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This entry was published on 2022-12-16
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Attachments to utility poles; use of utility ducts, trenches and conduits
Public Service (PBS) CHAPTER 48, ARTICLE 6
§ 119-a. Attachments to utility poles; use of utility ducts, trenches
and conduits. 1. The commission shall prescribe just and reasonable
rates, terms and conditions for attachments to utility poles and the use
of utility ducts, trenches and conduits. A just and reasonable rate
shall assure the utility of the recovery of not less than the additional
cost of providing a pole attachment or of using a trench, duct or
conduit nor more than the actual operating expenses and return on
capital of the utility attributed to that portion of the pole, duct,
trench or conduit used. With respect to cable television and broadband
internet attachments and use, such portion shall be the percentage of
total usable space on a pole or the total capacity of the duct or
conduit that is occupied by the facilities of the user. Usable space
shall be the space on a utility pole above the minimum grade level which
can be used for the attachment of wires and cables. With respect to
cable television and broadband internet attachments and use, a contract
for attachments to utility poles and the use of utility ducts, trenches
and conduits shall include all such poles, ducts, trenches and conduits
located within a given village, town or city, pursuant to a negotiated
site license and any applicable commission requirements, provided that
such contract shall not impede the right of a pole owner to issue
licenses based on inspections undertaken on a pole-specific basis.

2. In connection with a new pole attachment, in no instance shall a
pole owner avoid responsibility for pole replacement costs by
unreasonably postponing replacement until receiving a new attachment
request, nor may a pole owner require a requesting attacher to pay the
entire cost of such pole replacement or for bringing a pole or
third-party equipment into compliance with current safety and
construction standards when replacement or compliance upgrades are not
necessitated solely by the new attacher.

3. Where a pole owner performs a pole replacement to accommodate an
attachment request, the pole owner may not require the attacher, or any
existing attacher, to pay any portion of the cost of such replacement,
except where there is insufficient capacity, clearance or loading to
accommodate the request.

4. The public service commission, in cooperation with the state
broadband program office, shall initiate a proceeding to examine a
process for streamlining actions related to utility pole attachments.
The matters the commission shall consider in such proceeding shall
include: (a) dispute resolution models related to utility pole
attachments; (b) cost sharing models related to utility pole
attachments; (c) impact on the expansion of broadband into unserved and
underserved areas associated with alternative cost allocation scenarios;
(d) requiring new, less expensive pole attachment methods; and (e)
existing rules regarding the cost obligations associated with new pole
attachments and an assessment of the utility ratepayer and broadband
subscriber impacts associated with alternative cost allocation
scenarios, including but not limited to if a pole replacement is
necessitated because of insufficient vertical space or clearance to
accommodate an attachment request, or the attachment will exceed
loading, making the requesting attacher liable for the following costs
in connection with the replacement: (a) the remaining net book value of
the pole being replaced that, but for the new attachment, could have
remained in service until such time as it was fully depreciated and/or
reached the end of its service life or used and useful life to the pole
owner, whichever would come first; and (b) the incremental costs
associated with the pole owner installing a pole beyond what said owner
would have installed in its normal course of pole replacement, if
applicable to the request. The commission shall invite participation in
the proceeding by diverse stakeholders, including electric utilities,
municipal utilities, incumbent local exchange carriers, competitive
local exchange carriers, telecommunications providers, broadband
internet providers, municipalities, economic development corporations,
and an association of counties that represents at least ninety percent
of the counties in New York. On or before September thirtieth, two
thousand twenty-two, the commission shall issue an order adopting the
new or revised rules associated with the matters examined in the
proceeding provided for in this subdivision.

5. Nothing in this section shall be construed to authorize the public
service commission to interfere in any manner with provisions of
collective bargaining agreements relating to pole attachment work
between a utility corporation, telephone corporation, cable television
corporation or any entity subject to article eleven of this chapter and
its employees.