The Vermont Statutes Online
Chapter 005 : STATE POLICY; PLANS; JURISDICTION AND REGULATORY AUTHORITY OF COMMISSION AND DEPARTMENT
Subchapter 001 : GENERAL POWERS(Cite as: 30 V.S.A. § 202d)
§ 202d. Telecommunications Plan
(a) The Department of Public Service shall constitute the responsible planning agency of the State for the purpose of obtaining for all consumers in the State stable and predictable rates and a technologically advanced telecommunications network serving all service areas in the State. The Department shall be responsible for the provision of plans for meeting emerging trends related to telecommunications technology, markets, financing, and competition.
(b) The Department shall prepare the Telecommunications Plan for the State. The Department of Innovation and Information, the Agency of Commerce and Community Development, and the Agency of Transportation shall assist the Department in preparing the Plan. The Plan shall be for a 10-year period and shall serve as a basis for State telecommunications policy. Prior to preparing the Plan, the Department shall prepare:
(1) An overview, looking 10 years ahead, of future requirements for telecommunications services, considering services needed for economic development, technological advances, and other trends and factors which, as determined by the Department of Public Service, will significantly affect State telecommunications policy and programs.
(2) One or more surveys of Vermont residents and businesses, conducted in cooperation with the Agency of Commerce and Community Development to determine what telecommunications services are needed now and in the succeeding 10 years, generally, and with respect to the following specific sectors in Vermont;
(A) the educational sector, with input from the Secretary of Education;
(B) the health care and human services sectors, with input from the Commissioner of Health and the Secretary of Human Services;
(C) the public safety sector, with input from the Commissioner of Public Safety and the Executive Director of the Enhanced 911 Board; and
(D) the workforce training and development sectors, with input from the Commissioner of Labor.
(3) An assessment of the current state of telecommunications infrastructure.
(4) An assessment, conducted in cooperation with the Department of Innovation and Information and the Agency of Transportation, of the current State telecommunications system and evaluation of alternative proposals for upgrading the system to provide the best available and affordable technology for use by government.
(5) An assessment of the state of telecommunications networks and services in Vermont relative to other states, including price comparisons for key services and comparisons of the state of technology deployment.
(c) In developing the Plan, the Department shall take into account the State telecommunications policies and goals of section 202c of this title.
(d) In establishing plans, public hearings shall be held and the Department shall consult with members of the public, representatives of telecommunications utilities with a certificate of public good, other providers, including the Vermont Electric Power Co., Inc. (VELCO), and other interested State agencies, particularly the Agency of Commerce and Community Development, the Agency of Transportation, and the Department of Innovation and Information, whose views shall be considered in preparation of the Plan. To the extent necessary, the Department shall include in the Plan surveys to determine existing, needed, and desirable plant improvements and extensions, access and coordination between telecommunications providers, methods of operations, and any change that will produce better service or reduce costs. To this end, the Department may require the submission of data by each company subject to supervision by the Public Utility Commission.
(e) Before adopting the Plan, the Department shall conduct public hearings on a final draft and shall consider the testimony presented at such hearings in preparing the final Plan. At least one hearing shall be held jointly with committees of the General Assembly designated by the General Assembly for this purpose. The Plan shall be adopted by September 1, 2014, and then reviewed and updated as provided in subsection (f) of this section.
(f) The Department, from time to time, but in no event less than every three years, shall institute proceedings to review the Plan and make revisions, where necessary. The three-year major review shall be made according to the procedures established in this section for initial adoption of the Plan. For good cause or upon request by a joint resolution passed by the General Assembly, an interim review and revision of any section of the Plan may be made after conducting public hearings on the interim revision. At least one hearing shall be held jointly with committees of the General Assembly designated by the General Assembly for this purpose.
(g) The Department shall review and update the minimum technical service characteristic objectives not less than every three years beginning in 2017. In the event such review is conducted separately from an update of the Plan, the Department shall issue revised minimum technical service characteristic objectives as an amendment to the Plan. (Added 1987, No. 87, § 2; amended 1995, No. 190 (Adj. Sess.), § 1(a); 2003, No. 164 (Adj. Sess.), § 16, eff. June 12, 2004; 2013, No. 190 (Adj. Sess.), § 9, eff. June 16, 2014; 2015, No. 41, § 3; 2017, No. 41, § 1, eff. May 22, 2017.)