West Virginia Open Access to Public Rights of Way for Telecommunications

West Virginia General Assembly

Program Type:


Eligible Geography:

West Virginia


West Virginia Code §17 – 2 E- 1-E-9 legislates a uniform system for conduit installation for telecom companies that are applying to install telecom infrastructure. Telecom companies must enter into an agreement with the state’s Division of Highways for installing conduit in public rights-of-way; companies must also notify the West Virginia Broadband Enhancement Council and all other carriers on record within the state of installation permit.

Other telecom companies that are interested in installing their own fiber have 30 days to notify the applicant of interest in sharing the trench. The telecom company is also required to run an advertisement in the relevant media for two weeks advertising the project, to allow other carriers the opportunity to respond. The law also allows the Division of Highways to charge fees for access to public rights-of-way, or accept in-kind compensation from sources such as conduit, dark fiber, access points; other telecom equipment or services or even bandwidth.

Eligible Recipients:

Non-Profit Organization; For-Profit Business; Local Government

Eligible Recipients Detail:

Any organization planning to deploy broadband infrastructure that benefits from access to fiber poles or conduits located in public rights of way.

Eligible Purpose:

Last Mile Infrastructure; Middle Mile Infrastructure; Backbone Infrastructure

Eligible Purpose Detail:

These regulations govern private and public organizations' access to public rights of way for the purpose of accessing conduit or utility poles.