A Note on Utility Pole Replacement

Most small cell installations will be on existing utility poles. In areas where there are no existing utility poles, a new pole will likely be installed. In addition, when small cell installation is planned for existing poles, Puget Sound Energy (PSE), the owner of many utility poles, often decides to replace the pole as a part of the installation process. PSE installs a new pole next to the existing pole and moves over the electric lines to the new pole. The small cell equipment is then installed on the new pole. The other utilities that are located on the pole (telephone, cable, etc) must then each come out to relocate their lines. Once all of the lines have been relocated, PSE will then come back to remove the old pole. PSE tends to do the pole removals in batches of several poles at once. The utility companies are not very efficient at coordinating all of this work, which has resulted in delays in moving over the lines and removing the old poles. City staff are working to encourage the utilities to complete the pole removal work related to the T-mobile installations, but it is happening slower than anticipated.

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