United States Code
USC most recently checked for updates: Jun 26, 2022
The Secretary of the Interior is authorized and empowered to grant a right of way, in the nature of an easement, for the construction, operation, and maintenance of telephone and telegraph lines and offices for general telephone and telegraph business through any Indian reservation, through any lands held by an Indian tribe or nation in the former Indian Territory, through any lands reserved for an Indian agency or Indian school, or for other purpose in connection with the Indian service, or through any lands which have been allotted in severalty to any individual Indian under any law or treaty, but which have not been conveyed to the allottee with full power of alienation, upon the terms and conditions herein expressed. No such lines shall be constructed across Indian lands, as above mentioned, until authority therefor has first been obtained from the Secretary of the Interior, and the maps of definite location of the lines shall be subject to his approval. The compensation to be paid the tribes in their tribal capacity and the individual allottees for such right of way through their lands shall be determined in such manner as the Secretary of the Interior may direct, and shall be subject to his final approval; and where such lines are not subject to State or Territorial taxation the company or owner of the line shall pay to the Secretary of the Interior, for the use and benefit of the Indians, such annual tax as he may designate, not exceeding $5 for each ten miles of line so constructed and maintained; and all such lines shall be constructed and maintained under such rules and regulations as said Secretary may prescribe. But nothing herein contained shall be so construed as to exempt the owners of such lines from the payment of any tax that may be lawfully assessed against them by either State, Territorial, or municipal authority; and Congress hereby expressly reserves the right to regulate the tolls or charges for the transmission of messages over any lines constructed under the provisions of this section: Provided, That incorporated cities and towns into or through which such telephone or telegraphic lines may be constructed shall have the power to regulate the manner of construction therein, and nothing herein contained shall be so construed as to deny the right of municipal taxation in such towns and cities.