New Standards For Pole Attachments

New Standards For Pole Attachments

April 30, 2021

Greenville Utilities provides communications space on its electric utility poles for third parties to attach copper, coaxial, and fiber optic cabling for their respective communications networks. These third party attachers include Centurylink, Suddenlink, Spectrum, Mobilitie, Fiber Tech, the City of Greenville, NC Department of Transportation, and most recently, MetroNet. 

Historically, GUC has permitted and governed attachment to its poles under a separate “Pole Attachment Agreement” with each provider. Agreements for three of the eight carriers listed have been approved in the past five years. CenturyLink’s Pole Attachment Agreement is dated 1932 when they were known as Carolina Telephone & Telegraph Company, and Suddenlink’s agreement is dated 1977 when they were known as Greenville Cable TV. 

Many regulations and rules found in the National Electric Safety Code, Federal Communications Commission, North Carolina Utilities Commission, and North Carolina State Statutes have changed since some of these agreements were executed. Under the current agreements, GUC has limited recourse to require these third parties to conform to the current codes and requirements. These individual attachment agreements also do not address construction and maintenance issues that arise between multiple carriers located within the same communications space on GUC poles.  

The Board of Commissioners recently approved a new standard. It addresses these issues and defines the process for GUC to enforce regulatory compliance on third parties utilizing its infrastructure and assets. 

You can find the new standard on our website at