Topic Areas:

  • Tuesday

Small Cell Summit

2:00pm - 5:00pm

Mesquite A

UtiliSite Welcome and Introduction of Sponsor by Sheila Wells, Nashville Electric Service

Welcome and Opening Remarks by Crown Castle
Since 1994, Crown Castle has worked around the country to build and maintain the infrastructure behind the world’s most revolutionary technologies. This comprehensive portfolio of towers, small cells, and fiber gives people and communities access to essential data, technology and wireless service and opens the door to countless opportunities and possibilities. Crown Castle works closely with wireless carriers, businesses, technology companies, governments, and communities to make sure these transformative ideas and innovations find their way to the people who rely on them.

Wireless Pole Attachments in a Small Cell World 
The explosive growth in the deployment plans for small cells has led to a sharp increase in the demand for the attachment of wireless facilities to utility-owned poles and other utility infrastructure. At the same time, utilities are looking to their poles for the deployment of their own field area networks and other wireless systems. In this new “small cell world,” utilities must be prepared to address issues that are unique to wireless attachments, be able to balance the increasing demands on their infrastructure with their own deployment needs, and – above all – ensure that these wireless attachments do not compromise the safety, reliability, and integrity of the utility’s distribution infrastructure. This presentation will discuss important practical issues that arise in connection with wireless attachments and how those issues can be proactively managed through the utility’s pole attachment contracts and practices. We will also provide various tips and anecdotal insights based on our real-world experience assisting a variety of utilities in negotiating pole attachment agreements for small cell and other wireless deployments.
Speaker: David Rines, Lerman Senter

Pole Attachments Technology
This session will address the basic questions that utilities have about small cell attachments to distribution poles. This session will describe the various types of equipment attachments that have been made on utility poles and the NESC issues that come into play, particularly regarding the location of the antennae and the associated equipment. It will also discuss the power requirements and RF exposure associated with small cells and how utilities have dealt with those issues.
Speakers: Roxanne Fong, PGE and Karen Flewharty, Oncor

Technology Assessment of Small Cells
This session will go beyond the basic access issues to address the larger questions in the minds of utilities about small cells. It will answer questions about coverage and whether this is a rural solution or something that is primarily intended to boost capacity in urban areas. It will also address issues related to backhaul requirements, such as fiber and wireless. Finally, it will explore questions about alternative technologies and whether small cell is just a fad or whether it is here to stay for a substantial period of time.
Speaker: Serge McAuliffe and Tim Gasser from Crown Castle

Preservation, Permitting, Ordinances and Pole Attachments Regulations
While the Communications Act preserves state and local jurisdiction over permitting and rights of way, the FCC has adopted shot clocks for the processing of permits and it is conducting a rulemaking proceeding regarding additional restrictions over fees that state and local government entities may charge for permitting wireless small cells, as well as ordinances that they may adopt generally. Meanwhile, numerous bills have been introduced at the state level to regulate access and rates for the permitting of wireless small cells by local government. This session will provide the general law regarding permitting of small cells, and it will dive deeper into current developments, including whether and to what extent these laws and policies would apply to municipal utilities.
Speaker: Sean Stokes, Baller Herbst Law Group and Allen Bell, Georgia Power

Small Cells Beyond the Wood Pole (Panel)
This session will focus on the business case for small cell from the perspective of the chairs of the UtiliSite Council and its committees. Small Cells may improve the business case to the extent that utilities would host multiple service providers, opening up opportunities for additional revenue streams for fiber leasing as well as wireless collocation services. In addition to revenues, it will also consider the costs of providing these services, including the cost of retrofitting existing poles and mounting ancillary equipment on or adjacent to poles. There are numerous business questions related to small cells. This session will answer questions about rate designs and fees related to wireless attachments, and then assess the potential market for small cells based on the number of attachments that would be needed for a given area. It will also address the alternative questions related to whether utilities should enter the market and become small cell providers. In that regard, it will examine some of the different business models that utilities could adopt as small cell providers, and assess the advantages and disadvantages of these business models, including the potential revenue streams in the near and long term.
Moderator: Allan Bakalar, PT Access Networks
Panelists: Karen Flewharty, Oncor; Gary Vondrasek, JEA; Brian Hurley, PT Access Networks


Nashville Electric Service

Crown Castle

Lerman Senter PLLC

Pacific Gas & Electric Company

PT Access Networks

PT Access Networks

Georgia Power

Crown Castle

Utilities Technology Council

Utilities Technology Council

The Baller Herbst Law Group