To address the issue of unsightly cables and wires being left on poles, buildings and other structures despite no longer being in use, Assemblyman Clinton Calabrese has introduced a bill that would require telecommunication and utility service providers to remove their abandoned lines.
When providers abandon or decommission their service lines without removing them, it can lead to unsightly tangles when new lines are installed on top of old ones. It can also cause damaged wires to dangle onto streets and sidewalks indefinitely.
Under the bill (A-6164), anyone who owns an above-ground line – including any individual, municipality, utility, or corporation – must remove their cable/wire from a structure once the line has been permanently decommissioned or abandoned for at least twelve months.
“When my constituents reported abandoned wires collecting on poles and buildings, with owners rarely taking responsibility for their removal, I knew something had to be done,” said Assemblyman Calabrese (D-Bergen, Passaic). “Dangling wires may pose a safety risk to residents while multiple layers of new and old lines wrapping around structures create an eyesore throughout our communities. We must establish a standard process and basic accountability for the removal of any lines that are no longer in use so that our neighborhoods can remain free from this unnecessary sight.”
One year after the bill being signed into law, the owner of any structure with an abandoned line attached to it would be able to send a written request to the line’s owner asking for its removal.
To help make the removal of those lines easier, the measure also stipulates that entities must mark both ends of the wire with their name or symbol going forward to help distinguish ownership of the line.
The legislation has been referred to the Telecommunications and Utilities Committee for consideration.