Saturday 12 May 2018

OEB Increases Pole Attachment Charges For Telecom

Did you know that the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) can have a direct impact on what you pay for your Internet and cellular service in the province of Ontario?

The OEB is the agency responsible for the setting the rates that power (hydro) companies can charge telecommunications companies to attach wires and cables, including traditional copper cables and fibre optic cable. to the poles owned by the power companies. Note that most cellular sites have a backhaul terrestrial connection that relies on power pole lines to carry the link.

In March 2018 the OEB approved a new provincial wide charge of $43.63 per pole/per attacher [SIC]/per year.  The old rate of $22.35 was set in 2005.  The power utilities had asked for an increase to $52.00

The OEB determined that the new charges should be phased in over a four-month period.  From September 1, 2018, to December 31, 2018, the pole attachment charge will be $28.09 with the full $43.63 charge to take effect on January 1, 2019

The new rates apply to those power utility companies that do not have company-specific charges already approved by the B. These. previously named companies and the approved rates are for Hydro One ($41.28), Toronto Hydro ($42), Hydro Ottawa ($53.00) and InnPower ($38.82), The OEB claim the new rates only apply to about 10% of the companies in Ontario.

The CRTC is the regulatory agency that controls the cost of third-party attachments to Bell Canada poles and their current rate is $12.48.  (Why do I think there are a bunch of rate clerks beavering away in the Bell backrooms preparing an application to the CRTC for a rate increase.)

Pole line maintenance is one of the items used by the power companies to justify the high delivery charges in power bills, Does anyone really think this new revenue will lower these delivery charges?

1 comment:

  1. Interesting and good to know. I like your "beavering away" comment.