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e-CFR data is current as of July 1, 2020

Title 47Chapter ISubchapter APart 1 → Subpart J


Title 47: Telecommunication
PART 1—PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE


Subpart J—Pole Attachment Complaint Procedures


Contents
§1.1401   Purpose.
§1.1402   Definitions.
§1.1403   Duty to provide access; modifications; notice of removal, increase or modification; petition for temporary stay; and cable operator notice.
§1.1404   Pole attachment complaint proceedings.
§1.1405   Dismissal of pole attachment complaints for lack of jurisdiction.
§1.1406   Commission consideration of the complaint.
§1.1407   Remedies.
§1.1408   Imputation of rates; modification costs.
§1.1409   Allocation of Unusable Space Costs.
§1.1410   Use of presumptions in calculating the space factor.
§1.1411   Timeline for access to utility poles.
§1.1412   Contractors for survey and make-ready.
§1.1413   Complaints by incumbent local exchange carriers.
§1.1414   Review period for pole attachment complaints.
§1.1415   Overlashing.

Source: 43 FR 36094, Aug. 15, 1978, unless otherwise noted.

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§1.1401   Purpose.

The rules and regulations contained in subpart J of this part provide complaint and enforcement procedures to ensure that telecommunications carriers and cable system operators have nondiscriminatory access to utility poles, ducts, conduits, and rights-of-way on rates, terms, and conditions that are just and reasonable. They also provide complaint and enforcement procedures for incumbent local exchange carriers (as defined in 47 U.S.C. 251(h)) to ensure that the rates, terms, and conditions of their access to pole attachments are just and reasonable.

[83 FR 44838, Sept. 4, 2018]

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§1.1402   Definitions.

(a) The term utility means any person that is a local exchange carrier or an electric, gas, water, steam, or other public utility, and who owns or controls poles, ducts, conduits, or rights-of-way used, in whole or in part, for any wire communications. Such term does not include any railroad, any person that is cooperatively organized, or any person owned by the Federal Government or any State.

(b) The term pole attachment means any attachment by a cable television system or provider of telecommunications service to a pole, duct, conduit, or right-of-way owned or controlled by a utility.

(c) With respect to poles, the term usable space means the space on a utility pole above the minimum grade level which can be used for the attachment of wires, cables, and associated equipment, and which includes space occupied by the utility. With respect to conduit, the term usable space means capacity within a conduit system which is available, or which could, with reasonable effort and expense, be made available, for the purpose of installing wires, cable and associated equipment for telecommunications or cable services, and which includes capacity occupied by the utility.

(d) The term complaint means a filing by a cable television system operator, a cable television system association, a utility, an association of utilities, a telecommunications carrier, or an association of telecommunications carriers alleging that it has been denied access to a utility pole, duct, conduit, or right-of-way in violation of this subpart and/or that a rate, term, or condition for a pole attachment is not just and reasonable. It also means a filing by an incumbent local exchange carrier (as defined in 47 U.S.C. 251(h)) or an association of incumbent local exchange carriers alleging that a rate, term, or condition for a pole attachment is not just and reasonable.

(e) The term complainant means a cable television system operator, a cable television system association, a utility, an association of utilities, a telecommunications carrier, an association of telecommunications carriers, an incumbent local exchange carrier (as defined in 47 U.S.C. 251(h)) or an association of incumbent local exchange carriers who files a complaint.

(f) The term defendant means a cable television system operator, a utility, or a telecommunications carrier against whom a complaint is filed.

(g) The term State means any State, territory, or possession of the United States, the District of Columbia, or any political subdivision, agency, or instrumentality thereof.

(h) For purposes of this subpart, the term telecommunications carrier means any provider of telecommunications services, except that the term does not include aggregators of telecommunications services (as defined in 47 U.S.C. 226) or incumbent local exchange carriers (as defined in 47 U.S.C. 251(h)).

(i) The term conduit means a structure containing one or more ducts, usually placed in the ground, in which cables or wires may be installed.

(j) The term conduit system means a collection of one or more conduits together with their supporting infrastructure.

(k) The term duct means a single enclosed raceway for conductors, cable and/or wire.

(l) With respect to poles, the term unusable space means the space on a utility pole below the usable space, including the amount required to set the depth of the pole.

(m) The term attaching entity includes cable system operators, telecommunications carriers, incumbent and other local exchange carriers, utilities, governmental entities and other entities with a physical attachment to the pole, duct, conduit or right of way. It does not include governmental entities with only seasonal attachments to the pole.

(n) The term inner-duct means a duct-like raceway smaller than a duct that is inserted into a duct so that the duct may carry multiple wires or cables.

(o) The term make-ready means the modification or replacement of a utility pole, or of the lines or equipment on the utility pole, to accommodate additional facilities on the utility pole.

(p) The term complex make-ready means transfers and work within the communications space that would be reasonably likely to cause a service outage(s) or facility damage, including work such as splicing of any communication attachment or relocation of existing wireless attachments. Any and all wireless activities, including those involving mobile, fixed, and point-to-point wireless communications and wireless internet service providers, are to be considered complex.

(q) The term simple make-ready means make-ready where existing attachments in the communications space of a pole could be transferred without any reasonable expectation of a service outage or facility damage and does not require splicing of any existing communication attachment or relocation of an existing wireless attachment.

(r) The term communications space means the lower usable space on a utility pole, which typically is reserved for low-voltage communications equipment.

[43 FR 36094, Aug. 15, 1978, as amended at 52 FR 31770, Aug. 24, 1987; 61 FR 43024, Aug. 20, 1996; 61 FR 45618, Aug. 29, 1996; 63 FR 12024, Mar. 12, 1998; 65 FR 31281, May 17, 2000; 66 FR 34580, June 29, 2001; 76 FR 26638, May 9, 2011; 83 FR 44838, Sept. 4, 2018; 83 FR 46836, Sept. 14, 2018]

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§1.1403   Duty to provide access; modifications; notice of removal, increase or modification; petition for temporary stay; and cable operator notice.

(a) A utility shall provide a cable television system or any telecommunications carrier with nondiscriminatory access to any pole, duct, conduit, or right-of-way owned or controlled by it. Notwithstanding this obligation, a utility may deny a cable television system or any telecommunications carrier access to its poles, ducts, conduits, or rights-of-way, on a non-discriminatory basis where there is insufficient capacity or for reasons of safety, reliability and generally applicable engineering purposes.

(b) Requests for access to a utility's poles, ducts, conduits or rights-of-way by a telecommunications carrier or cable operator must be in writing. If access is not granted within 45 days of the request for access, the utility must confirm the denial in writing by the 45th day. The utility's denial of access shall be specific, shall include all relevant evidence and information supporting its denial, and shall explain how such evidence and information relate to a denial of access for reasons of lack of capacity, safety, reliability or engineering standards.

(c) A utility shall provide a cable television system or telecommunications carrier no less than 60 days written notice prior to:

(1) Removal of facilities or termination of any service to those facilities, such removal or termination arising out of a rate, term or condition of the cable television system operator's or telecommunications carrier's pole attachment agreement;

(2) Any increase in pole attachment rates; or

(3) Any modification of facilities by the utility other than make-ready noticed pursuant to §1.1411(e), routine maintenance, or modification in response to emergencies.

(d) A cable television system operator or telecommunications carrier may file a “Petition for Temporary Stay” of the action contained in a notice received pursuant to paragraph (c) of this section within 15 days of receipt of such notice. Such submission shall not be considered unless it includes, in concise terms, the relief sought, the reasons for such relief, including a showing of irreparable harm and likely cessation of cable television service or telecommunication service, a copy of the notice, and certification of service as required by §1.1404(b). The named may file an answer within 7 days of the date the Petition for Temporary Stay was filed. No further filings under this section will be considered unless requested or authorized by the Commission and no extensions of time will be granted unless justified pursuant to §1.46.

(e) Cable operators must notify pole owners upon offering telecommunications services.

[61 FR 45618, Aug. 29, 1996, as amended at 63 FR 12025, Mar. 12, 1998; 79 FR 73847, Dec. 12, 2014; 83 FR 44839, Sept. 4, 2018; 83 FR 46836, Sept. 14, 2018]

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§1.1404   Pole attachment complaint proceedings.

(a) Pole attachment complaint proceedings shall be governed by the formal complaint rules in subpart E of this part, §§1.720-1.740, except as otherwise provided in this subpart J.

(b) The complaint shall be accompanied by a certification of service on the named defendant, and each of the Federal, State, and local governmental agencies that regulate any aspect of the services provided by the complainant or defendant.

(c) In a case where it is claimed that a rate, term, or condition is unjust or unreasonable, the complaint shall contain a statement that the State has not certified to the Commission that it regulates the rates, terms and conditions for pole attachments. The complaint shall include a statement that the utility is not owned by any railroad, any person who is cooperatively organized or any person owned by the Federal Government or any State.

(d) The complaint shall be accompanied by a copy of the pole attachment agreement, if any, between the cable television system operator or telecommunications carrier and the utility. If there is no present pole attachment agreement, the complaint shall contain:

(1) A statement that the utility uses or controls poles, ducts, or conduits used or designated, in whole or in part, for wire communication; and

(2) A statement that the cable television system operator or telecommunications carrier currently has attachments on the poles, ducts, conduits, or rights-of-way.

(e) The complaint shall state with specificity the pole attachment rate, term or condition which is claimed to be unjust or unreasonable and provide all data and information supporting such claim. Data and information supporting the complaint (including all information necessary for the Commission to apply the rate formulas in §1.1406 should be based upon historical or original cost methodology, insofar as possible. Data should be derived from ARMIS, FERC 1, or other reports filed with state or federal regulatory agencies (identify source). The complainant shall also specify any other information and argument relied upon to attempt to establish that a rate, term, or condition is not just and reasonable.

(f) A utility must supply a cable television system operator or telecommunications carrier the information required in paragraph (e) of this section, as applicable, along with the supporting pages from its ARMIS, FERC Form 1, or other report to a regulatory body, and calculations made in connection with these figures, within 30 days of the request by the cable television system operator or telecommunications carrier.

(g) If any of the information and data required in paragraphs (e) and (f) of this section is not provided to the cable television system operator or telecommunications carrier by the utility upon reasonable request, the cable television system operator or telecommunications carrier shall include a statement indicating the steps taken to obtain the information from the utility, including the dates of all requests. No complaint filed by a cable television system operator or telecommunications carrier shall be dismissed where the utility has failed to provide the information required under paragraphs (e) and (f) after such reasonable request.

[83 FR 44839, Sept. 4, 2018]

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§1.1405   Dismissal of pole attachment complaints for lack of jurisdiction.

(a) The complaint shall be dismissed for lack of jurisdiction in any case where a suitable certificate has been filed by a State pursuant to paragraph (b) of this section. Such certificate shall be conclusive proof of lack of jurisdiction of this Commission. A complaint alleging a denial of access shall be dismissed for lack of jurisdiction in any case where the defendant or a State offers proof that the State is regulating such access matters. Such proof should include a citation to state laws and regulations governing access and establishing a procedure for resolving access complaints in a state forum. A complaint against a utility shall also be dismissed if the utility does not use or control poles, ducts, or conduits used or designated, in whole or in part, for wire communication or if the utility does not meet the criteria of §1.1402(a).

(b) It will be rebuttably presumed that the state is not regulating pole attachments if the Commission does not receive certification from a state that:

(1) It regulates rates, terms and conditions for pole attachments;

(2) In so regulating such rates, terms and conditions, the state has the authority to consider and does consider the interests of the consumers of the services offered via such attachments, as well as the interests of the consumers of the utility services; and

(3) It has issued and made effective rules and regulations implementing the state's regulatory authority over pole attachments (including a specific methodology for such regulation which has been made publicly available in the state).

(c) Upon receipt of such certification, the Commission shall give public notice. In addition, the Commission shall compile and publish from time to time, a listing of states which have provided certification.

(d) Upon receipt of such certification, the Commission shall forward any pending case thereby affected to the state regulatory authority, shall so notify the parties involved and shall give public notice thereof.

(e) Certification shall be by order of the state regulatory body or by a person having lawful delegated authority under provisions of state law to submit such certification. Said person shall provide in writing a statement that he or she has such authority and shall cite the law, regulation or other instrument conferring such authority.

(f) Notwithstanding any such certification, jurisdiction will revert to this Commission with respect to any individual matter, unless the state takes final action on a complaint regarding such matter:

(1) Within 180 days after the complaint is filed with the state, or

(2) Within the applicable periods prescribed for such final action in such rules and regulations of the state, if the prescribed period does not extend beyond 360 days after the filing of such complaint.

[83 FR 44839, Sept. 4, 2018]

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§1.1406   Commission consideration of the complaint.

(a) The complainant shall have the burden of establishing a prima facie case that the rate, term, or condition is not just and reasonable or that the denial of access violates 47 U.S.C. 224(f). If, however, a utility argues that the proposed rate is lower than its incremental costs, the utility has the burden of establishing that such rate is below the statutory minimum just and reasonable rate. In a case involving a denial of access, the utility shall have the burden of proving that the denial was lawful, once a prima facie case is established by the complainant.

(b) The Commission shall determine whether the rate, term or condition complained of is just and reasonable. For the purposes of this paragraph, a rate is just and reasonable if it assures a utility the recovery of not less than the additional costs of providing pole attachments, nor more than an amount determined by multiplying the percentage of the total usable space, or the percentage of the total duct or conduit capacity, which is occupied by the pole attachment by the sum of the operating expenses and actual capital costs of the utility attributable to the entire pole, duct, conduit, or right-of-way. The Commission shall exclude from actual capital costs those reimbursements received by the utility from cable operators and telecommunications carriers for non-recurring costs.

(c) The Commission shall deny the complaint if it determines that the complainant has not established a prima facie case, or that the rate, term or condition is just and reasonable, or that the denial of access was lawful.

(d) The Commission will apply the following formulas for determining a maximum just and reasonable rate:

(1) The following formula shall apply to attachments to poles by cable operators providing cable services. This formula shall also apply to attachments to poles by any telecommunications carrier (to the extent such carrier is not a party to a pole attachment agreement) or cable operator providing telecommunications services until February 8, 2001:

eCFR graphic er04se18.000.gif

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(2) With respect to attachments to poles by any telecommunications carrier or cable operator providing telecommunications services, the maximum just and reasonable rate shall be the higher of the rate yielded by paragraphs (d)(2)(i) or (d)(2)(ii) of this section.

(i) The following formula applies to the extent that it yields a rate higher than that yielded by the applicable formula in paragraph (d)(2)(ii) of this section:

Rate = Space Factor × Cost

Where Cost

in Service Areas where the number of Attaching Entities is 5 = 0.66 × (Net Cost of a Bare Pole × Carrying Charge Rate)

in Service Areas where the number of Attaching Entities is 4 = 0.56 × (Net Cost of a Bare Pole × Carrying Charge Rate)

in Service Areas where the number of Attaching Entities is 3 = 0.44 × (Net Cost of a Bare Pole × Carrying Charge Rate)

in Service Areas where the number of Attaching Entities is 2 = 0.31 × (Net Cost of a Bare Pole × Carrying Charge Rate)

in Service Areas where the number of Attaching Entities is not a whole number = N × (Net Cost of a Bare Pole × Carrying Charge Rate), where N is interpolated from the cost allocator associated with the nearest whole numbers above and below the number of Attaching Entities.

eCFR graphic er04se18.001.gif

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(ii) The following formula applies to the extent that it yields a rate higher than that yielded by the applicable formula in paragraph (d)(2)(i) of this section:

eCFR graphic er04se18.002.gif

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(3) The following formula shall apply to attachments to conduit by cable operators and telecommunications carriers:

eCFR graphic er04se18.003.gif

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simplified as:

eCFR graphic er04se18.004.gif

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(4) If no inner-duct is installed the fraction, “1 Duct divided by the No. of Inner-Ducts” is presumed to be 12 .

(e) A price cap company, or a rate-of-return carrier electing to provide service pursuant to §61.50 of this chapter, that opts-out of part 32 of this chapter may calculate attachment rates for its poles, ducts, conduits, and rights of way using either part 32 accounting data or GAAP accounting data. A company using GAAP accounting data to compute rates to attach to its poles, ducts, conduits, and rights of way in any of the first twelve years after opting-out must adjust (increase or decrease) its annually computed GAAP-based rates by an Implementation Rate Difference for each of the remaining years in the period. The Implementation Rate Difference means the difference between attachment rates calculated by the carrier under part 32 and under GAAP as of the last full year preceding the carrier's initial opting-out of part 32 USOA accounting requirements.

[83 FR 44840, Sept. 4, 2018, as amended at 83 FR 67121, Dec. 28, 2018]

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§1.1407   Remedies.

(a) If the Commission determines that the rate, term, or condition complained of is not just and reasonable, it may prescribe a just and reasonable rate, term, or condition and may:

(1) Terminate the unjust and/or unreasonable rate, term, or condition;

(2) Substitute in the pole attachment agreement the just and reasonable rate, term, or condition established by the Commission; and/or

(3) Order a refund, or payment, if appropriate. The refund or payment will normally be the difference between the amount paid under the unjust and/or unreasonable rate, term, or condition and the amount that would have been paid under the rate, term, or condition established by the Commission, plus interest, consistent with the applicable statute of limitations.

(b) If the Commission determines that access to a pole, duct, conduit, or right-of-way has been unlawfully denied or delayed, it may order that access be permitted within a specified time frame and in accordance with specified rates, terms, and conditions.

[83 FR 44841,Sept. 4, 2018]

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§1.1408   Imputation of rates; modification costs.

(a) A utility that engages in the provision of telecommunications services or cable services shall impute to its costs of providing such services (and charge any affiliate, subsidiary, or associate company engaged in the provision of such services) an equal amount to the pole attachment rate for which such company would be liable under this section.

(b) The costs of modifying a facility shall be borne by all parties that obtain access to the facility as a result of the modification and by all parties that directly benefit from the modification. Each party described in the preceding sentence shall share proportionately in the cost of the modification. A party with a preexisting attachment to the modified facility shall be deemed to directly benefit from a modification if, after receiving notification of such modification as provided in subpart J of this part, it adds to or modifies its attachment. Notwithstanding the foregoing, a party with a preexisting attachment to a pole, conduit, duct or right-of-way shall not be required to bear any of the costs of rearranging or replacing its attachment if such rearrangement or replacement is necessitated solely as a result of an additional attachment or the modification of an existing attachment sought by another party. If a party makes an attachment to the facility after the completion of the modification, such party shall share proportionately in the cost of the modification if such modification rendered possible the added attachment.

[61 FR 43025, Aug. 20, 1996; 61 FR 45619, Aug. 29, 1996. Redesignated at 83 FR 44841, Sept. 4, 2018]

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§1.1409   Allocation of Unusable Space Costs.

(a) With respect to the formula referenced in §1.1406(d)(2), a utility shall apportion the cost of providing unusable space on a pole so that such apportionment equals two-thirds of the costs of providing unusable space that would be allocated to such entity under an equal apportionment of such costs among all attaching entities.

(b) All attaching entities attached to the pole shall be counted for purposes of apportioning the cost of unusable space.

(c) Utilities may use the following rebuttable presumptive averages when calculating the number of attaching entities with respect to the formula referenced in §1.1406(d)(2). For non-urbanized service areas (under 50,000 population), a presumptive average number of attaching entities of three. For urbanized service areas (50,000 or higher population), a presumptive average number of attaching entities of five. If any part of the utility's service area within the state has a designation of urbanized (50,000 or higher population) by the Bureau of Census, United States Department of Commerce, then all of that service area shall be designated as urbanized for purposes of determining the presumptive average number of attaching entities.

(d) A utility may establish its own presumptive average number of attaching entities for its urbanized and non-urbanized service area as follows:

(1) Each utility shall, upon request, provide all attaching entities and all entities seeking access the methodology and information upon which the utilities presumptive average number of attachers is based.

(2) Each utility is required to exercise good faith in establishing and updating its presumptive average number of attachers.

(3) The presumptive average number of attachers may be challenged by an attaching entity by submitting information demonstrating why the utility's presumptive average is incorrect. The attaching entity should also submit what it believes should be the presumptive average and the methodology used. Where a complete inspection is impractical, a statistically sound survey may be submitted.

(4) Upon successful challenge of the existing presumptive average number of attachers, the resulting data determined shall be used by the utility as the presumptive number of attachers within the rate formula.

[63 FR 12026, Mar. 12, 1998, as amended at 66 FR 34581, June 29, 2001. Redesignated and amended at 83 FR 44841, Sept. 4, 2018]

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§1.1410   Use of presumptions in calculating the space factor.

With respect to the formulas referenced in §1.1406(d)(1) and (d)(2), the space occupied by an attachment is presumed to be one foot. The amount of usable space is presumed to be 13.5 feet. The amount of unusable space is presumed to be 24 feet. The pole height is presumed to be 37.5 feet. These presumptions may be rebutted by either party.

[83 FR 44841, Sept. 4, 2018]

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§1.1411   Timeline for access to utility poles.

(a) Definitions.

(1) The term “attachment” means any attachment by a cable television system or provider of telecommunications service to a pole owned or controlled by a utility.

(2) The term “new attacher” means a cable television system or telecommunications carrier requesting to attach new or upgraded facilities to a pole owned or controlled by a utility.

(3) The term “existing attacher” means any entity with equipment on a utility pole.

(b) All time limits in this subsection are to be calculated according to §1.4.

(c) Application review and survey—(1) Application completeness. A utility shall review a new attacher's attachment application for completeness before reviewing the application on its merits. A new attacher's attachment application is considered complete if it provides the utility with the information necessary under its procedures, as specified in a master service agreement or in requirements that are available in writing publicly at the time of submission of the application, to begin to survey the affected poles.

(i) A utility shall determine within 10 business days after receipt of a new attacher's attachment application whether the application is complete and notify the attacher of that decision. If the utility does not respond within 10 business days after receipt of the application, or if the utility rejects the application as incomplete but fails to specify any reasons in its response, then the application is deemed complete. If the utility timely notifies the new attacher that its attachment application is not complete, then it must specify all reasons for finding it incomplete.

(ii) Any resubmitted application need only address the utility's reasons for finding the application incomplete and shall be deemed complete within 5 business days after its resubmission, unless the utility specifies to the new attacher which reasons were not addressed and how the resubmitted application did not sufficiently address the reasons. The new attacher may follow the resubmission procedure in this paragraph as many times as it chooses so long as in each case it makes a bona fide attempt to correct the reasons identified by the utility, and in each case the deadline set forth in this paragraph shall apply to the utility's review.

(2) Application review on the merits. A utility shall respond to the new attacher either by granting access or, consistent with §1.1403(b), denying access within 45 days of receipt of a complete application to attach facilities to its utility poles (or within 60 days in the case of larger orders as described in paragraph (g) of this section). A utility may not deny the new attacher pole access based on a preexisting violation not caused by any prior attachments of the new attacher.

(3) Survey. (i) A utility shall complete a survey of poles for which access has been requested within 45 days of receipt of a complete application to attach facilities to its utility poles (or within 60 days in the case of larger orders as described in paragraph (g) of this section).

(ii) A utility shall permit the new attacher and any existing attachers on the affected poles to be present for any field inspection conducted as part of the utility's survey. A utility shall use commercially reasonable efforts to provide the affected attachers with advance notice of not less than 3 business days of any field inspection as part of the survey and shall provide the date, time, and location of the survey, and name of the contractor performing the survey.

(iii) Where a new attacher has conducted a survey pursuant to paragraph (j)(3) of this section, a utility can elect to satisfy its survey obligations in this paragraph by notifying affected attachers of its intent to use the survey conducted by the new attacher pursuant to paragraph (j)(3) of this section and by providing a copy of the survey to the affected attachers within the time period set forth in paragraph (c)(3)(i) of this section. A utility relying on a survey conducted pursuant to paragraph (j)(3) of this section to satisfy all of its obligations under paragraph (c)(3)(i) of this section shall have 15 days to make such a notification to affected attachers rather than a 45 day survey period.

(d) Estimate. Where a new attacher's request for access is not denied, a utility shall present to a new attacher a detailed, itemized estimate, on a pole-by-pole basis where requested, of charges to perform all necessary make-ready within 14 days of providing the response required by paragraph (c) of this section, or in the case where a new attacher has performed a survey, within 14 days of receipt by the utility of such survey. Where a pole-by-pole estimate is requested and the utility incurs fixed costs that are not reasonably calculable on a pole-by-pole basis, the utility present charges on a per-job basis rather than present a pole-by-pole estimate for those fixed cost charges. The utility shall provide documentation that is sufficient to determine the basis of all estimated charges, including any projected material, labor, and other related costs that form the basis of its estimate.

(1) A utility may withdraw an outstanding estimate of charges to perform make-ready work beginning 14 days after the estimate is presented.

(2) A new attacher may accept a valid estimate and make payment any time after receipt of an estimate, except it may not accept after the estimate is withdrawn.

(3) Final invoice: After the utility completes make-ready, if the final cost of the work differs from the estimate, it shall provide the new attacher with a detailed, itemized final invoice of the actual make-ready charges incurred, on a pole-by-pole basis where requested, to accommodate the new attacher's attachment. Where a pole-by-pole estimate is requested and the utility incurs fixed costs that are not reasonably calculable on a pole-by-pole basis, the utility may present charges on a per-job basis rather than present a pole-by-pole invoice for those fixed cost charges. The utility shall provide documentation that is sufficient to determine the basis of all estimated charges, including any projected material, labor, and other related costs that form the basis of its estimate.

(4) A utility may not charge a new attacher to bring poles, attachments, or third-party equipment into compliance with current published safety, reliability, and pole owner construction standards guidelines if such poles, attachments, or third-party equipment were out of compliance because of work performed by a party other than the new attacher prior to the new attachment.

(e) Make-ready. Upon receipt of payment specified in paragraph (d)(2) of this section, a utility shall notify immediately and in writing all known entities with existing attachments that may be affected by the make-ready.

(1) For attachments in the communications space, the notice shall:

(i) Specify where and what make-ready will be performed.

(ii) Set a date for completion of make-ready in the communications space that is no later than 30 days after notification is sent (or up to 75 days in the case of larger orders as described in paragraph (g) of this section).

(iii) State that any entity with an existing attachment may modify the attachment consistent with the specified make-ready before the date set for completion.

(iv) State that if make-ready is not completed by the completion date set by the utility in paragraph (e)(1)(ii) in this section, the new attacher may complete the make-ready specified pursuant to paragraph (e)(1)(i) in this section.

(v) State the name, telephone number, and email address of a person to contact for more information about the make-ready procedure.

(2) For attachments above the communications space, the notice shall:

(i) Specify where and what make-ready will be performed.

(ii) Set a date for completion of make-ready that is no later than 90 days after notification is sent (or 135 days in the case of larger orders, as described in paragraph (g) of this section).

(iii) State that any entity with an existing attachment may modify the attachment consistent with the specified make-ready before the date set for completion.

(iv) State that the utility may assert its right to 15 additional days to complete make-ready.

(v) State that if make-ready is not completed by the completion date set by the utility in paragraph (e)(2)(ii) in this section (or, if the utility has asserted its 15-day right of control, 15 days later), the new attacher may complete the make-ready specified pursuant to paragraph (e)(1)(i) of this section.

(vi) State the name, telephone number, and email address of a person to contact for more information about the make-ready procedure.

(3) Once a utility provides the notices described in this section, it then must provide the new attacher with a copy of the notices and the existing attachers' contact information and address where the utility sent the notices. The new attacher shall be responsible for coordinating with existing attachers to encourage their completion of make-ready by the dates set forth by the utility in paragraph (e)(1)(ii) of this section for communications space attachments or paragraph (e)(2)(ii) of this section for attachments above the communications space.

(f) A utility shall complete its make-ready in the communications space by the same dates set for existing attachers in paragraph (e)(1)(ii) of this section or its make-ready above the communications space by the same dates for existing attachers in paragraph (e)(2)(ii) of this section (or if the utility has asserted its 15-day right of control, 15 days later).

(g) For the purposes of compliance with the time periods in this section:

(1) A utility shall apply the timeline described in paragraphs (c) through (e) of this section to all requests for attachment up to the lesser of 300 poles or 0.5 percent of the utility's poles in a state.

(2) A utility may add 15 days to the survey period described in paragraph (c) of this section to larger orders up to the lesser of 3000 poles or 5 percent of the utility's poles in a state.

(3) A utility may add 45 days to the make-ready periods described in paragraph (e) of this section to larger orders up to the lesser of 3000 poles or 5 percent of the utility's poles in a state.

(4) A utility shall negotiate in good faith the timing of all requests for attachment larger than the lesser of 3000 poles or 5 percent of the utility's poles in a state.

(5) A utility may treat multiple requests from a single new attacher as one request when the requests are filed within 30 days of one another.

(h) Deviation from the time limits specified in this section. (1) A utility may deviate from the time limits specified in this section before offering an estimate of charges if the parties have no agreement specifying the rates, terms, and conditions of attachment.

(2) A utility may deviate from the time limits specified in this section during performance of make-ready for good and sufficient cause that renders it infeasible for the utility to complete make-ready within the time limits specified in this section. A utility that so deviates shall immediately notify, in writing, the new attacher and affected existing attachers and shall identify the affected poles and include a detailed explanation of the reason for the deviation and a new completion date. The utility shall deviate from the time limits specified in this section for a period no longer than necessary to complete make-ready on the affected poles and shall resume make-ready without discrimination when it returns to routine operations. A utility cannot delay completion of make-ready because of a preexisting violation on an affected pole not caused by the new attacher.

(3) An existing attacher may deviate from the time limits specified in this section during performance of complex make-ready for reasons of safety or service interruption that renders it infeasible for the existing attacher to complete complex make-ready within the time limits specified in this section. An existing attacher that so deviates shall immediately notify, in writing, the new attacher and other affected existing attachers and shall identify the affected poles and include a detailed explanation of the basis for the deviation and a new completion date, which in no event shall extend beyond 60 days from the date the notice described in paragraph (e)(1) of this section is sent by the utility (or up to 105 days in the case of larger orders described in paragraph (g) of this section). The existing attacher shall deviate from the time limits specified in this section for a period no longer than necessary to complete make-ready on the affected poles.

(i) Self-help remedy—(1) Surveys. If a utility fails to complete a survey as specified in paragraph (c)(3)(i) of this section, then a new attacher may conduct the survey in place of the utility and, as specified in §1.1412, hire a contractor to complete a survey.

(i) A new attacher shall permit the affected utility and existing attachers to be present for any field inspection conducted as part of the new attacher's survey.

(ii) A new attacher shall use commercially reasonable efforts to provide the affected utility and existing attachers with advance notice of not less than 3 business days of a field inspection as part of any survey it conducts. The notice shall include the date and time of the survey, a description of the work involved, and the name of the contractor being used by the new attacher.

(2) Make-ready. If make-ready is not complete by the date specified in paragraph (e) of this section, then a new attacher may conduct the make-ready in place of the utility and existing attachers, and, as specified in §1.1412, hire a contractor to complete the make-ready.

(i) A new attacher shall permit the affected utility and existing attachers to be present for any make-ready. A new attacher shall use commercially reasonable efforts to provide the affected utility and existing attachers with advance notice of not less than 5 days of the impending make-ready. The notice shall include the date and time of the make-ready, a description of the work involved, and the name of the contractor being used by the new attacher.

(ii) The new attacher shall notify an affected utility or existing attacher immediately if make-ready damages the equipment of a utility or an existing attacher or causes an outage that is reasonably likely to interrupt the service of a utility or existing attacher. Upon receiving notice from the new attacher, the utility or existing attacher may either:

(A) Complete any necessary remedial work and bill the new attacher for the reasonable costs related to fixing the damage; or

(B) Require the new attacher to fix the damage at its expense immediately following notice from the utility or existing attacher.

(iii) A new attacher shall notify the affected utility and existing attachers within 15 days after completion of make-ready on a particular pole. The notice shall provide the affected utility and existing attachers at least 90 days from receipt in which to inspect the make-ready. The affected utility and existing attachers have 14 days after completion of their inspection to notify the new attacher of any damage or code violations caused by make-ready conducted by the new attacher on their equipment. If the utility or an existing attacher notifies the new attacher of such damage or code violations, then the utility or existing attacher shall provide adequate documentation of the damage or the code violations. The utility or existing attacher may either complete any necessary remedial work and bill the new attacher for the reasonable costs related to fixing the damage or code violations or require the new attacher to fix the damage or code violations at its expense within 14 days following notice from the utility or existing attacher.

(3) Pole replacements. Self-help shall not be available for pole replacements.

(j) One-touch make-ready option. For attachments involving simple make-ready, new attachers may elect to proceed with the process described in this paragraph in lieu of the attachment process described in paragraphs (c) through (f) and (i) of this section.

(1) Attachment application. (i) A new attacher electing the one-touch make-ready process must elect the one-touch make-ready process in writing in its attachment application and must identify the simple make-ready that it will perform. It is the responsibility of the new attacher to ensure that its contractor determines whether the make-ready requested in an attachment application is simple.

(ii) The utility shall review the new attacher's attachment application for completeness before reviewing the application on its merits. An attachment application is considered complete if it provides the utility with the information necessary under its procedures, as specified in a master service agreement or in publicly-released requirements at the time of submission of the application, to make an informed decision on the application.

(A) A utility has 10 business days after receipt of a new attacher's attachment application in which to determine whether the application is complete and notify the attacher of that decision. If the utility does not respond within 10 business days after receipt of the application, or if the utility rejects the application as incomplete but fails to specify any reasons in the application, then the application is deemed complete.

(B) If the utility timely notifies the new attacher that its attachment application is not complete, then the utility must specify all reasons for finding it incomplete. Any resubmitted application need only address the utility's reasons for finding the application incomplete and shall be deemed complete within 5 business days after its resubmission, unless the utility specifies to the new attacher which reasons were not addressed and how the resubmitted application did not sufficiently address the reasons. The applicant may follow the resubmission procedure in this paragraph as many times as it chooses so long as in each case it makes a bona fide attempt to correct the reasons identified by the utility, and in each case the deadline set forth in this paragraph shall apply to the utility's review.

(2) Application review on the merits. The utility shall review on the merits a complete application requesting one-touch make-ready and respond to the new attacher either granting or denying an application within 15 days of the utility's receipt of a complete application (or within 30 days in the case of larger orders as described in paragraph (g) of this section).

(i) If the utility denies the application on its merits, then its decision shall be specific, shall include all relevant evidence and information supporting its decision, and shall explain how such evidence and information relate to a denial of access for reasons of lack of capacity, safety, reliability, or engineering standards.

(ii) Within the 15-day application review period (or within 30 days in the case of larger orders as described in paragraph (g) of this section), a utility may object to the designation by the new attacher's contractor that certain make-ready is simple. If the utility objects to the contractor's determination that make-ready is simple, then it is deemed complex. The utility's objection is final and determinative so long as it is specific and in writing, includes all relevant evidence and information supporting its decision, made in good faith, and explains how such evidence and information relate to a determination that the make-ready is not simple.

(3) Surveys. The new attacher is responsible for all surveys required as part of the one-touch make-ready process and shall use a contractor as specified in §1.1412(b).

(i) The new attacher shall permit the utility and any existing attachers on the affected poles to be present for any field inspection conducted as part of the new attacher's surveys. The new attacher shall use commercially reasonable efforts to provide the utility and affected existing attachers with advance notice of not less than 3 business days of a field inspection as part of any survey and shall provide the date, time, and location of the surveys, and name of the contractor performing the surveys.

(ii) [Reserved]

(4) Make-ready. If the new attacher's attachment application is approved and if it has provided 15 days prior written notice of the make-ready to the affected utility and existing attachers, the new attacher may proceed with make-ready using a contractor in the manner specified for simple make-ready in §1.1412(b).

(i) The prior written notice shall include the date and time of the make-ready, a description of the work involved, the name of the contractor being used by the new attacher, and provide the affected utility and existing attachers a reasonable opportunity to be present for any make-ready.

(ii) The new attacher shall notify an affected utility or existing attacher immediately if make-ready damages the equipment of a utility or an existing attacher or causes an outage that is reasonably likely to interrupt the service of a utility or existing attacher. Upon receiving notice from the new attacher, the utility or existing attacher may either:

(A) Complete any necessary remedial work and bill the new attacher for the reasonable costs related to fixing the damage; or

(B) Require the new attacher to fix the damage at its expense immediately following notice from the utility or existing attacher.

(iii) In performing make-ready, if the new attacher or the utility determines that make-ready classified as simple is complex, then that specific make-ready must be halted and the determining party must provide immediate notice to the other party of its determination and the impacted poles. The affected make-ready shall then be governed by paragraphs (d) through (i) of this section and the utility shall provide the notice required by paragraph (e) of this section as soon as reasonably practicable.

(5) Post-make-ready timeline. A new attacher shall notify the affected utility and existing attachers within 15 days after completion of make-ready on a particular pole. The notice shall provide the affected utility and existing attachers at least 90 days from receipt in which to inspect the make-ready. The affected utility and existing attachers have 14 days after completion of their inspection to notify the new attacher of any damage or code violations caused by make-ready conducted by the new attacher on their equipment. If the utility or an existing attacher notifies the new attacher of such damage or code violations, then the utility or existing attacher shall provide adequate documentation of the damage or the code violations. The utility or existing attacher may either complete any necessary remedial work and bill the new attacher for the reasonable costs related to fixing the damage or code violations or require the new attacher to fix the damage or code violations at its expense within 14 days following notice from the utility or existing attacher.

[76 FR 26640, May 9, 2011. Redesignated and amended at 83 FR 44841, Sept. 4, 2018; 83 FR 46836, Sept. 14, 2018]

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§1.1412   Contractors for survey and make-ready.

(a) Contractors for self-help complex and above the communications space make-ready. A utility shall make available and keep up-to-date a reasonably sufficient list of contractors it authorizes to perform self-help surveys and make-ready that is complex and self-help surveys and make-ready that is above the communications space on its poles. The new attacher must use a contractor from this list to perform self-help work that is complex or above the communications space. New and existing attachers may request the addition to the list of any contractor that meets the minimum qualifications in paragraphs (c)(1) through (5) of this section and the utility may not unreasonably withhold its consent.

(b) Contractors for simple work. A utility may, but is not required to, keep up-to-date a reasonably sufficient list of contractors it authorizes to perform surveys and simple make-ready. If a utility provides such a list, then the new attacher must choose a contractor from the list to perform the work. New and existing attachers may request the addition to the list of any contractor that meets the minimum qualifications in paragraphs (c)(1) through (5) of this section and the utility may not unreasonably withhold its consent.

(1) If the utility does not provide a list of approved contractors for surveys or simple make-ready or no utility-approved contractor is available within a reasonable time period, then the new attacher may choose its own qualified contractor that meets the requirements in paragraph (c) of this section. When choosing a contractor that is not on a utility-provided list, the new attacher must certify to the utility that its contractor meets the minimum qualifications described in paragraph (c) of this section when providing notices required by §1.1411(i)(1)(ii), (i)(2)(i), (j)(3)(i), and (j)(4).

(2) The utility may disqualify any contractor chosen by the new attacher that is not on a utility-provided list, but such disqualification must be based on reasonable safety or reliability concerns related to the contractor's failure to meet any of the minimum qualifications described in paragraph (c) of this section or to meet the utility's publicly available and commercially reasonable safety or reliability standards. The utility must provide notice of its contractor objection within the notice periods provided by the new attacher in §1.1411(i)(1)(ii), (i)(2)(i), (j)(3)(i), and (j)(4) and in its objection must identify at least one available qualified contractor.

(c) Contractor minimum qualification requirements. Utilities must ensure that contractors on a utility-provided list, and new attachers must ensure that contractors they select pursuant to paragraph (b)(1) of this section, meet the following minimum requirements:

(1) The contractor has agreed to follow published safety and operational guidelines of the utility, if available, but if unavailable, the contractor shall agree to follow National Electrical Safety Code (NESC) guidelines;

(2) The contractor has acknowledged that it knows how to read and follow licensed-engineered pole designs for make-ready, if required by the utility;

(3) The contractor has agreed to follow all local, state, and federal laws and regulations including, but not limited to, the rules regarding Qualified and Competent Persons under the requirements of the Occupational and Safety Health Administration (OSHA) rules;

(4) The contractor has agreed to meet or exceed any uniformly applied and reasonable safety and reliability thresholds set by the utility, if made available; and

(5) The contractor is adequately insured or will establish an adequate performance bond for the make-ready it will perform, including work it will perform on facilities owned by existing attachers.

(d) The consulting representative of an electric utility may make final determinations, on a nondiscriminatory basis, where there is insufficient capacity and for reasons of safety, reliability, and generally applicable engineering purposes.

[76 FR 26640, May 9, 2011. Redesignated and amended at 83 FR 44842, Sept. 4, 2018; 83 FR 46839, Sept. 14, 2018]

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§1.1413   Complaints by incumbent local exchange carriers.

(a) A complaint by an incumbent local exchange carrier (as defined in 47 U.S.C. 251(h)) or an association of incumbent local exchange carriers alleging that it has been denied access to a pole, duct, conduit, or right-of-way owned or controlled by a local exchange carrier or that a utility's rate, term, or condition for a pole attachment is not just and reasonable shall follow the same complaint procedures specified for other pole attachment complaints in this part.

(b) In complaint proceedings challenging utility pole attachment rates, terms, and conditions for pole attachment contracts entered into or renewed after the effective date of this section, there is a presumption that an incumbent local exchange carrier (or an association of incumbent local exchange carriers) is similarly situated to an attacher that is a telecommunications carrier (as defined in 47 U.S.C. 251(a)(5)) or a cable television system providing telecommunications services for purposes of obtaining comparable rates, terms, or conditions. In such complaint proceedings challenging pole attachment rates, there is a presumption that incumbent local exchange carriers (or an association of incumbent local exchange carriers) may be charged no higher than the rate determined in accordance with §1.1406(e)(2). A utility can rebut either or both of the two presumptions in this paragraph (b) with clear and convincing evidence that the incumbent local exchange carrier receives benefits under its pole attachment agreement with a utility that materially advantages the incumbent local exchange carrier over other telecommunications carriers or cable television systems providing telecommunications services on the same poles.

[83 FR 46840, Sept. 14, 2018]

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§1.1414   Review period for pole attachment complaints.

(a) Pole access complaints. Except in extraordinary circumstances, final action on a complaint where a cable television system operator or provider of telecommunications service claims that it has been denied access to a pole, duct, conduit, or right-of-way owned or controlled by a utility should be expected no later than 180 days from the date the complaint is filed with the Commission. The Enforcement Bureau shall have the discretion to pause the 180-day review period in situations where actions outside the Enforcement Bureau's control are responsible for delaying review of a pole access complaint.

(b) Other pole attachment complaints. All other pole attachment complaints shall be governed by the review period in §1.740.

[83 FR 44842, Sept. 4, 2018]

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§1.1415   Overlashing.

(a) Prior approval. A utility shall not require prior approval for:

(1) An existing attacher that overlashes its existing wires on a pole; or

(2) For third party overlashing of an existing attachment that is conducted with the permission of an existing attacher.

(b) Preexisting violations. A utility may not prevent an attacher from overlashing because another existing attacher has not fixed a preexisting violation. A utility may not require an existing attacher that overlashes its existing wires on a pole to fix preexisting violations caused by another existing attacher.

(c) Advance notice. A utility may require no more than 15 days' advance notice of planned overlashing. If a utility requires advance notice for overlashing, then the utility must provide existing attachers with advance written notice of the notice requirement or include the notice requirement in the attachment agreement with the existing attacher. If after receiving advance notice, the utility determines that an overlash would create a capacity, safety, reliability, or engineering issue, it must provide specific documentation of the issue to the party seeking to overlash within the 15 day advance notice period and the party seeking to overlash must address any identified issues before continuing with the overlash either by modifying its proposal or by explaining why, in the party's view, a modification is unnecessary. A utility may not charge a fee to the party seeking to overlash for the utility's review of the proposed overlash.

(d) Overlashers' responsibility. A party that engages in overlashing is responsible for its own equipment and shall ensure that it complies with reasonable safety, reliability, and engineering practices. If damage to a pole or other existing attachment results from overlashing or overlashing work causes safety or engineering standard violations, then the overlashing party is responsible at its expense for any necessary repairs.

(e) Post-overlashing review. An overlashing party shall notify the affected utility within 15 days of completion of the overlash on a particular pole. The notice shall provide the affected utility at least 90 days from receipt in which to inspect the overlash. The utility has 14 days after completion of its inspection to notify the overlashing party of any damage or code violations to its equipment caused by the overlash. If the utility discovers damage or code violations caused by the overlash on equipment belonging to the utility, then the utility shall inform the overlashing party and provide adequate documentation of the damage or code violations. The utility may either complete any necessary remedial work and bill the overlashing party for the reasonable costs related to fixing the damage or code violations or require the overlashing party to fix the damage or code violations at its expense within 14 days following notice from the utility.

[83 FR 46840, Sept. 14, 2018]

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