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Access to ROW

Access to Rights-of-Way: CLEC Status, Municipal Telecom Franchises, Pole Attachments, Public and Private Easements

Often the best way for a smaller broadband provider to compete with incumbents is to build its own proprietary network. However, securing access to public rights-of-way (PROWs) such as city streets or county and state roads face can be a daunting task in an ever-changing regulatory landscape. For one thing, it can be difficult to determine what Federal, State and local rules apply to a proposed network. Traditionally, “telecommunications” is a regulated service? All providers of telecommunications are entitled to non-discriminatory access to PROWs, but does matter if services are provided over wire or wireless facilities, or a combination of both? But is broadband Internet access considered “telecommunications”? Does it matter that services are not being sold to end-users but only to other service providers that need transport? What if the network will be used to deliver IPTV signals? Must the service provider obtain a cable television or video franchise in order to use PROWs? Is it advisable to become a CLEC? What licenses, permissions and permits are needed to construct facilities under or across city streets or highways? How does one negotiate a pole attachment agreement in order to attach wires or other facilities to utility poles? How does one secure permission to locate network facilities on private land?

The Kandutsch Law Office provides sensible, cost effective assistance to service provider clients in negotiating this maze of regulatory requirements, including:

  • Securing CLEC status;
  • Obtaining a video or cable television franchise;
  • Understanding applicable fee structures, percentage-based and in-kind swaps in lieu of fees;
  • Limits on municipal authority over networks and how to seek relief at the Federal level;
  • Understanding the implications of Federal and State regulatory classifications of various communications services;
  • Negotiating municipal franchises and licenses;
  • Negotiating pole attachment agreements;
  • Understanding local building ordinances affecting network infrastructure and facilities;
  • Negotiating private easements; and,
  • Dealing effectively and efficiently with State and municipal officials and private landowners.


"Our 399 unit condo decided to move from a bulk cable service contract to a competitive cable service environment. Carl helped us manage the complicated process of terminating the multiyear bulk contract ...


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Member, Board of Directors
Multifamily Broadband Council (MBC) 

In wake of the FCC’s Notice of Inquiry called Improving Competitive Broadband Access to Multiple Tenant Environments, competitive access to multi-tenant properties is again a burning public policy issue. We intend to summarize the controversy in a series of blog entries in the coming weeks.

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Carl Kandutsch Law Office
2520 Avenue K, Suite 700/760
Plano, Texas 75074
Telephone: (214) 427-5354
Mobile: (207) 659-6247

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The Kandutsch Law Office has been selected by Broadband Communities Magazine as one of the nation's "Top 100 Technology Providers" for 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015   

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