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Georgetown Broadband LLC Secures Utility Pole Attachment Authorization for Community Broadband Project

On February 17, 2023, Georgetown Broadband LLC (GBLLC) became the latest community broadband entity to receive pole attachment authorization from the Maine Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to deploy a fiber broadband network. GBLLC began its path to securing funding and local support for deployment of a high-speed broadband network in Georgetown, Maine over six years ago.

As of early 2023, GBLLC’s partner, a rural network operator that constructed and will operate the network, started turning on service to customers in completed portions of the new network. Having secured a Chapter 880 pole attachment authorization from the PUC, GBLLC will now complete its assumption of ownership over the attachment licenses granted to the network operator by the pole owners in the project area.

The PUC Order suggested that the GBLLC model was structured differently than other recent broadband projects, which often involve a lease back of the system to the network operator. GBLLC’s approach could serve as an alternative model for other community efforts that are interested in owning their own networks and relying upon the technical expertise of a network operator subcontractor or partner to secure Chapter 880 attachment authorization.

Please reach out to a member of the Energy and Telecommunications Groups about pole attachment authorizations and related issues.