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DRG Implements Efficient Pole Attachment Application Process for Texas Utility

Bryan Texas Utilities

Bryan Texas Utilities called on Davey Resource Group, Inc. to help create a smoothly run Pole Attachment application process.

 

The Challenge

Utility distribution lines are often overlooked in everyday life. These sky-high cables bring essential power to our homes and businesses but oftentimes, the average person doesn’t think about where these lines come from or the equipment they are connected to.

Utility providers, including communications companies, must follow strict protocols when they want to attach lines or equipment to a utility pole, governed by an extensive application process. To ensure the integrity of its poles and equipment, utility companies have to meticulously review and approve each application. They must also track all attachments and perform field inspections to ensure attachments are installed and maintained in compliance with utility standards and NESC safety rules.

In 2018, Bryan Texas Utilities (BTU) developed a new pole attachment process, including new pole attachment standards. BTU went through a rigorous RFP process to find a contractor to assist in managing the new pole attachment application process. At the end of the selection process, DRG was hired by BTU based on their years of experience and level of expertise related to pole attachment management services.

The Solution

Initially, DRG assisted BTU in developing the workflow, documentation, and inspection processes in accordance with BTU’s new pole attachment standards. DRG then implemented an application process meant to protect BTU’s assets. When communication companies want to add a service line to BTU owned pole, they are required to submit a pole attachment application. The application is in the form of a package that includes a pole loading analysis completed by the communications company along with a detailed spreadsheet that includes pole information such as tag numbers, height, attachment type, attachment owner, proposed attachment location, and more. DRG reviews all of the submitted documents and validates the information provided by communications companies. DRG then makes a recommendation as to how to proceed with the application packet, i.e. approval, rejection, additional information required, etc. Once the application receives final approval from BTU, the communication company can attach the service line(s) to the poles that are approved in the application.

Once the communication lines are attached, DRG’s team performs post-construction inspections to verify the attachments are violation-free and match the approved application.

The Results

In the first 10 months of the project, DRG’s staff processed 104 applications starting in June of 2020. DRG has helped BTU ensure all applications are processed uniformly and in a timely, non-discriminatory manner.

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