About the Right-of-Way Code Project

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Portland is moving away from individual franchise agreements and utility licenses to a new, universal code that applies to all those that utilize the right-of-way to provision services within the city.
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Right-of-Way (ROW) Code Project Overview

The new city code will apply to any current or future entity that provides a utility service and/or uses infrastructure in the right-of-way, whether or not the entity owns the infrastructure in the right-of-way. For example, this would include: a utility providing electric, natural gas, cable, pipeline, or telecommunications services. Resellers and voice over IP providers will also be subject to the new code.

Currently, the City negotiates and manages separate agreements that have different expiration dates, sometimes decades apart from one another. With a universal right-of-way code, the City will ensure all entities are treated equitably, and will benefit from improved efficiency.

A provider/public input period has been underway to ensure current franchisees and licensees have an opportunity to review the draft code, and provide advice and feedback throughout the process.