HOUSE DOCKET, NO. 4492        FILED ON: 9/13/2019

HOUSE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 4148


The Commonwealth of Massachusetts



John Barrett, III


To the Honorable Senate and House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in General
Court assembled:

The undersigned legislators and/or citizens respectfully petition for the adoption of the accompanying bill:

An Act to establish municipal access to utility poles located in municipal rights-of-way.






John Barrett, III

1st Berkshire

Smitty Pignatelli

4th Berkshire

Joseph D. McKenna

18th Worcester

Steven Ultrino

33rd Middlesex

Joanne M. Comerford

Hampshire, Franklin and Worcester

Thomas P. Walsh

12th Essex

Brian M. Ashe

2nd Hampden

Natalie M. Blais

1st Franklin

Julian Cyr

Cape and Islands

Tami L. Gouveia

14th Middlesex

Susannah M. Whipps

2nd Franklin

Tricia Farley-Bouvier

3rd Berkshire

Denise Provost

27th Middlesex

Daniel R. Carey

2nd Hampshire

Gerard J. Cassidy

9th Plymouth

Lindsay N. Sabadosa

1st Hampshire

Stephan Hay

3rd Worcester

Bud L. Williams

11th Hampden

John C. Velis

4th Hampden

Joseph W. McGonagle, Jr.

28th Middlesex

Carlos González

10th Hampden

Norman J. Orrall

12th Bristol

Claire D. Cronin

11th Plymouth

Sarah K. Peake

4th Barnstable

HOUSE DOCKET, NO. 4492        FILED ON: 9/13/2019

HOUSE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 4148

By Mr. Barrett of North Adams, a petition (subject to Joint Rule 12) of John Barrett, III and others relative to municipal access to utility poles located in municipal rights-of-way.  Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy.


The Commonwealth of Massachusetts



In the One Hundred and Ninety-First General Court



An Act to establish municipal access to utility poles located in municipal rights-of-way.


Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:

SECTION 1. Section 22A of chapter 166 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2018 Official Edition, is hereby amended by adding the following 2 paragraphs:-

(j) “Make-ready work”, the rearrangement or transfer of existing facilities, replacement of a pole, complete removal of any pole replaced or any other changes required to make space available for an additional attachment to a shared-use pole.

(k) “Unserved or underserved area”, an area that the Massachusetts Broadband Institute, established pursuant to section 6B of chapter 40J, determines to meet criteria under subsection (e) of said section 6B. Criteria established by the Massachusetts Broadband Institute to define unserved and underserved areas shall include the percentage of households with access to broadband service within a municipality or other appropriate geographic area.

SECTION 2. Said chapter 166, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by inserting after section 22J the following section:-

Section 22J ½. Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, for the purpose of safeguarding access to infrastructure essential to public health, safety and welfare, an owner of a shared-use pole and each entity attaching to that pole is responsible for that owner's or entity's own expenses for make-ready work to accommodate a municipality's attaching its facilities to that shared-use pole: (i) for a governmental purpose consistent with the police power of the municipality; or (ii) for the purpose of providing broadband service to an unserved or underserved area. For the purpose of this section the term “shared use pole” shall include, but not be limited to poles and structures constructed pursuant to section 24, attachments as defined in section 25A, or poles and overhead wires and associated overhead structures.