2021 Georgia Code
Title 46 - Public Utilities and Public Transportation
Chapter 3 - Electrical Service
Article 4 - Electric Membership Corporations and Foreign Electric Cooperatives
Part 2 - Corporate Purposes and Powers
§ 46-3-205. Use of Easements
- The General Assembly finds that electric membership corporations providing broadband services should be permitted to use existing electric easements to provide or expand access to broadband services. The General Assembly also finds that utilizing existing electric easements to provide broadband services, without the placement of additional poles or other ground based structures, does not change the physical use of the easement, interfere with or impair any vested rights of the owner or occupier of the real property subject to the electric easement, or place any additional burden on the property interests of such owner or occupier. Consequently, the installation and operation of broadband services within any electric easement are merely changes in the manner or degree of the granted use as appropriate to accommodate a new technology and, absent any applicable express prohibition contained in the instrument conveying or granting the electric easement, shall be deemed as a matter of law to be a permitted use within the scope of every electric easement.
- Subject to compliance with any express prohibitions in an electric easement, the owner of an electric easement may use an electric easement to install, maintain, lease, and operate broadband services without incurring liability to the owner or occupant of the real property subject to the electric easement or paying additional compensation to the owner or occupant of the real property subject to the electric easement, so long as no additional poles or other ground based structures are installed; provided, however, that any electric utility owning an electric easement may assess fees and charges and impose reasonable conditions on the use of its facilities within an electric easement for the purpose of providing or supporting broadband services.
- Nothing in this Code section shall in any way affect, abrogate, or eliminate the obligation of an owner of an electric easement that is located on, along, over, across, or under property owned or controlled by a railroad company or state agency to comply with the application, review, safety, and permit requirements of such railroad company or state agency for projects of the nature contemplated by this Code section. Such requirements may include, but are not limited to, insurance coverage and responsibility of the owner of an electric easement to pay for costs incurred by a railroad company or state agency related to such requirements, such as safety measures and engineering review costs. For purposes of this subsection, the term "state agency" means any department, division, board, bureau, commission, or other agency of the state government or any state authority.
(Code 1981, §46-3-205, enacted by Ga. L. 2019, p. 226, § 4/SB 2; Ga. L. 2020, p. 485, § 1/SB 370.)
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