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17-1901. Poles, wires and fixtures of telegraph companies. Corporations created for the purpose of constructing and maintaining magnetic telegraph lines are authorized to set their poles, piers, abutments, wires and other fixtures along, upon and across any of the public roads, streets and waters of this state, in such manner as not to incommode the public in the use of such roads, streets and waters.

History: G.S. 1868, ch. 23, § 74; October 31; R.S. 1923, 17-1901.

Source or Prior Law:

L. 1866, ch. 57, § 40.

Cross References to Related Sections:

Location and removal of line on or along highways, see 68-415.

Law Review and Bar Journal References:

"The Wireless Frontier in Kansas and Missouri: Are the Public Rights-of-Way Finally Beckoning?" William F. Watkins, 73 J.K.B.A. No. 6, 30 (2004).

Attorney General's Opinions:

Telegraph, telephone and transmission lines; rights, powers and liabilities of telephone companies. 86-26.

Utility easement is not a public right-of-way. 2003-28.


1. Telephone poles placed on highway; damages therefrom considered. Telephone Co. v. Vandervort, 67 Kan. 269, 72 P. 771.

2. Highways; compensation to owner; telephone lines not additional servitude. McCann v. Telephone Co., 69 Kan. 210, 212, 232, 76 P. 870.

3. Telegraph act not repealed by first-class city charter act; cities first class may designate streets and alleys used. Wichita v. Telephone Co., 70 Kan. 441, 78 P. 886.

4. Section cited in considering prosecution for malicious destruction of poles. The State v. Patton, 76 Kan. 665, 666, 92 P. 588.

5. Regulation of telephone companies by cities; streets and highways; request for ordinance prescribing regulations; refusal; right of company. Telephone Co. v. Concordia, 81 Kan. 514, 516, 106 P. 35.

6. Section cited in considering evidence to establish width of road. Bowland v. McDonald, 82 Kan. 84, 85, 107 P. 797.

7. Raising wires for moving buildings on streets; expense considered. Railway Co. v. Sproul, 99 Kan. 608, 609, 162 P. 293.

8. Telephone company held not negligent in maintaining pole near highway. Price v. United Telephone Co., 138 Kan. 416, 422, 26 P.2d 569.

9. Highway commission has power to contract to deed back vacated highway "unconditionally." Kucera v. State Highway Comm., 145 Kan. 121, 123, 64 P.2d 66.

10. Cited; transmission of communications through fiber-optic cable as transmission by electrical current (K.S.A. 17-618) noted. Williams Telecommunications Co. v. Gragg, 242 Kan. 675, 679, 750 P.2d 398. (1988)

11. Telephone company may lay cables in public right-of-ways underneath city property without permission or fee. City of Shawnee, Kan. v. AT&T Corp., 910 F. Supp. 1546, 1555, 1557, 1563 (1995).

12. Sprint authorized to bury telephone cables in vacated alley as they had right to do so prior to time of vacation. Holmes v. Sprint United Telephone of Kansas, 29 Kan. App. 2d 1019, 35 P.3d 928 (2001).

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