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

Category Archives: Pole Attachments

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FCC Orders Electronic Filing of Pole Attachment and Section 208 Complaints

Posted in Pole Attachments

On November 12, the FCC released an Order making significant changes to its rules governing the filing of pole attachment complaints brought under Section 224 as well as formal complaints against common carriers brought under Section 208 of the Communications Act.  Once effective, the rule changes will require the electronic filing of all such complaints –… 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

Public Utilities Commission of Ohio Advances Broadband Deployment by Adopting Comprehensive Set of Pole Attachment Rules, Modeled on Federal Rules

Posted in Pole Attachments

On July 30, 2014, the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (“PUCO”) issued its Finding and Order, “In the Matter of the Adoption of Chapter 4901:1-3, Ohio Administrative Code, Concerning Access to Poles”, Ducts, Conduits, and Rights-of-Way by Public Utilities, pursuant to which PUCO adopted a comprehensive set of rules governing access to public utility poles,… 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

Attention Attachers: You May Be Leaving Money on the Pole

Posted in Pole Attachments

Broadband deployment is expensive.  But, as you build out or expand a network or capacity, deployment may be costing your company more than it should.  From pole attachment rental rates, to make-ready charges, inspection and audit fees, and unauthorized attachment penalties, pole owners have numerous opportunities to impose fees and charges that are not permitted… 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

FCC Seeks Comments On Pole Attachment Agreement Indemnity Clauses

Posted in Pole Attachments

Yesterday, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) released a public notice seeking comment on a Petition for Declaratory Ruling that was filed by Mediacom Communications Corporation (“Mediacom”) on February 19, 2014.  Mediacom is requesting the FCC “issue a declaratory ruling clarifying that an indemnification clause in a pole attachment agreement between a cable operator attacher and… Continue Reading

Telephone Pole Owners File Cost Data with FCC

Posted in Pole Attachments

April 1 was the deadline for telephone companies to file annual Automated Reporting Management Information System (“ARMIS”) reports, which are used to calculate telephone company pole owners’ maximum lawful pole attachment rates in states regulated by the FCC and most certified states.  Filings were made by the largest phone companies – AT&T, Verizon and CenturyLink – as… Continue Reading

Florida Power & Light Questions Public Benefit of Lower Pole Attachment Rates for ILECs

Posted in Pole Attachments

Last week, apparently in response to a complaint filed earlier this year by Verizon, Florida Power & Light (“FP&L”) met with staff of the FCC Wireline Competition Bureau to discuss the benefits of lower pole attachment rates for ILECs.  As reported in its ex parte notice  dated April 3, 2014, FP&L claimed  that ILECs had not… 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

VoIP Classification Question Raised by FCC; Comments Requested

Posted in Pole Attachments

On December 20, 2013, the FCC Wireline Competition Bureau released a Public Notice requesting comment on a June 2013 Petition filed by Union Electric Company d/b/a Ameren Missouri (Ameren).  The Petition asks the FCC to issue a declaratory ruling that, under Section 224 of the Communications Act, VoIP service offered using a cable operator’s pole… 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

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

SCOTUS Declines To Review Decision Granting ILECs Federal Pole Attachment Rights

Posted in Pole Attachments

Today, the first Monday of October and the official beginning of the Court’s 2013 Term, the U.S. Supreme Court denied a petition for certiorari filed by several electric utilities, including American Electric Power (AEP), seeking review of the D.C. Circuit Court’s decision affirming the FCC’s April 2011 Order allowing incumbent local exchange carriers (“ILECs”) to… 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

Verizon, AT&T Pension Charges Could Impact Pole Attachment Fees

Posted in Pole Attachments

In January 2013, AT&T and Verizon reported to the financial press multi-billion dollar accounting charges due to costs associated with their pension and post-retirement benefit plans in 2012. Specifically, AT&T recorded a $10 billion charge for the fourth quarter of 2012, while Verizon booked a pretax charge of $7.2 billion “related primarily to non-cash year-end… Continue Reading

Florida Storm Hardening Plans Up for Approval

Posted in Pole Attachments, State Activities

Every three years, the Florida Investor Owned Electric Utilities file storm hardening plans. In years past, cable and telecommunications attachers have intervened in the storm hardening proceedings with the goal of ensuring that the plans did not alter federally governed pole attachment terms and conditions. The Florida Public Service Commission will be considering the IOU… Continue Reading

Pole Attachment Rate Approval Sought By Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative

Posted in Pole Attachments, State Activities

On May 16, 2013, Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative (NOVEC) filed an application with the Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC) seeking approval of its proposed pole attachment rates, terms and conditions, pursuant to Virginia Code 56-466.1 as amended, which grants to the SCC authority to review the reasonableness of electric cooperative pole attachment rates, terms and… Continue Reading