terms and conditions that are nondiscriminatory and are consistent with the public policy promoting the expansion of broadband infrastructure in Idaho, such as liability provisions, requirements related to the financial responsibilities for future relocation of underground broadband infrastructure if relocation is necessary, and indemnification provisions;
(b)  Shall specify maintenance responsibilities for broadband infrastructure being placed;
(c)  May require that the department be allowed to utilize the broadband infrastructure only for public safety warnings, road condition notifications, and amber alerts to motorists on highways;
(d)  May require that the broadband provider install conduit for nonexclusive use, in which the cost of the project shall be shared proportionally. Alternatively, if the department requires the broadband provider to install only one (1) conduit of equal or smaller size of the conduit being installed exclusively for internal department purposes, then the department shall be responsible only for the costs of the additional materials and labor for the installation of its own conduit. The department must keep all documents and records regarding the internal use of the conduit and make public such documents if requested. The department may not allow the use of its internal conduit to any other entity. If the department allows the use of internal conduit to another entity, then the department shall reimburse the broadband provider for half of the project costs;
(e)  Shall specify that the broadband provider shall own its broadband infrastructure; and
(f)  Shall specify that the use of the rights-of-way shall be nonexclusive.
(3)  A broadband provider shall be responsible for the costs of installing its own broadband infrastructure on the department’s right-of-way. If there is more than one (1) broadband provider installing broadband infrastructure at the same project, then the broadband provider is responsible for its pro rata share of the cost.
(4)  The department shall require the same fees from a broadband provider under this section for longitudinal access to the right-of-way as a public utility defined under section 61-129, Idaho Code. However, fees charged to a cable provider shall be in accordance with applicable federal law.
(5)  The department may not grant any longitudinal access under this section that results in a significant compromise of the safe, efficient, and convenient use of a highway for the traveling public.
(6)  The department may install conduit for its own use where appropriate or in support of expanding broadband infrastructure in the state of Idaho.
(7)  The department shall promulgate rules:
(a)  Governing the installation, operation, and maintenance of broadband infrastructure granted longitudinal access pursuant to this section;
(b)  Specifying the procedures for establishing an agreement for longitudinal access for a broadband provider;
(c)  Specifying criteria for the installation of the department’s own conduit and use of such conduit by broadband providers consistent with this section; and
(d)  Providing for the relocation or removal of broadband infrastructure for needed changes to a highway on the interstate system.
(8)  Nothing in section 40-515, Idaho Code, through this section is intended to preempt, diminish, or otherwise limit the authority of the department over public rights-of-way.

[40-520, added 2022, ch. 208, sec. 6, p. 673.]

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