Pole Attachment Policy

Appalachian Power (including Kingsport Power and Wheeling Power Company) Pole Attachment Policy

General Design Policy

During the design phase of aerial cable plant proposed for installation on Appalachian Power, Kingsport Power, and Wheeling Power Company (AEP/APCO) poles, Communication Companies shall comply with the following policy:

  • Safety is a concern for everyone. During the time of any construction and maintenance, Communication Companies shall consider the electric wires of AEP/APCO to be energized, that working in the vicinity of the wires poses potential dangers and should warn its Employees, Agents, Contractors, and Subcontractors of the potential dangers.
  • All facilities 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. The Communication Company must determine the load and sag of each cable to ensure compliance with NESC requirements and AEP Standards. All cables may sag no lower than 15’6” at mid span under fully loaded conditions over roadways. West Virginia DOT requires 18’ clearance over roadways and Virginia DOT requires 21’ clearance over roadways. Please be aware that AEP/APCO is primarily in the heavy loading area described in the NESC, but will be evaluated under the stricter requirement of the NESC or AEP Standards. Special care should be taken at railroad crossings and roadways.
  • Wireline Pole Attachments are only allowed in the Communication’s space of the AEP/APCO pole plant.
  • 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/APCO assumes no responsibility for securing any such permission that may be required, and Communication Companies should assume no such permission exists based solely on the presence of AEP/APCO’s facilities. This includes easements, rights-of-way, or franchises required for the construction and maintenance of facilities such as Pedestals, Stub Poles and Anchors.
  • Communication Companies must bond their messenger in accordance with the NESC. If a Communication Company chooses to use a separate bond wire down the pole, it must be bonded to the AEP/APCO electrical bond at the base of the pole in accordance with the NESC. When grounding at the house, Communication Companies are not permitted to connect to AEP/APCO’s meter base.
  • Communications cables must be installed on the same side of poles (typically the road side) as other Attachees. Pole Attachments to both sides of the pole (boxing) are not permissible. The installation of Attachments in Aerial Inner-Duct is not allowed.
  • Communications cables must be installed without the use of Extension Arms, Standoff Brackets or similar hardware (unless otherwise approved in advance by AEP/APCO for each pole, and specifically referenced on the Communication Company’s Authorized Proposal).
  • Communications companies must install their own Guys and Anchors. Use of AEP/APCO’s Anchors is not permitted. Communication Guy(s) shall be either effectively grounded or insulated.
  • Power Supplies are not to be installed on AEP/APCO poles.
  • Service Drops are to be taken off the strand at least 15 inches from the outside of the pole using a crimp-on method, not off the pole with temporary equipment (j-hooks, etc.). Multiple Attachments to the pole are not allowed.
  • Attachments to AEP Transmission poles without Distribution underbuild are not allowed. Consideration for AEP Transmission pole requests will be forwarded to AEP’s Transmission Department for review. All expenses for this review are at the expense of the Communication Company. Attachment reviews on Transmission facilities are significantly more expensive and time-consuming than reviews typically performed on Distribution poles.
  • Encroaching into the Communication Worker Safety Zone or into the Electrical Space is not permissible, even at road crossings. If the Communication Company is unable to meet any NESC code requirements for clearances above roads, AEP/APCO may rearrange its facilities, when possible, have others rearrange their facilities, or replace the pole at the attacher’s expense. Measurements are to be taken from the ground up, not from AEP/APCO’s facilities down.
  • AEP/APCO recommends the through-bolt method of construction. Loading data and configuration must be supplied.
  • All riser cable attachment requests shall be at the sole discretion of AEP/APCO. If approved, riser cables shall be in conduit and may be required to be installed on stand-off brackets at the Communication Company’s expense. Risers shall be limited, in order to not impede climbing, installed using AEP Standards, and further restricted to a minimum of (3) spans.
  • Communication Companies shall mark their cables and risers at each pole location with an identifying tag which should include a name and emergency phone number.
  • Communication Companies, contractors, or sub-contractors must possess a signed Approved Proposal or permit from AEP/APCO at the jobsite when working on AEP/APCO facilities.
  • DAS antennas/small cell attachers must provide manufacturer’s specs to AEP/APCO so that any antennas and/or ancillary equipment being considered for installation on/or near AEP poles can be reviewed by AEP’s Standards. Installation of said equipment on AEP poles is contingent upon review and approval by AEP Standards. This equipment review is at the attacher's expense.

Application Process

If you do not currently have a Pole Attachment Agreement with AEP/APCO to attach to our distribution poles, please contact:

  • W. Craig Smith, Joint Use Representative, at wcsmith@aep.com or (304)746-2564 to apply for an agreement.

Proposal Process

If you have an active agreement with AEP/APCO to attach to our poles:

  • Submit your Request to Attach via one of the following two (2) methods:
    • Request through the AEP JU Portal at https://aepjuaportal.azurewebsites.net/Account/Login. Access via the Portal can be granted by contacting the Joint Use Representative listed below.
    • Permission to Attach (Proposal) form as identified in the Pole Attachment Agreement. 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 apcojointuse@aep.com.
  • Should you require attachment to more than 100 poles, please contact W. Craig Smith, Joint Use Representative, at wcsmith@aep.com or (304)746-2564 to provide a current route map and discuss processing timelines.
  • Provide all pertinent information requested including stringing tension, cable weight, and diameter.
  • No attachments, including Overlash, are to be made to AEP/APCO poles prior to receiving an Approved Proposal. AEP/APCO will perform a Pole Loading Analysis on each pole including clearances, strength, and capacity.
  • 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.
  • All AEP/APCO pole rearrangements and/or replacement work will be provided as an estimate to your company for review, with approval and payment in advance of work being scheduled or performed as contractually required. A contact for invoicing will need to be provided to AEP/APCO prior to any Proposals being submitted.
  • Risers, vertical runs, and ILEC multiple mainline attachments must be clearly identified on all proposals that encompass AEP/APCO poles.
  • All information exchanged between AEP/APCO, your company, and your representatives, contractors and subcontractors is considered confidential. Any unauthorized reproduction of AEP information or disclosure of any maps and or documents, in print or electronic format, is strictly forbidden without the express written consent of AEP/APCO.
  • Notwithstanding approval by AEP/APCO to construct Communications facilities in a certain manner or at a certain height, it is the responsibility of the Communications Company 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 Standards and applicable law.
  • AEP/APCO may perform a Post-Construction Inspection of all Communications Company attachments to ensure full compliance with Design Standards. Communications Company facilities not meeting all installation requirements will be corrected at the Communication’s Company’s expense.

Approved Engineering Contractors

AEP/APCO currently has approved the use of the following contractors for engineering review of proposals:

  • IJUS
  • Sigma Technologies
  • UC Synergetic

AEP/APCO will perform all engineering reviews using internal resources or one of the above contractors.

Note: Last updated 3/20/2018

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