Rep Stefanik Pushes for Removal of State Fiber-Optic Fee

Coverage Type: 

Rep Elise Stefanik (R-NY) is asking the Federal Communications Commission to step in and stop the New York State Department of Transportation (DOT) from charging providers for high-speed internet infrastructure. In a letter sent to FCC Acting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel, Rep Stefanik asked that the FCC use its regulatory authority to preempt the state laws that allow the DOT to charge fees for internet infrastructure run along roads it owns, which she called an “unlawful and discriminatory fiber-optic fee.” Specifically, Rep Stefanik is referring to the law included in the 2019-20 state budget that allows the state DOT to charge organizations that install fiber-optic cables along its right-of-ways for use of DOT land. Under the law, the DOT requires installers to pay for annual, fee-bearing permits for every foot of each individual cable they own along DOT roads. The law only applies to fiber-optic cables. In her letter, Stefanik wrote that the fees charged by the DOT are discriminatory because they apply only to fiber-optic cables and that providers are exempt from the fee if their projects are funded through the New York State Broadband Program.

Congresswoman Pushes for Removal of State Fiber-Optic Fee