On January 9, 2020, the Legislative Committee on Administrative Rules (“LCAR”) approved the final proposed version of Commission Rule 3.700 on Pole Attachments. The adopted Rule was filed with the Secretary of State’s Office and LCAR on January 16, 2020, with an effective date of February 1, 2020. The Adopted Rule Number at the Secretary of State’s Office is 20-003.
The adopted amendments to the rule are the product of proceedings in Case No. 19-0252-RULE, which was opened in response to a petition from the Vermont Department of Public Service and Act 79 of 2019. Sections 19 and 20 of Act 79 required the Commission to revise Commission Rule 3.700 to include “one-touch make-ready” (“OTMR”) and self-help procedures for attachments to utility poles and to consider other measures designed to reduce delays associated with the utility pole preparation process. OTMR and self-help allow attaching entities to do some utility pole preparation work using qualified contractors and to take over pole-preparation work if certain deadlines are not met. The provisions are similar to recent revisions to the Federal Communications Commission’s (“FCC”) rules on pole attachments, which apply in states that have elected not to regulate pole attachments.
The adopted rule will replace the previous version of the rule on the Commission’s website as of its February 1 effective date in the “Current Rules and General Orders” section. The adopted rule, the Commission’s orders, all comments, and the filings submitted to the Secretary of State and LCAR are also available through ePUC, the Commission’s electronic document management and filing system, in Case No. 19-0252-RULE. Further information about using ePUC is available on the PUC website.
Contact Micah Howe, Staff Attorney, by email or phone (802-828-2358), if you have any questions about this rulemaking.