What is Make Ready Design?
Utility poles have to be properly prepped to receive a new fiber attachment. This process is called Make-Ready Design and must be completed when a service provider is expanding fiber offerings to a new geographical area, but is more complicated and takes more time than many people realize. Here’s an overview of what fiber make-ready entails, and how it can affect DQE customers.
In most communities, utility poles are owned by the local government, a utility such as the electric company, or the telephone company – or sometimes, a combination of entities. Cooperation with the owner of the poles is necessary for DQE or any other service provider to add anything new to that pole, such as fiber-optic cable.
Regulations Governing Make-Ready Design
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has developed regulations designed to streamline the process and ensure fair access to poles, as fiber networks are expanding rapidly to meet increased demand. Pennsylvania and West Virginia are among the 30 states that defer to the FCC’s authority on the make-ready process (the others have their regulations).
The regulations, which were issued in 2011, state that the timeline for new pole attachments is limited to 148 days from the time the request is received when fewer than 300 poles are involved. If the expansion involves more than 300 poles, additional time is allowed. It’s important to note that these timeframes are just guidelines, and there are no penalties to the owners for not meeting them. More often than not the timeframes take much longer.