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Pennsylvania State Senate
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Senate Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: February 20, 2020 04:03 PM
From: Senator Joe Pittman
To: All Senate members
Subject: Expanding Broadband Access with Existing Infrastructure
Soon I will introduce legislation to help expedite the expansion of broadband internet throughout the Commonwealth.

Often times the infrastructure necessary to expand broadband exists, but outdated easements prevent Electric Cooperative Corporations (Cooperatives) from making the best use of existing resources. Decades old easements, originally intended for electricity or telegraph lines, do not specifically authorize broadband fiber to be placed on existing utility poles. Therefore, Cooperatives must reopen easement agreements to simply clarify existing infrastructure can be used for broadband purposes, even though there is no negative impact on the property. In fact, broadband access generally increases the value of the property.

My legislation will allow Cooperatives to utilize existing utility poles for broadband fiber lines, as long as it does not negatively impact the value or use of property. This will create a more efficient and cost-effective method for expanding broadband access in Pennsylvania, without adversely affecting a private property owner.

Please join me in co-sponsoring this legislation.

Introduced as SB1118