Pole Attachment Policy

AEP Texas Pole Attachment Policy

General Design Policy

Pole Attachments in the state of Texas are regulated by the Federal Communications Commission.  The policy outlined below shall be followed by Licensees (“Licensees” for purposes of this policy shall include communications companies that do not yet have a pole attachment agreement and communications companies that have existing pole attachment agreements) during the design phase of aerial cable plant proposed for installation on AEP-TX poles:

  • Safety is the top priority for all parties involved in pole attachments. This policy sets out procedures to ensure that AEP-TX poles and Licensees’ Attachments are operating in the safest manner possible. At all times, Licensees shall consider the electric wires of AEP-TX to be high voltage energized wires Licensees acknowledge that working in the vicinity of high voltage wires poses potential dangers and should warn its employees, agents, contractors, and subcontractors of the potential dangers.
  • Licensees’ Attachments must be installed in accordance with the National Electrical Safety Code (“NESC”) and other state and federal laws, rules, municipal ordinances and regulations which apply.  Licensees must determine the load and sag of each cable to ensure compliance with NESC requirements and AEP or AEP-TX Standards.  All cables shall not sag lower than 18’ at mid span under fully loaded conditions over Texas Department of Transportation owned and maintained roadways.  Please be aware that AEP-TX poles are located in the light, medium, and heavy loading areas described in the NESC, however all engineering review will be evaluated under the more restrictive standard of the NESC or AEP or AEP-TX Standards.  Special care should be taken at railroad crossings and roadways.  It should also be noted that additional wind loading up to 150 mph applies within 5 miles of the coastline.
  • Licensees’ Wireline Pole Attachments are only allowed in the Communication’s space of the AEP-TX pole.
  • In all situations, prior permission must be obtained from property owners and governmental entities for use of private property and public road rights-of-way.  AEP-TX assumes no responsibility for securing any such permission that may be required, and Licensees should assume no such permission exists based solely on the presence of AEP-TX’s facilities.  This includes easements, rights-of-way, or franchises required for the construction and maintenance of facilities such as power supplies, pedestals, stub poles and anchors.
  • Licensees must bond their messenger in accordance with the NESC.  If a Licensee chooses to use a separate bond wire down the pole, it must be bonded to the AEP-TX electrical bond at the base of the pole in accordance with the NESC.  When grounding at the house, Licensees are not permitted to connect to AEP-TX’s meter base.
  • A Licensee’s Attachments must be installed on the same side of poles (typically the road side) as other Attachers.  Attachments to both sides of the pole (boxing) are not permissible.  The installation of Attachments in Aerial Inner-Duct is not allowed.
  • Licensees’ Attachments must be installed without the use of extension arms, standoff brackets or similar hardware (unless otherwise approved in advance by AEP-TX for each pole, and specifically referenced on the Licensee’s Authorized Proposal).
  • Licensees must install their own guys and anchors.  Use of AEP-TX’s anchors is not permitted.  Licensees’ guy(s) shall be either effectively grounded or insulated.
  • Service Drops are to be taken off the strand at least fifteen (15”) inches from the outside of the pole using a crimp-on method, not off the pole with temporary equipment (j-hooks, etc.).  Each of Licensee’s Attachments must be separated by twelve (12”) inches of space.
  • Attachments to AEP-TX Transmission poles without Distribution underbuild are not permitted.  Consideration for AEP-TX Transmission pole requests will be forwarded to AEP-TX’s Transmission Department for review.  All expenses for this review are at the expense of the Licensee.  Attachment reviews on AEP-TX Transmission poles require significantly more diligence and are generally more expensive than reviews performed on Distribution poles.
  • Encroaching into the Communication Worker Safety Zone (as defined in the NESC) or into the Electrical Space is not permissible, even at road crossings.  If the Licensee is unable to meet any NESC code requirements for clearances above roads, AEP-TX may rearrange its facilities, when possible, have others rearrange their facilities, or replace the pole at the Licensee’s expense.  Clearance measurements are to be taken from the ground up, not from AEP-TX’s facilities down.
  • AEP-TX recommends the through-bolt method of construction.  Licensees must provide AEP-TX loading data and configuration of their Attachments.
  • All riser cable attachment approvals shall be at the sole discretion of AEP-TX.  If approved, riser cables shall be in conduit and may be required to be installed on stand-off brackets at the Licensee’s expense.  Risers shall be configured and installed so as to not impede climbing.  Risers shall be installed using AEP or AEP-TX Standards and further restricted to a minimum of three (3).
  • Licensees shall mark their cables and risers at each pole location with an identifying tag which should include a name and emergency phone number.
  • Licensees, their contractors, or their sub-contractors must possess an executed approved Proposal or an executed permit from AEP-TX at the jobsite when working on AEP-TX facilities.
  • DAS antennas/small cell Licensees must provide manufacturer’s specifications to AEP-TX so that any antennas and/or ancillary equipment being considered for installation on/or near AEP poles can be reviewed by AEP’s or AEP-TX’s Standards Organization.  Installation of said equipment on AEP poles is contingent upon review and approval by AEP’s Standards Organization.  This equipment review is at the Licensee’s expense.

Application Process

If you do not currently have a Pole Attachment Agreement with AEP-TX to attach to our distribution poles, please contact: David Day, Joint Use Representative, at dbday@aep.com or (361)881-5896 to apply for an agreement.   

Proposal Process

If you have an active agreement with AEP-TX to attach to our poles:

  • Submit your Request to Attach via one of the following two (2) methods:
    • Permission to Attach (Proposal) form which is available upon request.  A maximum of 50 attachments on each Proposal is allowed for manageable processing via this form.  The completed form and maps may be submitted to ccregionpoleattachment@aep.com.
  • Should you require attachment to more than 100 poles, please contact:  David Day, Joint Use Representative, at dbday@aep.com or (361)881-5896 to provide a current route map and discuss processing timelines.
  • Provide all pertinent information requested including stringing tension, cable weight, and diameter.
  • No attachments, are to be made to AEP-TX poles prior to receiving an Approved Proposal. 
  • AEP-TX will review your Request / Proposal for completeness when received and will respond within 10 business days if there is missing information.
  • Please indicate on your request if you are requesting One-Touch Make Ready (“OTMR”) access.  Approval for OTMR will only be granted for simple remediation and where no other make ready is required.
  • OTMR requests that require complex make-ready will be deemed as Non-OTMR and Proposals will be processed by AEP-TX, or a representative thereof, by performing an analysis on each pole including clearances, strength, and capacity.  Requesting Attacher will be notified of the date when data collection will begin and AEP-TX will take the applicable steps to meet the required FCC timelines for engineering.
  • Should a Licensee decide to invoke their self-help remedy for either engineering or make-ready construction, a written notice must be provided to the Joint Use Representative. Licensee must use an approved AEP-TX contractor for all work undertaken.
  • AEP-TX requires a Licensee to provide 15-day advance notice of any overlashing work.  Once overlashing has been completed, the Licensee must notify AEP-TX within 15 days and AEP-TX will perform a post-construction inspection at the Licensee’s expense.
  • Any excavation work, including the installation of ground rods and anchors, requires a call to the local one-call system 48 hours in advance of any digging to locate all underground facilities.  811 Call Before You Dig.
  • An estimate for all AEP-TX pole rearrangements and/or replacement work necessary for the approval of the Proposal will be provided to Licensee for review, with approval and payment in advance of work being scheduled or performed as contractually required. 
  • A Licensee contact will need to be provided to AEP-TX prior to any Proposals being submitted for invoicing.
  • Power Supplies must be included in drawings and specification provided on a separate Proposal.  Licensee should call AEP-TX at 1-877-373-4858 at least 5-10 business days in advance of needing Electric Service to the unit.  Our Customer Solution Center will provide assistance with this Electric Service Account.
  • Risers, vertical runs, and ILEC multiple mainline attachments must be clearly identified on all proposals that encompass AEP-TX poles. 
  • All information exchanged between AEP-TX, Licensee, and Licensee’s representatives, contractors and subcontractors is considered confidential.  Any unauthorized reproduction of AEP-TX information or disclosure of any maps and or documents, in print or electronic format, is strictly forbidden without the express written consent of AEP-TX.
  • Notwithstanding approval by AEP-TX to construct Licensee’s facilities in a certain manner or at a certain height, it is the responsibility of the Licensee to ensure that the installation and maintenance of their facilities does not cause a hazardous condition, overload the pole, or otherwise be installed or maintained in a manner that does not comply with the NESC, AEP or AEP-TX Standards and applicable law.
  • AEP-TX may perform a post-construction inspection of all Licensees’ attachments to ensure full compliance with Design Standards. 
  • Licensee’s facilities not meeting all installation requirements will be corrected at Licensee’s expense.
    • Within 15 days of completion of the project, the Licensee must notify AEP-TX and any existing attachers.  Upon notification, AEP-TX and existing attachers have 90 days to complete a post-construction inspection and notify Licensee of any damage or code violations.  All issues discovered must be remedied by Licensee within 14 days at Licensee’s expense.  If work is completed by AEP-TX as a result of Licensee not completing work Licensee was required to do, then AEP-TX will bill Licensee for any work completed on Licensee’s behalf.

Approved Contractors to Work Above Communication Space

AEP-TX currently has approved the use of the following contractors for work performed above the communications space:

  • B&B
  • Can-Fer
  • Chain
  • Higher Power
  • Linetec
  • LPE
  • Primoris
  • kV Power
  • Montez
  • James Power Line

Approved Engineering Contractors

AEP-TX currently has approved the use of the following contractors for engineering review of proposals:

  • TechServ
  • Pike Engineering, LLC

AEP-TX will perform all engineering review using internal resources or one of the above contractors.

Note: Last updated 5/20/2019

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