House of Representatives
Office of Program Research
Technology & Economic Development Committee
This analysis was prepared by non-partisan legislative staff for the use of legislative members in their deliberations. This analysis is not a part of the legislation nor does it constitute a statement of legislative intent.
Brief Description: Authorizing limited retail telecommunications services for public utility districts that provide only sewer, water, and telecommunications on the effective date of this act.
Sponsors: Representatives Hansen, Griffey, Appleton, MacEwen, Caldier, Wylie, Doglio and Young.
Hearing Date: 1/30/18
Staff: Lily Smith (786-7175).
Public Utility Districts (PUDs) in existence on June 8, 2000, are authorized to acquire and operate telecommunications facilities for their own internal telecommunications needs and to provide wholesale telecommunications services within their district limits. PUDs may also provide wholesale services to other PUDs by contract. PUDs are not authorized to provide telecommunications services to end users.
PUDs are required to ensure that their rates, terms, and conditions on wholesale services are not unduly or unreasonably discriminatory or preferential.
Summary of Bill:
A PUD that provides limited services in a county less than 500 square miles is authorized to provide end user telecommunications services.
After a PUD board of commissioners receives a petition requesting provision of retail services, the PUD commissioners may hold three meetings to verify petitioners' signatures; determine and submit findings regarding the existence or adequacy of retail Internet services; and by resolution, authorize the PUD to provide or contract for internet connectivity to end users.
Adequate retail Internet service is determined by measuring retail Internet service in the area and comparing it to service standards in the PUD service level agreement used for other PUD network providers.
A petition may be submitted by:
a majority of the residents or businesses in any telecommunications local utility district; or
a majority of a group, including homeowners associations, or an individual who has developed a partnership payment structure to finance broadband deployment with the PUD.
PUD retail service rates must be fair and nondiscriminatory, but may set tiers of charges based on user service demands.
Fiscal Note: Available.
Effective Date: The bill takes effect 90 days after adjournment of the session in which the bill is passed.