Last year, we wrote a number of posts discussing ongoing
proceedings addressing the pole attachment fees being charged to
cable and telecommunications Carriers (see
here). At issue was whether the methodology for determining
these fees, and the amounts of the fees, should be updated from the
level that was set in 2005. Generally speaking, distributors
support raising the rates (as seen in the Toronto Hydro, Hydro One
and Hydro Ottawa rate applications) and Carriers object to the
magnitude of the increases being sought.
Now, as promised in a Decision in the Hydro Ottawa rate proceeding,
the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) has begun a process to determine the
approach to be used to set wireline pole attachment fees across
Ontario. In a November 2015 letter, the OEB initiated a
"comprehensive policy review" of miscellaneous rates and
charges. The OEB indicated that the first component of the review
will address wireline pole attachment fees.
The OEB has asked interested parties to apply to be part of a
Pole Attachments Working Group (PAWG). Presently, around 15 parties
have applied to be part of the PAWG, but there has been no decision
about who will be appointed. According to the OEB's letter, the
PAWG will provide advice on technical aspects and related details
for pole attachment charges. The next step will then consider the
methodology to be used to determine charges, including the
appropriate treatment of revenues that the carriers may receive
from third parties (for "overlashing").
It is not clear how long the OEB's "comprehensive
policy review" will take. In the meantime, the proceeding to
set the appropriate wireline pole attachment fees for Hydro One
continues. According to a recent Procedural Order, there will be a Settlement
Conference held in mid-January 2016 to try to resolve this issue.
It is not clear whether and how the Hydro One/Carriers proceeding
is impacted by the OEB's "comprehensive policy
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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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