Summary of the Introduced Bill

HB 1361 -- Utilities

Sponsor:  Pollock

This bill allows telecommunications companies or rural electrical
cooperatives to attach, maintain, and operate their equipment on
another's pole under specified terms and conditions.  Currently,
pole attachment rules are enforced by the Federal Communications
Commission (FCC).  No attachment can be made without a written
agreement between the pole owner and the attaching entity.  The
provisions of the bill must be interpreted in a manner consistent
with FCC rules for pole and conduit attachments unless otherwise

The attaching party must give notice to a pole owner of the
intent to attach and the specific location of the attachment, and
the owner, unless otherwise agreed, must respond within 15 days
with specified exceptions.  If proper notice is not given, the
parties may determine a penalty or, if the parties cannot agree
on a reasonable penalty, it must equal 25% of the pole rate for a
maximum period of 12 months.  The attaching entity must pay for
any damages and modification costs incurred by the pole owner to
facilitate attachments, and the continued reliability and safety
of the pole owner's system must have priority over the

A pole owner must be entitled to a reasonable rate for permitting
attachments that may be specified by contract, but the rate must
not exceed reasonable costs to the pole owner's system as
calculated in a manner similar to the FCC rules for pole and
conduit attachments.  Additional costs may be charged upon a
showing of inefficiencies in its maintenance of its system caused
by attachments.  An existing contract must remain in full force
for its full term.  The bill specifies cost limitations for new
contracts which may be enforced in circuit court, and also allows
the use of non-binding mediation to resolve rate disputes.  A
pole owner may collect interest and penalties on the amount
determined to be owed to him or her in court but must give 45
days' notice prior to filing a collection action.

A pole owner may allow an attachment under the scope of its
existing property easement with the property owner if the
attachment does not unreasonably burden the property owner or
cause a diminution in value to the property owner's property.  A
property owner retains the right to file suit for diminution in
value, lack of use of property, and physical damages to property
caused by the use and installation of poles and attachments.
However, evidence of revenues or profits derived by
telecommunication providers or rural electrical cooperatives from
providing these services is not admissible in any proceeding by
the property owner to recover damages.

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Missouri House of Representatives
Last Updated January 25, 2012 at 6:20 pm