On July 30, 2015, the OEB issued a
letter indicating that it has decided to allow
distributors to charge market rates for wireless pole attachments.
This means that those rates will not be regulated by the OEB. The
OEB will be initiating a proceeding to amend distributor licences
in the near future.
The OEB's determination to allow market rates for wireless
pole attachments is consistent with its 2014
decision in a Toronto Hydro proceeding. In that case,
the OEB agreed that it was appropriate to refrain from regulating
the terms, condition and price charged by Toronto Hydro for the
attachment of wireless telecommunications devices to Toronto
Hydro's utility poles. Following the Toronto Hydro
decision, the OEB initiated a
consultation to consider whether all rate-regulated
distributors should be permitted to charge market rates for
wireless attachments. The responses received in that process
generally supported allowing market rates.
While the rates to be charged for wireless pole attachments will
not be regulated, that does not mean that the distributors can
retain the associated revenues for their shareholders. Instead, the
revenues will be credited as an offset to the distributor's
revenue requirement. It is not clear whether the OEB will adopt the
suggestion made in the consultation that a distributor be allowed
to retain a portion of the wireless pole attachment revenues, as an
incentive to maximize the amounts received for the benefit of
Finally, it should be noted that the OEB's determination
applies only to the rates charged for the attachment of wireless
telecommunications devices to utility poles. The pole attachment
fees charged to Canadian carriers (as defined by the
Telecommunications Act) for other uses will continue to be
subject to rate regulation. In that regard, the debate continues
about the proposed new pole attachment fees to be charged by Hydro
One. We addressed that issue in previous posts (found
here). On July 29, 2015, the OEB issued a new
procedural order setting out a process to consider
Hydro One's proposed increase to its pole attachment
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Canada is a constitutional monarchy, a parliamentary democracy and a federation comprised of ten provinces and three territories. Canada's judiciary is independent of the legislative and executive branches of Government.
The Government of Alberta recently announced a number of policy changes that will impact the Alberta Electricity Market, composed of its generators, transmitters, distributors, retailers, electricity consumers and wholesale electricity market.
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