Access to Infrastructure and Rights of Way (ROW)

Obtaining access to right-of-way for a city is essential for the implementation of a network and must be pursued with great diplomacy and care.


“Though cities have the economic leverage to charge fees beyond their costs for the use of ROWs and existing ducting or conduit, they must compare the value of such fees to the value of the economic benefits that a next-generation network is likely to deliver.”


It is recommended that a fee schedule is used to detail which infrastructure and ROW activities will require fees. Activities that could require a fee could include the use of pole attachments in telecom space, traffic control and access to city rights of way for construction and installation of the outdoor network. Activities that might not require a fee could include collocation space. Office space, pole attachments in utility/power space and computer tools. A fee schedule should specifically outline each of these costs associated with the varying activities.


“Though a city has considerable discretion to impose or forbear from imposing a fee, the key consideration is whether a reduction in fees can lead to a network that will increase the economic activity within, and attractiveness of, the city. Ensure equal treatment of all providers.”


A contract between AT&T and Raleigh includes language that requires AT&T to be treated as if they were any other party seeking access to infrastructure and rights-of-way.

The contract states: “Such access will be provided in accordance with all applicable regulations and ordinances and the City’s standard processes and practices generally made available to all third parties.”

Many incumbents and new entrants alike often request MFN clauses to guarantee a level playing field on fees and rates.
All information received by BBP.mag

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