A resolution providing for stakeholder collaboration for purposes of entering into an industry-wide memorandum of understanding to upgrade Nashville’s permitting and make-ready process and shorten the timeline for deployment of broadband in Nashville.

WHEREAS, citizens of Metro Nashville desire the adoption of broadband policies that promote the safe and efficient deployment of high-speed broadband networks to all residents and businesses in Davidson County and do not favor one service provider over another; and,

WHEREAS, BL2016-343 introduces unproven policy solutions that also threaten to impact Nashville’s workforce, create litigation and liability risk for the Metropolitan Government of Nashville & Davidson County, and jeopardize the continuity of communications services for Metro Nashville residents and businesses; and,

WHEREAS, industry stakeholders oppose BL2016-343 due to safety, disruption of services, efficiency, labor, and jurisdictional issues; and,

WHEREAS, industry stakeholders have collaborated with the Nashville Electric Service and the Metro Law department and have proposed alternative solutions to accomplish the policy goals of Metro Nashville while minimizing risks to Nashville residents and businesses; and,

WHEREAS, the industry stakeholders, including Google Fiber, Comcast, and AT&T, met with NES and the Metro Law department, on Wednesday, August 24, 2016, to negotiate a compromise on the topic of BL2016-343; and,

WHEREAS, permitting and make-ready improvements can be guaranteed through an industry-wide Memorandum of Understanding.


Section 1. That the industry stakeholders, including but not limited to Google Fiber, AT&T, Comcast, and NES, are to come together in good faith and execute a Memorandum of Understanding to memorialize process enhancements that substantially eliminate the current backlog in make-ready work to facilitate the Google Fiber deployment and reduce the timeline for broadband deployment by all Internet service providers in Nashville. The stakeholders shall aim to complete the permit for each make-ready poll in 30 days and the subsequent make -ready work shall be completed within 45 days or less.

Section 2. That the MOU require the stakeholders, together with NES, to work to reduce initial permitting time and eliminate unnecessary permitting requirements. Specifically, NES shall permit any party to the MOU that is already operating under a valid infrastructure use agreement, pole attachment agreement, or other agreement for the use of NES utility poles to amend such existing agreement to provide for a high-volume bulk deployment process, by which such attaching party may fund the retention of additional dedicated resources to process pole attachment applications that will exceed 125 poles per week for a period of 18 months. In addition, NES will facilitate limiting permit application processing times to no more than 30 days. Moreover, all stakeholders will identify ways to eliminate unnecessary pole attachment permits or right of way permits by December 1, 2016. Priority pole attachment shall be completed within 14 days or less.

Section 3. That the MOU provide that NES and Public Works will coordinate the timing for necessary permitting to streamline the process for broadband deployment.

Section 4. That the MOU provide that the stakeholders, together with NES and Public Works, will meet once a week in an effort to improve coordination and planning for all attachers.

Section 5. That the MOU require that the stakeholders provide timely funding for the performance of make-ready work by existing attachers, including the establishment of draw-down accounts as necessary, to secure and allocate labor resources and prevent delays.

Section 6. That the MOU enumerate standards for determining when Nashville make-ready work is deemed. Specifically, any provider that requests to perform make-ready work on its own attachments to accommodate the attachment of another provider in a High-Volume Project shall complete such make-ready work on an average of 125 poles per week (measured over the course of 8 weeks); provided that no such Provider shall be required to perform make-ready work (a) where it has not yet been compensated for such work by the requesting Provider (through an established drawn-down account or otherwise or (b) where the requested make-ready work is contingent on work by another party that has not yet been performed. If any Provider fails to satisfy the work within the above-mentioned timeline, they shall be liable to the Provider requesting such make-ready work for a penalty fee of $500 per incomplete pole up to the 125-pole weekly average, to be paid every month until such poles are complete.

Section 7. That the MOU require the stakeholders to retain appropriate project management and sufficient work crews to ensure that work will be performed in a manner that meets the goals set forth in the MOU.

Section 8. That the MOU set forth terms and conditions under which compensation would be due to an attacher upon determination that another attacher has unreasonably and repeatedly failed to complete make-ready work in a timely fashion.

Section 9. That the Public Works Department shall retain an independent expert to monitor the parties’ compliance with the terms of the MOU and assist in identifying make-ready process improvements.

Sponsored by: Sheri Weiner


Referred to: Budget & Finance Committee
Public Works Committee
Introduced: September 20, 2016
Substitute Introduced: September 20, 2016
Failed: September 20, 2016 - Roll Call Vote

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