A US District Judge in the Metro Nashville area nullified a recently adopted One Touch Make Ready (OTMR) ordinance, which allows third parties to move, alter, or remove cable, telephone, and utility company equipment on utility poles. The judge ruled that that “the Ordinance is preempted by federal law as applied to utility poles owned by AT&T and other private parties. Defendants are permanently enjoined from applying the Ordinance to utility poles owned by AT&T and other private parties.”
There are plenty of reasons to oppose OTMR: There is no accountability in cases where the contractor doesn’t do the job properly and customers lose service. Contractors don’t have the rigorous training needed to perform this dangerous work. And this work has been a subject of negotiation between union workers and their employers for decades.
CWA, AT&T, and Frontier want the FCC to make sure that any new pole attachment rules respect longstanding collective bargaining agreements that ensure skilled union workers do this work. But Verizon broke ranks, and urged the FCC to ignore these agreements and support OTMR, violating the rights of the workers who negotiated them in their labor agreements.
Google Fiber dealt blow as judge nullifies Nashville’s One Touch Make Ready rule (FierceTelecom, Nov. 27, 2017)
Verizon wants the FCC to violate union contracts (Speed Matters, July 26, 2017)