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MPSC: Lessees of Telecommunications Facilities in Municipal Rights-of-Way Not Subject to Annual Maintenance Fee
November 9, 2006
The Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) today issued an order finding that lessees of telecommunications facilities in municipal rights-of-way are not subject to the annual maintenance fee.
"The availability of telecommunications and broadband access is a matter of paramount importance to Michigan," said MPSC Commissioner Laura Chappelle. "The METRO Act provides crucial 'rules of the road' for these technologies. The Commission believes that today's order will clarify those rules to encourage more deployments."
Sprint Communications Company L.P. on May 3 appealed to the MPSC to review the Metropolitan Extension Telecommunications Rights-of-Way Oversight Authority's (METRO) determination, known as Determination No. 5, that the fee requirement of the METRO Act is applicable to both owners and lessees of facilities in public rights-of-way.
In today's order, the MPSC notes that the most direct reading of the METRO Act indicates the Michigan legislature intended the maintenance fee to be imposed only on the owners of telecommunications facilities occupying municipal rights-of-way, and not on providers leasing those facilities. Accordingly, the MPSC's order overturns METRO's "Determination No. 5."
The MPSC is an agency within the Department of Labor & Economic Growth.
Case No. U-14878