City of Boston Interim Policy and Procedures for Telecommunications Providers

TheĀ Office of Telecommunications (OT) serves as a single point of contact for all telecommunications issues in the City of Boston. OT will serve as the beginning point for telecommunications providers. OT will guide telecommunications providers through the City's process, review the viability of telecommunications providers, interface with the Public Improvement Commission (PIC), establish guidelines for telecommunications providers and generally carry out the powers and duties set forth below.

All telecommunications providers wishing to do business in the City of Boston must become "certified" by OT. This certification lasts for three years, at which time a provider must become re-certified. Once OT "certifies" a telecommunications provider, the telecommunications provider must introduce each new street opening, participation in another provider's lead company application, new grant of location or amended grant of location to OT before entering the existing PIC process. Once OT has reviewed the application, the telecommunications provider must follow the City's PIC policies (e.g. applications, agreements, etc.). All information given to OT will be shared with PIC to eliminate the need for duplicate information. OT will be available to the telecommunications provider as a resource as needed, and may serve as a liaison between the telecommunications provider and PIC, as needed.

Mike Lynch, Director of Cable & Web Services, DoIT

43 Hawkins Street
Boston, MA 02114


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  • This policy applies to all telecommunications providers (not under separate franchise) currently doing business in the City of Boston or planning to do business in the City of Boston.

  • By September 15, 1999, all telecommunications providers must become "certified telecommunications providers" by OT in order to do business or continue to do business in the City of Boston. All information to become certified must be submitted to OT by July 15,1999. The procedures for becoming certified are as follows:

  1. All telecommunications providers must provide information requested by OT by July 15, 1999 so that OT can review the viability of company, its experience and existing customer base, and make an informed decision about the use of the city's street. The information should at a minimum include the information asked for in the Provider Certification Form but may include additional information as well such as 10Ks, annual reports or published information. Any additional information that shows experience in telecommunications by the provider is welcome. The provider must also include a map of all existing conduit routes currently in the public right of way and number of conduits in each route. If an application is pending before the PIC, the provider must also provide a map of the proposed conduit route and the number of conduits requested. All maps should be submitted in paper and electronic copy wherever possible. This certification process will be required only once every three years.

  2. OT will review the information, in conjunction with the PIC and Law Departments, and meet with providers, where necessary, within 60 days of submission of their material. All providers will have the opportunity to meet with OT during this 60 day period to answer or ask any questions about the certification process, the documents required for PIC, or any other criteria, regulation, or guideline.

  3. No later than 60 days from the submission of the material, a certification letter will be mailed to the telecommunications provider indicating their status. If certification is granted, then telecommunications provider will enter the existing PIC process to discuss the proposed conduit route. Granting of locations, lead company status and permission to reside under the street is the purview of the PIC. Certification as a telecommunications provider in no way indicates the PICs position on any future applications. OT will be available to help as a liaison between PIC and certified telecommunications providers.

  4. Should a provider be denied certification, that provider may appeal the decision of OT to a panel of Administration Officials including the Director of Administrative Services, the Corporation Counsel and the Chief of Basic Services. Such an appeal must be filed within 30 days of the denial for certification. The appeal should be filed with the Office of Telecommunications, Room 608, Boston City Hall, Boston, MA 02201. A hearing will be scheduled within 60 days following the filing of the appeal and a decision rendered no later than 30 days after the hearing.

Once a provider becomes certified, anytime that telecommunications provider wishes to enter into a public right of way or change an existing grant of location, that provider must come to OT prior to seeking permission to be on the Agenda at the PIC. OT will review and collect information regarding the application including maps, conduit routes, engineering drawings (acceptable to PIC), manhole locations, additional participants (if proposal is for lead company status), change of ownership, or other information and pass this information along to PIC. After review of the proposal by OT, the telecommunications provider will enter the existing PIC process.

The Powers and Duties of the Office of Telecommunications are as follows:

a. to administer a certification program pursuant to this policy for the installation of telecommunications systems, infrastructure systems, advanced technologies, equipment and facilities in public rights of way and appurtenances, including underground and overhead transmission facilities among the various departments in the City of Boston;

b. to investigate, study and report on the development of technologically-advanced telecommunications systems and services including their components, equipment and other facilities.

c. to collect information concerning the development and installation of technologically advanced, reliable and competitive telecommunications services in public rights of way and appurtenances in the City of Boston;

d. to assist city departments by conducting research and preparing reports regarding telecommunication systems and services, to include without limitation, the impact of new and existing technologies in relation to city government and its development plans for residential and business communities;

e. to assist city departments and agencies by conducting research and preparing reports regarding legislative and administrative agency programs, initiatives, rules and regulation proposals, and other actions related to telecommunications;

f. to coordinate information among city departments and agencies to better facilitate an efficient and responsive business and development plan for technology by the City of Boston;

g. to act as liaison between the City of Boston and telecommunication industry representatives to facilitate access and communication between the government entity and the private industry;

h. to act as liaison between the Office of Telecommunications and the Public Improvement Commission to assist in the efficient exchange of information;

i. to promulgate all needful rules and regulations for the implementation and administration of this policy and enforcement of any other exercisable authority vested in said office pursuant to any Federal, State or local enactment, or any other power thereto enabling.