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Pole Attachment Policy
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Appalachian Power Pole Attachement 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. Virginia DOT requires 21’ clearance over roadways. Please be aware that AEP/APCO is primarily in the heavy loading area described in the NESC and care should be taken especially at railroad crossings and roadways.
  • Wireline Pole Attachments are only allowed in the Communication’s space of the AEP/APCO pole plant.
  • Communication Companies may overlash additional cables to their existing cable if written notification is provided to AEP/APCO within 30 days of overlashing. All overlashes may be subject to a post construction inspection and may be subject to a pole loading analysis at the Communication Company’s expense.
  • 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 are not allowed. Consideration for unique requests will be forwarded to AEP’s Transmission Department for review if requested. All expenses for this review are at the expense of the Communication Company.
  • 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.
  • 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 and shall be installed using AEP Standards.
  • 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.


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 Permission to Attach form as identified in the Pole Attachment Agreement. A maximum of 50 attachments on each Proposal is allowed for manageable processing.
  • Should you require attachment to more than 50 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 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.
  • AEP/APCO recommends the through-bolt method of construction. Loading data and configuration must be supplied and any temporary facilities must be secured to mounting hardware to prevent them from bouncing free of the hardware.
  • 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 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. A contact for invoicing will need to be provided to AEP/APCO prior to any Proposals being submitted.
  • All overlash requests should be proposed on a separate proposal to be processed as Post-Construction Inspections. Any deficiencies will be corrected at the Attacher’s expense.
  • Risers, vertical runs, and ILEC multiple mainline attachments must be clearly identified on all proposals that encompass AEP/APCO poles.
  • 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.


Proposal Process

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

UC Synergetic

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

Note: Last updated 2/19/2014

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