2016 Colorado Revised Statutes
Title 38 - Property - Real and Personal
Article 5.5 - Rights-of-Way: Telecommunications Providers
§ 38-5.5-101. Legislative declaration
(1) The general assembly hereby finds, determines, and declares that:
(a) The passage of House Bill 95-1335, enacted at the first regular session of the sixtieth general assembly, established a policy within the state to encourage competition among the various telecommunications providers, to reduce the barriers to entry for those providers, to authorize and encourage competition within the local exchange telecommunications market, and to ensure that all consumers benefit from such competition and expansion.
(b) The stated goals of House Bill 95-1335 were that all citizens have access to a wider range of telecommunications services at rates that are reasonably comparable within the state, that basic service be available and affordable to all citizens, and that universal access to advanced telecommunications services would be available to all consumers. Such goals are essential to the economic and social well-being of the citizens of Colorado and can be accomplished only if telecommunications providers are allowed to develop ubiquitous, seamless, statewide telecommunications networks. To require telecommunications companies to seek authority from every political subdivision within the state to conduct business is unreasonable, impractical, and unduly burdensome. In addition, the general assembly further finds and declares that since the public rights-of-way are dedicated to and held on a nonproprietary basis in trust for the use of the public, their use by telecommunications companies is consistent with such policy and appropriate for the public good.
(2) The general assembly further finds, determines, and declares that nothing in this article shall be construed to alter or diminish the authority of political subdivisions of the state to lawfully exercise their police powers with respect to activities of telecommunications providers within their boundaries, and, subject to such reservation of authority, that:
(a) The construction, maintenance, operation, oversight, and regulation of telecommunications providers and their facilities is a matter of statewide concern and interest;
(b) Telecommunications providers operating under the authority of the federal communications commission or the Colorado public utilities commission pursuant to article 15 of title 40, C.R.S., require no additional authorization or franchise by any municipality or other political subdivision of the state to conduct business within a given geographic area and that no such political subdivision has jurisdiction to regulate telecommunications providers based upon the content, nature, or type of telecommunications service or signal they provide except to the extent granted by federal or state legislation;
(c) Telecommunications providers have a right to occupy and utilize the public rights-of-way for the efficient conduct of their business;
(d) Access to rights-of-way and oversight of that access must be competitively neutral, and no telecommunications provider should enjoy any competitive advantage or suffer a competitive disadvantage by virtue of a selective or discriminatory exercise of the police power by a local government.
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