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Telecom providers discuss new right-of-way ordinance

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by Karen E. Culp

SBJ Staff

A closed meeting to inform telecommunications providers of what the city plans to include in its right-of-way ordinance was held Oct. 13, said assistant city attorney Nancy Yendes, who is overseeing the development of the ordinance.

The first meeting on the latest draft of the ordinance comes one week after City Council members previewed the draft at a luncheon, and two years after the first round of meetings was held on the first draft of the right-of-way ordinance. Yendes has said she plans to get the ordinance before council by the end of calendar year 1998.

Yendes said the meeting was largely a time for questions from providers, and that another meeting is planned for next week.

"One thing that came up is that we want to make sure we are not duplicating the PSC's (Missouri Public Service Commission's) statute. Some things were pointed out, and I am now going to sit down with the PSC's statute and make sure there is no duplication," Yendes said.

Yendes said most telecommunications providers in the area attended the meeting.

Oct. 9, the city and Southwestern Bell entered into a temporary agreement for Bell to continue building out its system in Springfield.

Southwestern Bell had previously

not signed a temporary license agreement.

The temporary licenses have been extended to telecommunications providers as a means of allowing them access to Springfield's right of way before the right-of-way law is in place. The licenses have been granted for 90-day periods, Yendes said.

Bell had not signed such a temporary license, citing differences with the city over its agreement. The company did sign a temporary license with a reservation of rights, meaning that it protested the terms but would sign the agreement to continue accessing the right of way, Yendes said.

"Our situation is resolved now and we are back in business as normal," said Steve Vaught, area manager for Southwestern Bell.

Bell's temporary license is good for 90 days.

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