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Category Archives: State Activities

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California PUC Adopts Safety Enforcement Citation Program

Posted in Pole Attachments, State Activities

On Dec. 1, 2016, the California PUC (CPUC) unanimously adopted Resolution SED-3, which implements a safety enforcement citation program for communications infrastructure providers (CIPs) including CLECs, cable operators, wireless providers, and facilities-based VoIP providers.  The citation program appears focused on violations pertaining to General Order (GO) 95 (aerial facilities) and GO 128 (underground facilities), but… Continue Reading

Federal Court: Virginia Municipalities Must Treat Telecommunications Providers The Same As All Other Utilities In The Public Right Of Way

Posted in State Activities, Wireless

On Monday Aug. 8, 2016, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia issued an opinion in Crown Castle v. City of Newport News, holding that Crown Castle proved at trial that the City of Newport News violated state law and its Franchise Agreement with Crown Castle by asserting that Crown Castle must… Continue Reading

Arkansas Public Service Commission Adopts Comprehensive Set of Pole Attachment Rules

Posted in Pole Attachments, State Activities

On June 24, 2016, the Arkansas Public Service Commission (“Commission”) adopted a comprehensive set of new pole attachment rules that apply broadly to providers of electric, telecommunications, cable television, internet access, and other information services, and govern access to telephone, electric distribution and dual-use transmission poles, as well as conduit, owned by the state’s investor-owned… Continue Reading

CPUC Proposed Decision Extends Pole Attachment Rights to CMRS Providers

Posted in Pole Attachments, State Activities

On Friday, October 30, 2015, the Assigned Commissioner to a rulemaking at the California Public Utility Commission (“CPUC”) issued a Proposed Decision to extend the state’s pole, conduit and right of way access rights to wireless installations of commercial mobile radio service (“CMRS”) providers. The Proposed Decision will not be effective until the Commission votes to… Continue Reading

Worth the Wait? After Thirty-Six Years, the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission Takes Comprehensive Action on Pole Attachments

Posted in Pole Attachments, State Activities

On October 21, 2015, the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (“WUTC”) adopted a comprehensive set of pole attachment rules (hereinafter “Pole Attachment Rules”), following a year-and-a-half-long rulemaking and 36 years after the state legislature authorized the WUTC to make such rules.  The Pole Attachment Rules apply to poles owned by the State’s investor-owned electric and telephone… Continue Reading

Google’s Pole Attachment Rights in California on Hold for Now

Posted in Pole Attachments, State Activities

The California Public Utilities CPUC (CPUC) released a Proposed Decision on February 20, 2015 denying a petition by Google Fiber Inc. (Google) to modify the CPUC’s Video Service Provider Decision or DIVCA Order.  Google’s proposed modification would have allowed it and all other state-franchised video service providers (VSPs) the right to access utility poles, ducts… Continue Reading

California Updates Existing Utility Pole Rules to Improve Safety and Reliability

Posted in Infrastructure (Poles, Conduit and Rights of Way), Pole Attachments, State Activities

The California Public Utilities Commission (“CPUC”) released a unanimous decision amending the rules governing design, construction, and maintenance of outdoor overhead power and communication lines. The 16 amendments are intended to improve safety, enhance reliability, increase efficiency, and correct errors in General Order (GO) 95, which governs overhead line construction and safety. The amendments are… Continue Reading

Connecticut Uses FCC Formulas to Set CL&P Pole Rents

Posted in Pole Attachments, State Activities

Connecticut has finally shed its legacy adherence to an old pole attachment formula that weighted in (higher) incremental costs and used dated assumptions about how much usable space exists on a utility pole. In a Final Decision approved today, the Connecticut Public Regulatory Authority (PURA) set Connecticut Light & Power (CL&P)  pole attachment rental rates… Continue Reading

California PUC to Hold Workshops in November to Discuss Wireless Pole Attachment Issues

Posted in Pole Attachments, State Activities, Wireless

As an update to our May 7 blog entry about the California Public Utilities Commission (“PUC”)’s rulemaking to consider if its existing rules for nondiscriminatory access to poles, conduits and rights-of-way should be amended to include Commercial Mobile Radio Service (“CMRS”) carriers (“Rulemaking”), the PUC recently announced that it will hold informational workshops on November 4… Continue Reading

Massachusetts DTC Applies Pole Attachment Rate Formula to Municipal Lighting Plants

Posted in Pole Attachments, State Activities

Today, the Massachusetts Department of Telecommunications and Cable (“DTC”) issued an Order holding that the pole attachment rate formula adopted by the Massachusetts Department of Telecommunications and Energy (“DTE”) in 1998 (the “Massachusetts Formula”) and used by investor-owned utilities (“IOUs”) also applies to municipally-owned electric utilities in Massachusetts, which are known in the Commonwealth as… Continue Reading

Washington’s Temporary Universal Service Fund Takes Effect; Petitions for 2015 Support Due August 1

Posted in State Activities

On July 1, the key provisions of Washington state’s new temporary Universal Service Fund (“USF”) statute became effective.   Together with implementing rules recently enacted by the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (“WUTC”), the statute creates a temporary USF program aimed at supporting small incumbent local exchange carriers (“ILECs”) and smaller wireless carriers.  The legislature’s goals… Continue Reading

North Carolina Court Orders Electric Cooperative Pole Owner to Apply FCC Cable Formula

Posted in Pole Attachments, State Activities

On May 22, 2014, the General Court of Justice of Rutherford County, North Carolina issued an important Order and Opinion interpreting a state statute governing the maximum lawful pole attachment rates that North Carolina electric membership corporations (i.e., cooperatives) may charge and ultimately rejecting a cooperative’s proposed pole attachment rates, which ranged from $15.50 to… Continue Reading

California PUC Opens Rulemaking to Cover Wireless Carriers Under Longstanding Pole Attachment and ROW Rules

Posted in Pole Attachments, State Activities, Wireless

On May 1, 2014, the California Public Utilities Commission (“PUC”)  opened a  Rulemaking to consider if its existing rules for nondiscriminatory access to utility poles, ducts, conduits, and rights-of-way should be amended to encompass Commercial Mobile Radio Service (“CMRS”) carriers.  The rulemaking was commenced  pursuant to a Petition filed by AT&T Mobility, claiming that because… Continue Reading

Washington State Commences Pole Attachment Rulemaking

Posted in Pole Attachments, State Activities

On April 22, 2014, the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (“Commission”) commenced a pole attachment rulemaking.  While the State of Washington asserted jurisdiction over pole attachments in 1979 (see ch. RCW 80.54) and authorized the Commission “to regulate in the public interest the rates, terms, and conditions” of pole attachments, the Commission never adopted pole… Continue Reading

Louisiana PSC Issues Proposed Rules in Multi-Year Pole Attachment Rulemaking

Posted in Pole Attachments, State Activities

On April 9, staff of the Louisiana Public Service Commission (“Commission”) sent stakeholders involved in a pole attachment rulemaking a draft set of proposed pole attachment rules.  The proposed rules are the result of a multi-year, on-again, off-again rulemaking, which originally commenced in 2008.  The rules apply to “any entity that has an attachment on… Continue Reading

Missouri Governor Revives Cell Tower Legislation

Posted in State Activities, Wireless

On March 20, 2014, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon signed into law SB 650, which is designed to expand broadband and wireless service throughout the state by limiting the ability of local authorities to place certain requirements or restrictions on wireless facility siting applications.  Most of the new bill’s provisions, along with three other bills relating… Continue Reading

Missouri Prohibits Municipal Pole Owners From Exceeding FCC Cable Pole Attachment Rate Formula

Posted in Pole Attachments, State Activities

On March 20, 2014, Governor Jay Nixon signed into law SB 653.  The law requires that any pole attachment rate, term or condition demanded by a “municipal-utility” or “municipality” be nondiscriminatory, just and reasonable.   The law applies to pole attachments made by “communications-related service providers,” but excludes wireless antennas and any attachment by a wireless… Continue Reading

State Universal Service Fund Will Not Cover Access to Broadband in Oregon

Posted in State Activities

Last week, the Oregon Public Utility Commission (“Commission”) denied a petition filed by rural incumbent local exchange carriers (“RLECs”) to expand the Oregon Universal Service Fund (“OUSF”) to cover broadband (“RLEC Petition”).  The RLEC Petition asked the Commission to open a rulemaking to consider including the term “access to broadband” in the definition of “basic… Continue Reading

AT&T Petitions CPUC to Apply ROW Pole Attachment Access Rules to Wireless Carriers in California

Posted in Pole Attachments, State Activities, Wireless

On December 3, 2013, AT&T Mobility (“AT&T”) filed a petition with the California Public Utilities Commission (“CPUC”) seeking an amendment to the existing right-of-way (“ROW”) rules adopted by the CPUC in Decision 98-10-058 (“ROW Decision”).[1]  82 CPUC2d 510 (1998).  Specifically, AT&T requests that the CPUC extend the benefits and protections provided to competitive local exchange carriers… Continue Reading

Iowa Utilities Board Amends Pole Attachment Infrastructure Safety Rules

Posted in Pole Attachments, State Activities

On December 2, 2013, the Iowa Utilities Board (“IUB”) released an Order adopting amendments to its existing rule governing safety compliance on utility infrastructure.   The IUB acted in response to a rulemaking petition filed by the Iowa Utilities Association (“IUA”), a group representing investor-owned electric utilities, in December 2011.   In its petition, the IUA asked… Continue Reading

Florida Storm Hardening Plans Update: Attachers Enter Stipulations

Posted in Pole Attachments, State Activities

As an update to our September 20, 2013 post titled Florida Storm Hardening Plans Up for Approval, on November 14, 2013 the Florida Public Service Commission (“Florida PSC”) approved the three-year storm hardening plans of the state’s five investor-owned electric companies:  Duke Energy Florida, Gulf Power, Florida Public Utility Company, Florida Light & Power and Tampa… Continue Reading

California Expands Broadband Grant Program to Non-Regulated Entities

Posted in Broadband Deployment, State Activities

On October 3, Gov. Brown signed into law two bills that make changes to the California Advanced Services Fund (“CASF”).  These bills are aimed at expanding broadband availability to the remaining unserved and underserved areas of California.  In 2010, the California Public Utilities Commission (“PUC”) authorized the CASF to provide broadband infrastructure grants to “telephone corporations”… Continue Reading

Kentucky PSC Sets Preliminary Procedural Schedule for TVA Pole Rate Preemption Case

Posted in Pole Attachments, State Activities

Today, the Kentucky Public Service Commisson  (“PSC”) issued an Order setting the procedural schedule for discovery in this rehearing case involving the Kentucky Cable Telecommunications Association’s petition for declaratory ruling regarding the PSC’s authority to regulate the pole attachment rates of Tennessee Valley Authority (“TVA”) electric cooperatives. As we previously reported, on August 6, 2013, the PSC decided… Continue Reading

Kentucky PSC Schedules October 3, 2013 Informal Conference in TVA Pole Rate Preemption Case

Posted in Pole Attachments, State Activities

The Kentucky Public Service Commission has scheduled an informal conference on October 3, 2013 to establish procedures for the rehearing of its controversial ruling that the PSC is preempted by the federal Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) Act from regulating the pole attachment rates of Kentucky’s TVA electric cooperatives (June 2013 Order).  The June 2013 Order… Continue Reading