Statement of Principles on Rights-of-Way Management Exposed

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The Statement of Principles on Rights-of-Way Management was adopted by ALEC's Telecommunications and Information Technology Task Force in 1998. ALEC has attempted to distance itself from this piece of legislation after the launch of in 2011, but it has done nothing to get it repealed in the states where it previously pushed for it to be made into law.

ALEC Statement Text

Maintaining a competitive environment in the telecommunications industry is vital to our local state and national economies. In order to advance competition in telecommunication service it is imperative that certain principles be followed in administering public rights of way. Public policy in this area will have a profound effect on the future of the telecommunications industry in our country.

The members of the American Legislative Exchange Council’s Telecommunications and Information Technology Task Force have developed the following principles regarding the administration of public rights of way:

1. Local of rights-of-way management must be administered in a predictable, nondiscriminatory and competitively neutral manner.
2. Preserving a competitive telecommunications market requires that no barriers be imposed that would hinder access to public rights of way.
3. Communications industry regulation and general taxes should be set at the state level. Thousands of different local rights-of way policies would drive the cost of compliance up dramatically and would greatly impede any new service providers from entering the market.
4. Rights-of way fees should be limited to the actual cost of rights-of-way administration, and should be recovered in a competitively neutral manner. These fees should not be used as a source to offset, replace or enhance local revenue.
5. Cities and local governments are responsible for the sensible management of public rights of ways to ensure public safety. However, any policing powers given to local governments should be clearly defined.
6. Municipalities do not have any regulatory authority over telephone service providers above their policing power which is limited by federal and state law.

Adopted by the Telecommunications & Information Technology Task Force in 1998.