Pole Attachments and Joint Use for Investor-Owned Utilities

January 24-25, 2024 | Denver, CO and Online

Click Here to register $1395 ($1595 after January 5)

If you are unable to attend at the scheduled date and time, we make recordings available to all registrants for three business days after the event

EUCI’s Utility Pole Attachments and Joint Use course is designed to empower investor-owned utilities (IOUs) in navigating the complexities of pole attachments and joint use. The course addresses common misconceptions of pole attachments and joint use and provides comprehensive insights to facilitate safe and efficient access to poles for broadband infrastructure.

Participants will gain valuable knowledge on topics such as:

  • Make-ready processes
  • Pole attachment rates
  • Enforcement
  • Key contractual considerations
  • Unique challenges posed by wireless attachments

By the end of the course, IOU attendees will be equipped with the necessary expertise to actively participate in broadband deployment and ensure the smooth operation of their systems while supporting the growing demand for universal broadband access.

Learning Outcomes

  • Identify and dispel common misconceptions in the pole attachment domain, such as the perceived barriers posed by electric utilities and the costs associated with pole attachment fees
  • Review make-ready processes, including timelines, fees, and the implementation of self-help and One Touch Make-Ready approaches
  • Evaluate and negotiate rates effectively in joint use agreements, considering the unique challenges and considerations for IOUs
  • Enforce pole attachment agreements, including addressing unauthorized attachments, safety violations, and managing pole transfers
  • Review key legal aspects of pole attachment agreements, including indemnification, bonds, insurance, and assignment, while also understanding the need for a separate addendum to address wireless attachments



8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Mountain Time

Utility Broadband Deployment

  • The need for broadband
  • Grants and funding
  • Potential challenges

Misperceptions in Investor-Owned Utility Pole Attachments

  • All Communication Companies are Not Equal
    • ILECs
    • CLECs
    • CATV
    • Broadband Providers
    • Antenna Companies
  • Electric Utilities are not a Barrier to Broadband Deployment
    • Pole attachment fees
    • Make-ready
    • Upgrades to infrastructure
  • Make-Ready Is Not Easy
    • Working with Communication Companies
    • Make-ready engineering
    • The NESC standards
    • Permitting
    • One Touch Make-Ready
    • Communication companies use of electric company’s easement
    • Notice and overlashing
  • Safety Considerations and Violations
    • Should we do a safety inspection?
  • Joint Use
    • Tree trimming
    • Ground line treatment
    • ILEC payments
    • Rate changes
    • Terms and conditions
  • Wireless Attachments
    • In-line antennas
    • FCC compliance for RF
    • Wireless rates


8:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Mountain Time

History of Investor-Owned Utility Pole Attachments

  • 1996 Telecom Act
    • Challenges with ILECs
    • Section 224 exclusion of ILECs
    • Cable rates for mom-and-pop cable companies
    • Telecom rate for all attachments
  • Addition of timelines: Kentucky co-op slow to make-ready
  • Cable neutralizes telecom rate
  • ILECs no longer excluded from Section 224
  • FCC regulation: wireless attachments
  • Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee (BDAC)
    • One Touch Make-Ready
    • Notice for overlashing
    • What happens to attachments when code violations haven’t been corrected
    • Lack of ILEC rate clarification
  • Make-Ready
  • Reverse Preemption

Utility Pole Attachment Contracts

  • Key Definitions
    • A pole
    • A service
    • “Deemed approved”
  • Contract Must-Haves
    • The pole owner can deny access for safety, engineering and reliability
    • Rates
    • Term
    • Make-ready process
      • Timelines
      • Fees
      • Self-help
      • One Touch Make-Ready
    • Enforcement
      • Unauthorized attachments
      • Safety violations
      • Pole transfers
    • Attorney Role
      • Indemnification
      • Bonds and Insurance
      • Assignment
  • Wireless Addendum to Pole Attachment Agreement


Allen Bell, Retired, Georgia Power

Allen Bell retired from Georgia Power in 2020 after a 37-year career. While at Georgia Power he worked in nuclear construction, customer operations, distribution engineering, regulatory affairs and spent the last 16 years of his career as the Joint Use manager. Allen represented Southern Company at the Federal Communications Commission in rule makings starting in 2004 advocating on behalf of investor-owned utilities. In 2017 Allen was appointed to the FCC’s Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee as the only investor-owned utility representative on the 36-member committee. The BDAC among other initiatives developed the framework for One Touch Make-Ready that is used by most states today. In 2020, immediately after his retirement, Allen served as an expert witness for the Georgia Electric Cooperatives in the Georgia Public Service Commission’s hearings on the Georgia Broadband Opportunity Act (HB 244). Since his retirement Allen is still under contract with Georgia Power in an advisory capacity on pole attachment and damage prevention issues and contracts with TRC as a contract analyst.