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Broadband Deployment Law Advisor Insight and Commentary on the Deployment of Communications Infrastructure

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 and 5 to discuss CMRS access issues.  Informational reports describing the size, type, load and other features of CMRS pole attachments are due by October 21, in preparation of the workshop.

The PUC commenced the Rulemaking on May 1 in response to a petition filed by AT&T Mobility.  AT&T Mobility claimed that because the PUC’s pole attachment rules, adopted in 1998, do not apply to wireless attachments (the rules apply to cable and competitive local exchange carrier attachments only), CMRS carriers face barriers to access, including the “lack of reliable, timely, and affordable access to physical infrastructure – particularly utility poles …”

CMRS carriers are not the only interested stakeholders participating in the Rulemaking.  Google, which is also not covered by the PUC’s existing pole attachment rules, filed comments in support of the Rulemaking urging the PUC to address issues facing by non-certified providers when building broadband infrastructure without access rights.