June 8, 2020

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New Joint-Use Report Will be Free for UTC Members!

UTC will soon be making available to its members a new report from the UtiliSite Committee dealing with joint-use and collocation issues.

The UTC Joint Use Study is aimed at utilities that are preparing for or already in the midst of a surge in joint-use requests, and for other industry stakeholders that need to understand the utility mindset to be successful. The study identifies many useful trends among utilities as they deal with joint use including: safety, reliable supply of power, measuring power consumption, and preventing overloaded poles. The goal of this report is to help readers understand the pole-attachment issues that utilities encounter and how utilities manage those issues. The report concludes with key lessons learned that were cited by our respondents.

UtiliSite initiated the study through a survey late in 2019 to understand what utilities are planning for and how they are managing joint use. UTC has observed that many utilities are already receiving a high volume of pole attachment requests, and thus their responses as presented in this report represent the best thinking thus far on how to effectively manage attachment requests from third parties. The charts presented in this report were created from the responses to our survey.

This UTC report examines joint use – attaching small cell equipment to utility distribution poles – from four perspectives:

  • Regulatory considerations
  • How utilities manage third parties that mount equipment on their poles
  • Metering the power consumption of attached small cell equipment
  • How utilities manage the assets that they own

Please stay tuned for a copy of the report. We will make it available first to UTC members and then for sale to the general public.

UTC ‘Looks Forward’ to Working with Congress on Broadband Funding Legislation

UTC formally expressed its support for bipartisan legislation that would accelerate federal funding for shovel-ready broadband projects.

In a letter last week, UTC applauded House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-SC-6) and longtime House Energy and Commerce Committee member and former Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI-6) for introducing the bipartisan H.R. 7022, the Rural Broadband Acceleration Act.

“UTC looks forward to continuing working with both Congressmen on this bipartisan legislation, especially as UTC electric utility members of all ownership types are increasingly stepping up to close the digital divide in historically unserved communities,” UTC wrote. “UTC has long supported utility broadband deployment efforts, as utilities are well suited to leverage their communications network infrastructure and knowledge to both facilitate and provide broadband services.”

If signed into law, H.R. 7022 will supplement existing rules that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC, the Commission) established for the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) – a critical auction that will help fund the buildout of broadband infrastructure in unserved communities (Industry Intelligence, June 1, 2020). Specifically, this bill will create a process in which the FCC can expedite RDOF funds for gigabit tier broadband projects that are set to automatically receive funding under current RDOF rules. More information can be found here.

UTC staff and members have been long engaged on this legislation before its introduction. Most recently, UTC issued a letter of support for this legislation. H.R. 7022 was included in the HEROES Act (the latest congressional response to the pandemic), which is currently awaiting further action in the Senate. Discussions on this legislation are continuing, both in the House and Senate. Additionally, the legislation’s original sponsors are actively seeking further congressional support and cosponsors for this legislation

Please contact the UTC Public Policy Team with any questions..

Members News: LG&E, KU Energy Use Technology to Empower Economic Development

[Reprinted from a June 1 LG&E/KU posting]

Now more than ever, LG&E and KU Energy is committed to strengthening economic development across our service territories. Attracting new businesses and helping existing ones expand – all while supporting their efforts to recover from a downturn caused by the global pandemic – is a top priority.

The utility’s dedicated economic development professionals know the ins and outs of the industries it serves and the businesses it want to attract. They also serve in leadership roles in various economic development organizations. As the utilities help businesses rebound, they are committed to strong business investment and job growth.

LG&E and KU are actively involved in marketing to site selection consultants and business attraction leaders across the country as well as internationally.

Initiatives the companies have undertaken to support economic development include:

  • Installing more automated restoration technology on the energy grid to further improve reliability.
  • Upgrading and expanding electric transmission to help communities grow and expand.
  • Investing in workforce development and Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) career programs.
  • Partnering with businesses to install workplace electric vehicle charging stations for their employees.

In order to enhance these economic development efforts, an Economic Development Rider has been developed to encourage Brownfield Development, Economic Development and Redevelopment for new locations and existing customers’ expansions. In addition, the utilities’ Green Tariff program gives businesses the opportunity to support the growth of renewable energy.

Site Selection magazine has honored LG&E and KU Energy five times since 2010 for its economic development efforts, most recently recognizing the company as one of the top 20 utilities across the country for corporate facility investment and job creation.

Visit lge-ku.com/economic-development to learn more.

Time to Nominate New Committee Chairs!

A Note from UTC Chairman Greg Angst:

Dear UTC Members,

The terms of four UTC Committee/Division Chairs will expire on August 31, and it is time now to identify their successors. First, I would like to thank the outgoing Chairs for their remarkable service to UTC over the past three years:

  • Sheila Wells, Nashville Electric Service, UtiliSite Division Chair
  • Sheila Wells, Audit Committee Chair
  • Dewey Day, PG&E, Public Policy Division Chair
  • Matt Holthe, Nebraska Public Power District, Membership Division Chair

If you would like to nominate a candidate to succeed any of these Chairs, please send me an email note to my UTC email box: Greg.Angst@utc.org. Every UTC member is eligible to submit candidate recommendations. However, all candidates must be employed by UTC member utilities.

After receiving nominations, I will work with the UTC Executive Committee to identify one candidate for each position. Then, those candidates’ names will be presented to the UTC Board of Directors for approval at its August 31 meeting.

Thank you as always for your support of UTC.

Greg Angst
UTC Chairman of the Board of Directors

Calendar of Events

  • RESCHEDULED & VIRTUAL! Aug. 31-Sept. 4, 2020: Telecom & Technology Annual Meeting, Providence, RI
  • RESCHEDULED! Oct. 12-14: Region 6 Meeting, Double Tree by Hilton Kansas City-Overland Park
  • RESCHEDULED! Aug. 4-6: Broadband Workshop, Fairfield Inn and Suites, Charlotte

Webinars

  • June 9: Training–(PSE) Broadband Deployment Case Study
  • June 17: Spectrum Opportunities in the Part 90 1.4 GHz band
  • June 23: Deploying Networks for Smart Cities Applications and Smart Communities Technology

Committee/Division calls

  • June 9: UtiliSite Committee Call—For more information, contact Bob Lockhart
  • June 17 IT/OT Committee Call—For more information, contact Bob Lockhart
  • June 16: Utilities Broadband Committee Call—For more information, contact Brett Kilbourne
  • June 18: Telecom Committee Call—For more information, contact Brett Kilbourne
  • June 18: Public Policy Division Call—For more information, contact Rob Thormeyer
  • June 19: Security, Risk, and Compliance Committee Call—For more information, contact Bob Lockhart