Article 10 – Broadband Services

///Article 10 – Broadband Services
Article 10 – Broadband Services 2020-03-05T21:02:08+00:00

Section 1. Authorization.

The Association is authorized, in the sole discretion of its Board of Directors, to establish, acquire, and wholly or partially own one or more Broadband Affiliates, as provided in, and consistent with, the Mississippi Broadband Enabling Act of 2019 (as amended). Prior to the provision of broadband services, the Board of Directors of the Association shall, by resolution spread upon its minutes, have an economic feasibility study conducted and adopt a plan that will provide service to its entire certificated area. Such feasibility study shall be made available to members upon request.

Section 2. Broadband System.

The Association may own, lease, construct, maintain and operate, as part of its electric delivery system, lines, cables and other equipment which may be used, in part, for the provision of broadband services to the public. The Association may allow its Broadband Affiliate or an unaffiliated broadband operator to own, lease, maintain and operate equipment for the provision of broadband services on the Association’s electric delivery system and to provide broadband services to the public utilizing the Association’s electric delivery system. Such use of the Association’s electric delivery system for the provision of broadband services shall not be considered an additional burden on any real property upon which the Association’s electric delivery system is located, and shall not require the consent of the owner of such real property or any other person having an interest therein. Any such provision of broadband services on the Association’s electric delivery system shall not diminish the reliability of the Association’s electric delivery system.

Section 3. Use of Broadband Capacity.

The Association may determine, in the sole discretion of its Board of Directors, which broadband operators, if any, may have access to broadband capacity on the Association’s electric delivery system, and may provide that its Broadband Affiliate or other broadband provider shall have exclusive access to broadband capacity on the Association’s electric delivery system.

Section 4. Charges for Use of Broadband Capacity.

The Association may charge its Broadband Affiliate or an unaffiliated broadband operator for the construction, installation, operation, use and maintenance of those parts of its electric delivery system that are used or reserved for use for the provision of broadband services. Any lease of portions of the Association’s electric delivery system for the provision of broadband services which includes use of the Association’s poles shall include pole attachment fees to be paid to the Association equal to pole attachment fees charged by the Association to like unaffiliated, private entities.

Section 5. Prohibition of Use of Electric Revenues:  Permissible Actions.

The Association shall not use its electric energy sales revenues to subsidize the provision by its Broadband Affiliate or an unaffiliated broadband operator of broadband services to the public. The Association may, however, in the sole discretion of its Board of Directors, (i) make capital investments in a Broadband Affiliate, (ii) make loans to a Broadband Affiliate at fair market rates, and (iii) enter loan guarantees for the benefit of a Broadband Affiliate, all of which may be in such amounts and on such terms as the Association’s Board of Directors determines to be prudent and authorizes.

Section 6. Purchase of Broadband Services.

No member shall be required to purchase broadband services as a condition of receiving or continuing to receive electric energy from the Association. The Association shall not disconnect, nor threaten to disconnect, electric service to any member due to the member’s failure to pay for broadband services provided to the member by a Broadband Affiliate or other broadband operator.

Section 7. Policies and Procedures.

From time to time, the Board of Directors of the Association may prescribe, adopt, amend and repeal certain policies, procedures, rules and regulations relating to the provision of broadband services through its electric delivery system, and may delegate such authority to its Broadband Affiliate.