It's now April, which means that we've had almost a year of OTMR in FCC-regulated states. As many predicted, it hasn't been the silver bullet that the telecom industry hoped when the FCC Order was enacted last May.
Fortunately, one-touch make ready has played the role that the FCC likely intended from the beginning—to lower costs to attach on poles that need no (or minimal) make ready. The dream, of course, is that putting simple make ready applications into an OTMR contractor's hands means that the fiber gets up faster.
This isn't the case, because the vast majority of pole attachment applications involve some level of electrical make ready, causing extremely important—but time-consuming—additions to the entire application's timeline.
That means the remedy isn't to make electrical make ready part of the OTMR process, but instead to bifurcate applications between poles with simple make ready and complex make ready. The simple make ready poles can be engineered by an approved OTMR contractor, saving the applicant valuable dollars on each simple MR pole. This also helps move along complex poles by lowering the total volume the pole owner (or their engineering contractor) needs to process internally. In our next article, we'll discuss this solution further.
The tool that we believe will help speed up broadband deployment the most is self-help. Self -help allows new attachers to utilize approved contractors to perform communications make ready after 30 days if existing attachers have not performed necessary MR to accommodate the new attachment.
While OTMR should lower the total costs of broadband deployment, self-help will speed up the process. Stay tuned for more on this topic in the coming weeks!