PUBLIC UTILITY COMMISSION
Harrisburg, PA 17105-3265
Public Meeting held April 16, 2020 | Original Document here.
- Gladys Brown Dutrieuille, Chairman
- David W. Sweet, Vice Chairman
- Andrew G. Place
- John F. Coleman, Jr.
- Ralph V. Yanora
Pole Attachment Working Group
OPINION AND ORDER
BY THE COMMISSION:
On March 18, 2020, the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission ("PPUC") certified to the Federal Communications Commission that pursuant to
(c) State regulatory authority over rates, terms, and conditions; preemption; certification; circumstances constituting State regulation
(1) Nothing in this section shall be construed to apply to, or to give the Commission jurisdiction with respect to rates, terms, and conditions, or access to poles, ducts, conduits, and rights-of-way as provided in subsection (f), for pole attachments in any case where such matters are regulated by a State.
(2) Each State which regulates the rates, terms, and conditions for pole attachments shall certify to the Commission that —
(A) it regulates such rates, terms, and conditions; and
(B) in so regulating such rates, terms, and conditions, the State has the authority to consider and does consider the interests of the subscribers of the services offered via such attachments, as well as the interests of the consumers of the utility services.
. . . and to the extent authorized by the Public Utility Code, 66 Pa.C.S. § 101 et seq., the PPUC has assumed jurisdiction over disputes addressing the rates, terms, and conditions of pole attachments. The PPUC’s pole attachment regulations are in . . .
§ 77.7. Working Group.
(a) Purpose. The Commission will establish a pole attachment working group to ensure that the Commission remains apprised of industry concerns, that Federal amendments are properly vetted before becoming effective in this Commonwealth and that dispute resolution processes are efficient and effective.
(b) Creation of Working Group. The Commission’s Law Bureau will establish the Working Group, in coordination with the Commission’s Bureau of Technical Utility Services and the Office of Special Assistants, no later than 30 days from the effective date of this chapter.
(c) Membership. The Commission will invite persons and entities that it determines to be in the public interest to participate in the Working Group including, but not limited to, the following:
(1) Commission staff from the Law Bureau, Technical Utility Services, and the Office of Special Assistants.
(2) Pole owners.
(3) Pole attachers.
(4) The statutory advocates.
(5) Interest groups, including the Pennsylvania Telephone Association, the Broadband Cable Association of Pennsylvania, and the Pennsylvania Office of Broadband Initiatives or their respective successor persons or entities.
The Working Group shall convene at least once annually but may convene at other times, as the Working Group deems necessary or at the direction of the Commission.
(e) Duties. The Working Group shall:
(1) Monitor and advise the Commission on Federal and State pole attachment issues, including advising the Commission on whether to adopt any future change to the FCC’s pole attachment rules.
(2) Provide an ongoing forum for stakeholders, pole owners and pole attachers to discuss issues and ideas regarding effective pole attachment regulations.
(3) Evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of Commission complaint, mediation and dispute resolution processes.
(f) Reporting. The Law Bureau will annually report its findings on issues developed in the pole attachment Working Group along with any recommended Commission action as appropriate.
In addition to adopting substantive and procedural rules for pole attachments, the Commission created a Pole Attachment Working Group. The Working Group is intended to ensure that the PPUC remains apprised of industry and public concerns, to ensure that changes to the federal pole attachment rules are properly vetted before becoming effective in Pennsylvania, and to provide feedback to the Commission on the functioning of its regulations and dispute resolution processes as they relate to pole attachments.
By Public Notice published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin on February 22, 2020, the Commission formally established the Pole Attachment Working Group and identified the initial Working Group members. The Public Notice also invited other stakeholders who may be interested in participating in the Pole Attachment Working Group to inform Commission staff of their interest.
In response to the Notice, the following additional entities expressed an interest in participating in the Working Group:
- Wellsboro Electric Company,
- Citizens’ Electric Company,
- PPL Electric Utilities Corporation,
- Duquesne Light Company,
- PECO Energy Co.,
- Verizon North, LLC,
- Verizon Pennsylvania, LLC,
- Crown Castle Fiber, LLC,
- DQE Communications LLC,
- FirstLight Fiber, Inc.,
- the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers
- Davey Resource Group Inc.
These entities, together with those identified in the Notice, are listed in Appendix A to this Order. Together, they represent a cross section of interested stakeholders, including
- wireless carriers and cable providers,
- incumbent and competitive local exchange carriers,
- electric distribution companies, and
- respective associations from those sectors
. . . as well as representatives of both workers and businesses that perform attachment and make-ready work.
The PPUC believes these parties represent a good mixture of stakeholders that we anticipate will provide the requisite expertise and representative experience to the Working Group. For these reasons, the Commission finds it appropriate to appoint these new members and affirm the membership of the Pole Attachment Working Group as identified in Appendix. A. We note that this membership may be amended from time to time, as warranted, to supplement the expertise and representative experience of the Working Group; THEREFORE,
IT IS ORDERED:
That the appointment to the Pole Attachment Working Group of the entities contained in Appendix A is approved.
The contact persons for the Pole Attachment Working Group are
- Colin W. Scott, Assistant Counsel, (717) 783 5949, and
- Christian A. McDewell, Assistant Counsel, (717) 787 7466.
BY THE COMMISSION,
ORDER ADOPTED: April 16, 2020
ORDER ENTERED: April 16, 2020
50 Pa.B. 1204. The Notice established the Working Group with an initial membership of representatives from the following entities: the Commission Bureaus of Consumer Services, Technical Utility Services, and Investigation and Enforcement; the Commission Offices of Special Assistants and Administrative Law Judge, Mediation Office; the Office of Consumer Advocate, the Office of Small Business Advocate, and the Governor’s Office of Broadband Initiatives; the Pennsylvania Telephone Association, the Broadband Cable Association of Pennsylvania, the Energy Association of Pennsylvania, and CTIA – The Wireless Association.
- Entity Name
- Public Utility Commission – Bureau of Consumer Services
- Public Utility Commission – Law Bureau
- Public Utility Commission – Office of Special Assistants
- Public Utility Commission – Bureau of Technical Utility Services
- Public Utility Commission – Bureau of Investigation and Enforcement
- Public Utility Commission – Office of Administrative Law Judge, Mediation Office
- Office of Consumer Advocate
- Office of Small Business Advocate
- Governor’s Office of Broadband Initiatives
- Pennsylvania Telephone Association
- Broadband Cable Association of Pennsylvania
- International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers
- Wellsboro Electric Company
- Davey Resource Group Inc.
- Citizens’ Electric Company
- PPL Electric Utilities Corporation
- Verizon North, LLC.
- Verizon Pennsylvania, LLC.
- CTIA – The Wireless Association
- Crown Castle Fiber, LLC.
- Duquesne Light Company
- DQE Communications LLC
- PECO Energy Co.
- FirstLight Fiber, Inc.
- Energy Association of Pennsylvania