New Hampshire PUC Addresses Pole Attachment Rates

The New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission (PUC) today issued an order approving a settlement of a pole attachment rate dispute between Public Service Company of New Hampshire and Time Warner Entertainment Company L.P. d/b/a Time Warner Cable. The order establishes a unified pole rate formula applicable to all cable and competitive telecommunications carrier attachments and limits PSNH rates to levels approximating the Federal Communications Commission cable attachment formula. As found by the PUC, “the record indicates that this rate methodology offers potential cost savings which may stimulate infrastructure development in New Hampshire, while ensuring that the interests of PSNH ratepayers and investors are also protected.” Intervenors Comcast and segTEL also participated in the settlement.

The case involved the first challenge to utility pole rates under New Hampshire’s 2009 pole attachment rate rules. The PUC considered an extensive record including expert testimony in support of poles rates set at or near the cable formula rate. The new formula and the PUC’s acknowledgement that it results in just and reasonable rates should provide guidance to other pole owners and attachers in New Hampshire and could be influential in other certified states where pole rates may exceed the cable rate. Davis Wright Tremaine attorneys participated in the proceeding. Please contact us if you would like to discuss the settlement terms or would like a copy of the order.