Washington State

House of Representatives

Office of Program Research



Labor & Workforce Development Committee

HB 2253

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: Concerning telecommunications installations.

Sponsors: Representatives Manweller, Sells, Johnson and Ryu.

Brief Summary of Bill

  • Modifies the scope of telecommunications work to include providing operational power in certain circumstances.

Hearing Date: 1/23/14

Staff: Joan Elgee (786-7106).


An electrical contractor license is required to engage in the business of installing or maintaining wires or equipment to convey electric current, or equipment to be operated by electric current. A general electrical contractor license allows the licensee to engage in all aspects of the electrical business. Electrical contractor specialty licenses include limited energy (06) and telecommunications (09). To work as an electrician, an individual must have a journeyman or specialty electrician certificate of competency. The specialty certificates mirror the specialty contractor licenses.

Engaging in the business of installing or maintaining telecommunications systems requires a telecommunications contractor (09) license. Individual worker certification is not required for telecommunications work.

"Telecommunication systems" are the structured cabling systems between the local service provider and the customer's premises structured cabling system. "Telecommunication systems" include premises switching equipment, fiber optic, and other limited-energy interconnections associated with telecommunications systems or appliances. Excluded are horizontal cabling used for certain fire protection and alarms, and lighting control systems. Telecommunications systems may interface with other building signal systems, including security and alarms, within telecommunications closets or at extended points of demarcation.

An administrative hearing resulted in a decision that work performed on cables that carry both data and low voltage electricity, such as power over Ethernet devices, are outside the scope of 09 work and require an 06 electrician.

The Department of Labor and Industries (Department) issues licenses and certificates of competency and otherwise administers the regulation of electricians and electrical work and telecommunications.

Summary of Bill:

"Telecommunications systems" include premises switching equipment providing operational power to the telecommunications device and power distribution associated with telecommunications systems. Horizontal cabling for a telecommunications outlet, necessary to interface with other systems including security and alarms outside of a closet, is telecommunications work. Lighting, in addition to lighting control systems, is excluded from "telecommunications systems".

Appropriation: None.

Fiscal Note: Available.

Effective Date: The bill contains an emergency clause and takes effect immediately.