Utility Pole Attachments Post-Pandemic

Utility Pole Attachments Post-Pandemic

Realizing the Goals of Widespread Broadband and 5G Deployment

October 28, 2021 | Online :: Central Time

“I first attended with little knowledge on how to incorporate 56 attachments. I attended a second time with greater knowledge seeking additional information and experience in establishing agreements for attachment. This workshop provided excellent information.” Principal Engineer, City of Richmond, VA

 “The dissemination of industry specific knowledge and experience from the regulatory, legal, utility and carrier deployment company perspectives provided an excellent overview of the current state of affairs in the burgeoning world of wireless and wired pole attachments.” Entitlements Manager, Modus LLC

“EUCI does a great job of finding strong presenters and relevant topics for industry. The strong attendance at this event speaks to that success.” Engineer, Leidos

The COVID-19 pandemic underscored the need for reliable, affordable, and ubiquitous broadband access for all citizens, from school children to healthcare providers and teleworkers.  Achieving this goal requires significant investment by telecommunications, broadband, and wireless providers and the shared use of infrastructure owned by telecom companies, traditional electric utilities, and federal, state and local governments. Both Trump and Biden Administrations have directed billions of dollars in funding to the deployment of fiber through COVID relief packages, RDOF auctions, and grant funding initiatives. New players from electric cooperatives to satellite providers have entered the broadband game.  Telecom companies have announced initiatives to pass millions of homes with fiber. This wave of capital investment will create more demand than ever on our existing pole infrastructure. Further, pole attachment regulations have been introduced or revised by many state legislatures or public service commissions to encourage broadband deployment.

What does all this mean for pole owners and attachers — electric utilities, communications, and cable companies?  It is essential to understand the laws and regulations that apply (or don’t apply), to ensure that joint use and pole attachment agreements are up-to-date and in conformance with applicable law and regulations, to understand and effectively administer those agreements to recover costs, and to seek solutions rather than conflicts with other pole owners and attaching entities.

Learning Outcomes

  • Consider practical frameworks that will set up the joint use function of your organization for success
  • Review the patchwork of federal, state, and local pole attachment laws and regulations as they apply to your situation
  • Review common joint use and pole attachment license agreement provisions and their practical implications
  • Identify how to calculate the FCC maximum allowable rate for pole attachments
  • Examine the rights and obligations of utilities and joint-users/third-party attachers on new and existing poles
  • Analyze and understand the transfer process
  • Discuss how industry trends such as fiber deployment and wireless attachments are impacting pole owners
  • Formulate effective strategies for working with other parties to correct past mistakes and issues
  • Examine NESC issues related to pole attachments
  • Discuss the business case for an effective inspection program



Thursday, October 28, 2021 : Central Time

8:45 – 9:00 a.m.
Log In and Welcome

12:00 – 1:00 p.m.
Lunch Break

9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Course Timing


Introduction and Course Overview

A Nationwide Focus on 5G and Broadband Deployment

    • Closing the digital divide
    • Federal, State, and local priorities
    • Lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic

History of Joint Use and the Regulation of Shared Infrastructure

    • Electric power, wireline telephone, cable television, wireless service, 5G
    • Federal and state policy objectives

The Federal Pole Attachment Act and Its Amendments

    • State vs. federal regulation
    • Investor-owned utilities vs. electric cooperatives and municipal utilities
    • Other applicable federal and state statutes

Federal Regulation of Wireline Pole Attachments

    • FCC rental rate formulas
    • Access requirements
    • One-touch make-ready

Federal Regulation of Wireless Attachments and Small Cells

    • Federal vs. State and local regulation
    • FCC rental rate formulas
    • Pole-top access requirement

Negotiating Pole Attachment Agreements

    • Types of agreements
    • Common contract provisions
    • Amending agreements vs. negotiating new agreements
    • Rental rates, inspections, fees and charges

New Joint Use – The Essentials to Ensure Proper Attachments

    • Cost recovery: The permit process and make-ready
    • Pole-loading analysis and permitting software options
    • Special cases: guys/anchors/risers/pedestals

Existing Joint Use – Modifications and Transfers

    • Transfer software options, tips and tricks
    • Late transfers and pole ownership transfers
    • Modifying existing joint use poles – What is billable?

Correcting Past Issues

    • Pole attachment inventories, cost-sharing and prorated billing
    • NESC clearance requirements, violations and remedies
    • Pole ownership
    • Stranded assets


Sean Knowles, Principal, Pole Attachment Services/VP, Business Development, McLean Engineering

Sean is Co-Owner and principal at McLean.  During his time at the firm, McLean has grown its inspection and pole attachment practice to include IOU, electric cooperative, and municipal utility clients across the US.  Sean’s primary responsibilities related to pole attachments include project development, project payback, contract development, rental rate calculation, and contract advisement and negotiation.  In this capacity, Sean has been involved in the administration and negotiation of dozens of joint use and pole attachment agreements.

Prior to coming to McLean Engineering, Sean earned an MBA from Duke University.  Prior to Duke, Sean worked for six years in the US Senate, the last four of which he spent on the Senate Appropriations Committee, where he negotiated eight public laws allocating over $50 billion in military construction spending.  Prior to his work in the Senate, Sean earned a BBA in Finance from Texas Tech University.  Sean and his wife, Camila, live in Atlanta, GA, with their 4 children, where they are active with Peachtree Road United Methodist Church and Leadership Georgia.

Recent Pole Attachment Seminars/Presentations:

  • “Utility Pole Attachments in the Age of COVID and 5G.” Virtual, September 2020.
  • “Constructing and Negotiating Joint Use Agreements and License Agreements.”  Costa Mesa, CA, January 2020.
  • “One-Touch Make-Ready Toolkit: Process Overview, Opportunities and Pitfalls.” Kansas City, MO, October 2019.
  • “Applying Joint Use and its Management.” Denver, CO, September 2019.
  • “Utility Pole Attachments:  Understanding New FCC Regulations and Industry Trends.” Denver, CO, June 2019.
  • “OTMR Toolkit and Pole Attachment Update.” Grand Rapids, MI, May 2019.
  • “Wireless Pole Attachment Best Practices.” Glendora, CA. April 2019.
  • “Pole Attachment Update.” Lawrenceburg, KY, April 2019.
  • “We Work Better When We Work Together.” Birmingham, AL, April 2019.
  • “Utility Pole Attachments 101.” Huntington Beach, CA, January 2019.

Chris Huther, Partner, Wiley Rein LLP

For over two decades, Chris has successfully represented communications companies in negotiations, litigations, and regulatory proceedings involving infrastructure, rate, and utility pole issues.  He is recognized as an authority on joint use issues and has been named a “recommended lawyer” by The Legal 500

In recent years, Chris has negotiated settlement, joint use, and pole attachment agreements with investor-owned utilities, electric cooperatives, and municipal utilities, mediated and arbitrated disputes over the terms of existing joint use and pole attachment agreements, supported broadband deployment efforts nationwide through counseling, negotiations, and litigation, served as lead counsel for telecommunications companies in Pole Attachment Complaint proceedings before the Federal Communications Commission’s Enforcement Bureau and Pennsylvania’s Public Utility Commission, and defended telecommunications companies in litigation filed in Florida, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia over the rates, terms, and conditions of joint use and pole attachment agreements.

Recent Pole Attachment Seminars/Presentations:

  • “Utility Pole Attachments in the Age of COVID and 5G.” Virtual, September 2020.
  • “Constructing and Negotiating Joint Use Agreements and License Agreements.”  Costa Mesa, CA, January 2020.
  • “Communications Infrastructure: Legal Framework, Regulatory Developments, and Emerging Issues.”  Denver, CO, September 2019.
  • “Utility Pole Attachments:  Understanding New FCC Regulations and Industry Trends.” Denver, CO, June 2019.
  • “Reviewing FCC Pole Attachment Regulations: Past, Present and Future.” Newport Beach, CA, January 2019.

Claire Evans, Partner, Wiley Rein LLP

For nearly a decade, Claire has worked closely with Chris Huther on all pole attachment and infrastructure matters, including the first Pole Attachment Complaint filed by an ILEC after the FCC issued its 2011 Pole Attachment Order and the first Pole Attachment Complaint decided by the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission.  Claire has also represented communications companies in their support of FCC infrastructure orders on appeal, including the FCC’s 2018 Third Report and Order, which modified the FCC’s make-ready and rate regulations to further accelerate deployment and bring parity to communications company attachers.

Before joining Wiley Rein, Claire obtained significant “inside” experience at all levels of the judicial system, having served as a law clerk at the U.S. Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, and District Court.  Claire has also been named a “recommended lawyer” by The Legal 500

Recent Pole Attachment Seminars/Presentations:

  • “Utility Pole Attachments in the Age of COVID and 5G.” Virtual, September 2020.
  • “Surveying the Pole Attachment Legal and Regulatory Landscape.”  Costa Mesa, CA, January 2020.
  • “Communications Infrastructure: Legal Framework, Regulatory Developments, and Emerging Issues.”  Denver, CO, September 2019.
  • “Utility Pole Attachments:  Understanding New FCC Regulations and Industry Trends.” Denver, CO, June 2019.
  • “FCC Rulings: Fees and Rates.” Newport Beach, CA, February 2019

Online Delivery

We will be using Microsoft Teams to facilitate your participation in the upcoming event. You do not need to have an existing Teams account in order to participate in the broadcast – the course will play in your browser and you will have the option of using a microphone to speak with the room and ask questions, or type any questions in via the chat window and our on-site representative will relay your question to the instructor.

  • IMPORTANT NOTE: After November 30 you will not be able to join a Teams meeting using Internet Explorer 11. Microsoft recommends downloading and installing the Teams app if possible. You may also use the Edge browser or Chrome.
  • You will receive a meeting invitation will include a link to join the meeting.
  • Separate meeting invitations will be sent for the morning and afternoon sessions of the course.
    • You will need to join the appropriate meeting at the appropriate time.
  • If you are using a microphone, please ensure that it is muted until such time as you need to ask a question.
  • The remote meeting connection will be open approximately 30 minutes before the start of the course. We encourage you to connect as early as possible in case you experience any unforeseen problems.


Please Note: This event is being conducted entirely online. All attendees will connect and attend from their computer, one connection per purchase. For details please see our FAQ

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

Event Standard RateAttendees
Single Connection - Utility Pole Attachments Post-PandemicUS $ 795.00
Pack of 5 connectionsUS $ 3,180.00
Pack of 10 ConnectionsUS $ 5,565.00
Pack of 20 ConnectionsUS $ 9,540.00
Call us at 303.770.8800 if you have any specific questions on the volume discounts
* all other discounts do not apply to license packs

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Cancellation Policy

Your registration may be transferred to a member of your organization up to 24 hours in advance of the event. Cancellations must be received on or before September 24, 2021 in order to be refunded and will be subject to a US $195.00 processing fee per registrant. No refunds will be made after this date. Cancellations received after this date will create a credit of the tuition (less processing fee) good toward any other EUCI event. This credit will be good for six months from the cancellation date. In the event of non-attendance, all registration fees will be forfeited. In case of conference cancellation, EUCIs liability is limited to refund of the event registration fee only. For more information regarding administrative policies, such as complaints and refunds, please contact our offices at 303-770-8800

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EUCI has been accredited as an Authorized Provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET).  In obtaining this accreditation, EUCI has demonstrated that it  complies with the ANSI/IACET Standard which is recognized internationally as a standard of good practice. As a result of their Authorized Provider status, EUCI is authorized to offer IACET CEUs for its programs that qualify under the ANSI/IACET Standard.

EUCI is authorized by IACET to offer 0.6 CEUs for this event.

Requirements for Successful Completion of Program

Participants must log in each day and be in attendance for the entirety of the course to be eligible for continuing education credit.

Instructional Methods

Power point presentation, open discussion

Who Should Attend

Electric Utility, Communications, and Cable Company:

  • Engineering Managers
  • Operations Managers
  • Construction Managers
  • Distribution Engineers
  • Joint-Use Managers
  • Finance and Accounting staff responsible for joint use and licensee billing

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