160A-340.2. Exemptions.

(a) The provisions of G.S. 160A-340.1, 160A-340.4, 160A-340.5, and 160A-340.6 do not apply to the purchase, lease, construction, or operation of facilities by a city to provide communications service within the city's corporate limits for the city's internal governmental purposes, including the sharing of data or voice between governmental entities for internal governmental purposes, or within the corporate limits of another unit of local government that is a party with the city to an interlocal agreement under Part 1 of Article 20 of Chapter 160A of the General Statutes for the provision of internal government services.

(b) The provisions of G.S. 160A-340.1, 160A-340.4, and 160A-340.5 do not apply to the provision of communications service in an unserved area. A city seeking to provide communications service in an unserved area shall petition the North Carolina Utilities Commission for a determination that an area is unserved. The petition shall identify with specificity the geographic area for which the designation is sought. Any private communications service provider, or any other interested party, may, within a time established by order of the Commission, which time shall be no fewer than 30 days, file with the Commission an objection to the designation on the grounds that one or more areas designated in the petition is not an unserved area or that the city is not otherwise eligible to provide the service. For purposes of this subsection, the term "unserved area" means a census block, as designated by the most recent census of the U.S. Census Bureau, in which at least fifty percent (50%) of households either have no access to high-speed Internet service or have access to high-speed Internet service only from a satellite provider. A city may petition the Commission to serve multiple contiguous unserved areas in the same proceeding.

(c) The provisions of G.S. 160A-340.1, 160A-340.3, 160A-340.4, 160A-340.5, and 160A-340.6 do not apply to a city or joint agency providing communications service as of January 1, 2011, provided the city or joint agency limits the provision of communications service to any one or more of the following:

(1) Persons within the corporate limits of the city providing the communications service. For the purposes of this subsection, corporate limits shall mean the corporate limits of the city as of April 1, 2011, or as expanded through annexation.

(2) Existing customers of the communications service as of April 1, 2011. Service to a customer outside the service area of the city or joint agency who is also a public entity must comply with the open bidding procedures of G.S. 143-129.8 upon the expiration or termination of the existing service contract.

(3) The following service areas:

a. For the joint agency operated by the cities of Davidson and Mooresville, the service area is the combined areas of the city of Cornelius; the town of Troutman; the town of Huntersville; the unincorporated areas of Mecklenburg County north of a line beginning at Highway 16 along the west boundary of the county, extending eastward along Highway 16, continuing east along Interstate 485, and continuing eastward to the eastern boundary of the county along Eastfield Road; and the unincorporated areas of Iredell County south of Interstate 40, excluding Statesville and the extraterritorial jurisdiction of Statesville.

b. For the city of Salisbury, the service area is the municipalities of Salisbury, Spencer, East Spencer, Granite Quarry, Rockwell, Faith, Cleveland, China Grove, Landis and the corridors between those cities. The service area also includes the economic development sites, public safety facilities, governmental facilities, and educational schools and colleges located outside the municipalities and the corridors between the municipalities and these sites, facilities, schools, and colleges. The corridors between Salisbury and these municipalities and these sites, facilities, schools, and colleges includes only the area necessary to provide service to these municipalities and these sites, facilities, schools, and colleges and shall not be wider than 300 feet. The elected bodies of Spencer, East Spencer, Granite Quarry, Rockwell, Faith, Cleveland, China Grove, and Landis shall vote to approve the service extension into each respective municipality before Salisbury can provide service to that municipality. The Rowan County Board of County Commissioners shall vote to approve service extension to any governmental economic development site, governmental facility, school, or college owned by Rowan County. The Rowan Salisbury School Board shall also vote to approve service extension to schools.

c. For the city of Wilson, the service area is the county limits of Wilson County, including the incorporated areas within the County. Notwithstanding any other provision of this Article, the city of Wilson may continue the provision of communication services to persons and businesses in the temporary extension areas under the condition that the provision of communication services in such areas is terminated by a date which is 30 days after the date retail service is first available in the area from a competitive provider of communications service that will provide Fiber to the Premises (FTTP) service. For purposes of this subdivision, "temporary extension areas" shall mean (i) the corporate limits of the Town of Pinetops and (ii) any service connection located within 800 feet of the centerline of Christian Road (State Road No. 1942) between its intersection with Bloomery Road (State Road No. 1996) and West Hornes Church Road (State Road No. 1941). Prior to the cessation of service, the city of Wilson may establish rates, fees, charges, and penalties for the communication services provided in the temporary extension areas in the same manner as communication services provided in the county limits of Wilson County, including the incorporated areas within the County. Service will be deemed available for purposes of this provision upon the certification by a competitive provider to the city that service is available in a temporary extension area. For purposes of this subdivision, a competitive provider is an incumbent local exchange carrier or cable telecommunications company that is not presently providing Fiber to the Premises (FTTP) service in the temporary extension areas.

d. For all other cities or joint agencies offering communications service, the service area is the area designated in the map filed as part of the initial notice of franchise with the Secretary of State as of January 1, 2011.

(d) The exemptions provided in this section do not exempt a city or joint agency from laws and rules of general applicability to governmental services, including nondiscriminatory obligations.

(e) In the event a city subject to the exemption set forth in subsection (c) of this section provides communications service to a customer outside the limits set forth in that subsection, the city shall have 30 days from the date of notice or discovery to cease providing service to the customer without loss of the exemption. (2011-84, s. 1(a); 2017-180, s. 1.)