FCC Record, Volume 26, No. 7, Pages 4843 to 5761, March 28 - April 08, 2011 Page: 5,266
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use of additional resources. Finally, because the remedy takes effect automatically, the benefit is
immediate, and does not depend on the time- and resource-consuming complaint process.'"
51. As many attachers argue, time is of the essence for the success of their businesses.'47
Utilities allege, however, that they face many impediments to accomplishing make-ready work.'48 We
find that permitting this self-help remedy should address both sets of concerns. Moreover, we find this to
be a practical solution. The record shows that contractors already work for utilities to perform surveys
and make-ready work in the communications space on a regular and professional basis, and presumably
can perform the same activities for attachers.'
52. We are not persuaded by contentions that use of contractors is impractical or unduly
burdensome.'50 We agree that the statutory obligation to provide access to poles places some burden on
pole owners. It is, however, a burden that Congress found appropriate to place on utilities in order to
facilitate the critical delivery of video, telecommunications, and other communications services, including
broadband, and one that the courts have upheld. We find no persuasive evidence in the record that the
burdens on utilities of attachers' use of contractors are significant or that utilities are unable to work
around the other impediments they claim. For example, pole owners argue that agreements limit the
utilities' ability to hire outside contractors, but those agreements do not and cannot restrict who the
attachers hire.'5 We also reject the argument that attachers' use of outside contractors exposes utilities to
liability for substandard work.'52 The point of utility oversight of utility-authorized contractors is to
ensure that the work meets utility engineering requirements. We also find unpersuasive the contention by
electric utilities that qualified contract workers are unavailable.'53 A shortage of qualified electric
workers is irrelevant to the availability of qualified engineers to perform surveys or workers qualified to
perform make-ready work in the communications space. Moreover, our requirement that attachers use
contractors that the utility has approved should substantially limit concerns about contractor
'46 See Peter McGowan, New York Public Service Commission, Panel Discussion at the FCC Pole Attachments
Workshop (Sept. 28, 2010), video available at http://reboot.fcc.gov/video-archives (at approximately 33 minutes)
(stating that since adopting rules, the NY Comm'n has seen relatively few complaints).
147 See, e.g., Centurylink Comments at 35; Charter Comments at 22; CTIA Comments at 13.
148 See, e.g., Oncor Comments at 25 (arguing that utilities should not be made into on-demand contractors); Verizon
Comments at 39 (stating that, when it is a joint user, it cannot dictate how the utility pole owner processes
applications or completes make-ready work); Ameren et al. Comments at 11; AT&T Comments at 32; Coalition
Comments at 70-71(all requesting indemnification and protection from liability).
49 See, e.g., Oncor Comments at 22; Florida IOUs Comments at 31.
1so See, e.g., Verizon Comments at 39-40; Coalition Comments at 23-24, 49, 52 (arguing that collective bargaining
agreements prohibit work by outside personnel); Oncor Comments at 45-46 (arguing that there is a shortage of
qualified contractors); Idaho Power Comments at 6 (arguing that training contractors would be burdensome);
NRECA Comments at 11-12 (arguing that electric utilities are unable to assess competence of communications
51 See, e.g., Coalition Comments at 49 ("Many utilities like NSTAR are parties to collective bargaining agreements
that prohibit the hiring of outside contractors in certain circumstances."); USTelecom Comments at 21-22 (arguing
that the use of outside contractors may be subject to existing labor obligations) Verizon Comments at 39-40
(arguing that many incumbent carriers have unionized workforces and Verizon's labor agreements typically restrict
Verizon's ability to use outside contractors for make-ready work).
52 APPA Comments at 27 (arguing that use of outside contractors expose utilities to liability for the violation of
state regulations due to overloading and substandard work performed by contractors outside of the utilities' control).
'~ Coalition Comments at 23-24; Oncor Comments at 45-46 (arguing that there is a shortage of qualified
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United States. Federal Communications Commission. FCC Record, Volume 26, No. 7, Pages 4843 to 5761, March 28 - April 08, 2011, book, April 2011; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc52169/m1/438/: accessed November 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.