A New Approach to Joint Use Management

Today’s news is full of articles about the 5G explosion and the internet of things. Little, if any, of these articles talk about the impacts they have on structure owners and their preparedness to meet the industry’s growing needs.

 

Current Situation

Most utilities and communication companies don’t have a dedicated joint use department or program that are ready to meet today’s demands. Many have rental agreements that are outdated, expired, or don’t represent today’s market. In many cases, attachment information is out of date or nonexistent, maximized rental recovery is not realized, third-party attachments occur without applications creating pole loading and clearance violation issues, and assets are being degraded by outside influences.

Through working with hundreds of customers on millions of poles, Osmose has calculated that as many as 7% of attachments are not accounted for and are not permitted. These unauthorized attachments are both a loss of revenue and can result in overloaded pole conditions.

 

The Solution

Moving from your current situation to an effective joint use program requires the right foundation. The building blocks of the foundation start with a review of current joint use agreements. Understanding who is attached and where they are attached is the next block in your foundation.

If you don’t have critical agreement information, a field audit should be considered. When conducting an audit, the most important step in building your strategy is collaborating with the major stakeholders, including third party companies, and ensuring all the collection criteria and methodologies are agreed to at the onset of the survey. All billing and fees rely on the premise that the survey is accurate and acceptable to all parties.

Osmose offers an industry-leading method to help achieve mutual acceptance, the Osmose Online Joint Use Viewer. The Viewer is a GIS data repository that provides secure 24/7 access to maps, poles, attachment information, and images. Sharing the information during the audit with all stakeholders is critical to obtaining buy-in from all parties. Facilitating an interactive process with full transparency will quickly identify locations that need follow-up. The Viewer can also identify double wood and reject pole locations, display images, generate reports, and support queries. It can be used for quality assurance and control, as an audit defense to support attacher billing, and to efficiently direct construction crews to sites where remediation is required.

At the completion of each pole audit there are additional tasks that need to be addressed, including joint use billing, double-wood removal, violations remediation, turnkey processing of third party applications, pole replacement design associated with rejects, and make-ready. Osmose recognizes the need to complete these tasks and can support these efforts by providing remediation services in conjunction with the audit. Each of these building blocks start at the completion of the audit.

To learn more about how Osmose can provide turnkey joint use program management to your utility, please contact your local Osmose representative. Not sure who your local Osmose representative is? Email poleinfo@osmose.com to find out.