Pole Attachments Best Practices Conference

January 25-26, 2021


AGENDA

Monday, January 25, 2021 : Central Time

12:45 – 1:00 p.m. :: Login and Welcome


1:00 – 1:45 p.m. :: NESC and GO 95 Update on Pole Loading and Attachments

Ron Bilodeau, Senior Solutions Consultant, Osmose


1:45 – 2:45 p.m. :: Surveying the Telecommunication Regulatory Landscape: Current Federal Legislation and Litigation

With the ever-changing legal landscape of wireline and wireless pole attachments, it is easy to forget all the laws and regulations that structure the industry. Dive into the history and progression of pole attachment regulation at the federal level, as experts discuss the applicability of the federal Pole Attachment Act, pole owner and attachers’ rights and obligations under the Act, and recent FCC actions including the Third Report Order, the deployment of the one-touch make-ready (OTMR) regime and the 5G Fast Plan.  The Telecommunication Regulatory Landscape discussion will also review important legal topics such as the requirements for requesting entities to replace the streetlight and how much time pole owners can expend to evaluate the request on a per pole basis. This presentation will provide a high-level overview of recent FCC decisions impacting the fee formulas and discuss their effect on rate negotiations with entities that are, and are not, covered by the Federal Pole Attachment Act.

Chris Huther, Partner, Wiley Rein

Claire Evans, Partner, Wiley Rein

2:45 – 3:00 p.m. :: Afternoon Break


3:00 – 4:00 p.m. :: Facing the Future: The Next Generation Network

What are the opportunities, the synergies, and the challenges of expanding communication networks beyond the traditional use case to support the needs of communities? Pole owners and attachers are at the forefront of the race to 5G and smart cities, smart street furniture, electric and self-driving vehicles quickly becoming an economic necessity.

Across the globe, cities are increasingly looking towards technology to improve essential communications, efficiently deliver community services, reduce carbon footprint, and attract investment. Smart technology and the network needed to support it requires a collaborative effort from local jurisdictions, utility infrastructure owners, citizen, and business groups. Given the multitude of stakeholders involved, no single player can act alone.  This session attempts to identify partnership opportunities, address stakeholder concerns, anticipate future technology requirements, and establish best practices for future communication technology. 

Tyler Svitak, Executive Director, Colorado Smart Cities Alliance


Tuesday, January 26, 2021 : Central Time

8:45 – 9:00 a.m. :: Login and Welcome


9:00 – 10:15 a.m. :: Case Study: Joint Use Contracts and Management

As part of that effort, the FCC’s Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee (BDAC) is providing recommendations to streamline the pole attachment process. Simultaneously, to support the upcoming deployment of 5G wireless networks, state legislatures across the country are considering legislation to pre-empt municipal control over small cell wireless attachments, with at least 8 states having passed new laws. While these changes will impact pole-owners’ and attachers’ Joint-Use and Pole Attachment processes in ways large and small, some fundamental truths of the pole attachment process remain.

Sean Knowles, VP Business Development, McLean Engineering

10:15 – 10:30 a.m. :: Morning Break             


10:30 – 11:30 a.m. :: Telecommunications Infrastructure: Policy and Transactions

The Distribution System is vastly becoming the hub of the grid as energy generation and management surges at the edge.  Utilities quick to view the grid holistically and dynamic, versus separate and reactionary will be faster to adapt to the coming distributed energy marketplace. Approaching pole attachments unilaterally without considering the distribution assets role in the overall ecosystem will ultimately lead to missed opportunities.  Indemnification provisos are increasingly becoming subject to intense negotiations between pole owners and attachers as new types of equipment and facilities are being attached to traditional poles and other structures.

Tripp May, Managing Partner, Telecom Law Firm


11:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. :: Mitigating Risks and Challenges with Wireless and Wireline Attachments

This presentation will seek to expose the most common challenges facing pole attachers, pole owners and third-party vendors such as attachment equipment and application costs, network consistency and reliability, supply chain, network design and excess infrastructure, and common-mode failure points.

Corey Marshall, Senior Director, American Public Power Association

12:00 – 12:30 p.m. :: Lunch Break


12:30 – 2:00 p.m. :: Case Study: Private Wireless Networks Initiatives in San Antonio involving CPS Energy

The first initiative is a pilot project to test smart streetlight technologies.  The purpose of the pilot is to test different wireless platforms and various smart sensor applications for eventual deployment across all CPS Energy streetlight poles.  The second project concerns the deployment of private wireless networks in low-income neighborhoods to provide fixed wireless connections to families with students that cannot afford broadband service.  This is an effort to permanently close the homework gap/remote learning gap affecting thousands of low-income students in the community.  This was a terrible problem prior to the COVID-19 pandemic which is now a crisis with thousands of students unable to participate in basic education for lack of a broadband connection. Both projects involve collaboration between CPS Energy and the City of San Antonio.

Gabriel Garcia, Director & Senior Counsel, Legal Services, CPS Energy

2:00 – 2:15 p.m. :: Afternoon Break


2:15 – 3:15 p.m. :: Carrier, Utility and Government Collaborative Partnerships

This panel presentation will discuss experiences working with utilities and carriers, within jurisdictions, and how that communication leads to agreements. The key is collaboration and seeing each other's pain points, working to produce the least intrusive and most efficient arrangement for both parties. Pole owners and pole attachers must collaborate to implement flat rate billing structures, range of design options, third party program managers and demonstration sites. This discussion looks to define the best means of communication between government, carrier companies, and the utilities as more collaboration crosses the industry.

Marian Pimpleton, Senior Project Manager, Southern Company


3:15 - 4:00 p.m. :: Panel Discussion: Correcting Past Pole Attachment Issues and Preparing for the Deployment Future Technology

Owners and attachers must be aware of pole attachment inventories, cost-sharing, and prorated billing. Making improvements to an existing network can be difficult as the implementation of Database applications, drones, GIS mapping, and AI alternatives becomes necessary. This presentation will discuss how NESC and GO 95 clearance requirements, violations, and remedies effect pole ownership objectives and attachment processes.

All conference speakers will participate

4:00 p.m. :: Wrap Up and Adjourn


WORKSHOP

Joint Use Management

Monday, January 25, 2021 : Central Time

Overview

Throughout its first year under new Chairman Ajit Pai, The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has been working to encourage broadband deployment.  As part of that effort, the FCC’s Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee (BDAC) is providing recommendations to streamline the pole attachment process. Simultaneously, to support the upcoming deployment of 5G wireless networks, state legislatures across the country are considering legislation to pre-empt municipal control over small cell wireless attachments, with at least 8 states having passed new laws.  While these changes will impact pole-owners’ and attachers’ Joint-Use and Pole Attachment processes in ways large and small, some fundamental truths of the pole attachment process remain.

Learning Outcomes

Agenda

8:45 – 9:00 a.m. :: Login and Welcome

9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. :: Workshop Timing


Introduction and Pole Attachment Overview


Industry Trends


Pole Attachment Agreements


New Joint Use – The Essentials to Ensure Proper Attachments


Existing Joint Use – Modifications and Transfers


Correcting Past Issues


Attachment Cost Calculations

Workshop Instructor

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

Sean Knowles joined McLean Engineering in 2009.  Over the past ten years, McLean has grown its distribution engineering, inspection and pole attachment practice to include investor-owned utility, electric cooperative, and municipal utility clients across the US.  Sean’s primary responsibilities related to pole attachments include project development, overall project management and project payback, as well as pole attachment contract development, pole attachment rental rate calculation and contract advisement and negotiation.  Sean has written, spoken and taught on pole attachment topics throughout the country.

Prior to coming to McLean Engineering, Sean earned a Master of Business Administration from Duke University, where he ran the Duke Start-up Challenge business plan competition.  Prior to Duke, Sean worked for six years in the United States Senate, the last four of which he spent as a staff member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, during which time he negotiated eight public laws allocating military spending, traveled to 13 countries conducting project oversight, analyzed over 2,000 construction projects and allocated over $50 billion in funding for the Department of Defense (DOD).  Sean’s experience during his tenure on the Appropriations Committee included oversight of the DOD’s utilities privatization program.  Prior to his work in the Senate, Sean earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance from Texas Tech University.


SPEAKERS


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.