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Keeping Your Joint Use Agreements Compliant with Minimal Effort

Keeping Your Joint Use Agreements Compliant with Minimal Effort

Managing joint use agreements has historically involved building and managing relationships over years, working closely with established contacts at third party entities. When you had a formal contract, these documents were often relegated to the file cabinet and seldom referenced or updated. Why do you need this information handy when you can just call Jenn at the only telephone company in town?

Let’s look at why it’s important to be able to reference and maintain your joint use agreement information quickly and accurately.

There are more players to keep track of

People

Thirty years ago, you could manage agreements casually because there were often only two attaching entities in town, and you had all the contract details memorized.

The world is more connected now, with many more attachers. Industry rulings like One Touch Make Ready (OTMR) allow third parties and contractors to install their own equipment on your facilities to expedite build-outs. New cellular and cable companies are putting up fiber and 5G wireless infrastructure at a record pace.

As more attachers join the game, it becomes harder to maintain informal relationships. Increasing joint use staff turnover, for either company, makes it even more difficult.

Handshake agreements need to be formalized

Handshake

Have you attended a joint use conference in the last few years? Notice how many specialist attorneys are actively involved? There’s a reason. You don’t want to be on the wrong end of a lawsuit, particularly if your data is incomplete.

The solution to this changing world is simple: digitize everything. You may already be doing this to some extent. However, whether your solution is a scanned copy of the paper agreement or a joint use management system, it’s important to make everything easily accessible for you and everyone else in your department.

Do you have a means of storing your third-party company records and their contacts? What about agreements with their billing-related information? Are you able to track insurance and bond data for all your agreements? Recording the insurance coverage of a company you’ve approved to attach before they climb your pole solves many liability concerns should a case ever arise.

Sureties should be current

Insurance

Insurance and bond certificates expire, so you need to regularly collect updated certificates to ensure your attachers have active coverage. Agreements also require occasional renegotiation and updating. Unless you are in the habit of combing through records constantly, it’s easy to for you to miss an expired record. If the attacher causes a public safety issue or abandons their facilities, you don’t want to be the one responsible for their costs.

You can fix this problem by setting an automated reminder about upcoming expiring sureties. Make sure the notification gives you enough time to get contracts renewed or for your attachers to update their insurance. Getting ahead of such activities ensures your attachers remain in compliance and don’t suffer delays on things like new attachment requests.

Understanding Compliance

Understanding compliance

Keeping your agreement-related information in your joint use management system gives you the ability to view compliance holistically. Do you have terms that require attachers to fix high severity violations within 30 days and medium severity violations within 2 years? Do you add fees for being out of compliance, or apply a discount for being in compliance? Do you reject new permit requests until issues are resolved?

Having all the data accessible and up-to-date lets you make these decisions without having to spend time looking in several different places.

Companies change over time

Joint Use Documents

Acquisitions and mergers are common in the communications industry, and can cause pole owners a lot of grief. Joint use record keeping involves a few users managing a lot of data in order to understand which companies are attached to which poles under which agreements. Provided you have all your information digitized, you’re going to need the ability to reflect these types of changes at scale if the two cable companies in your territory merged into one.

Often, this type of activity has to be performed by someone in IT, and it becomes a low-priority backlogged task. Ideally, your solution would allow you to seamlessly perform your own bulk operations like transfer of attachment ownership.

Have questions? Let Joint Use 365 be the answer.

Joint Use 365 is the only joint use management system built on the latest Microsoft Azure cloud technologies. It comes out-of-the-box with the ability to manage all your attachers, contacts and agreement-related information.

Store insurance and bond information for all your agreements and be automatically notified of upcoming expirations. Automatically flag noncompliant agreements due to factors such as excessively late violations or overdue activities.

Easily perform bulk operations, such as attachment ownership transfer, with our powerful Excel Integration.

Let Joint Use 365 ensure you never have another expired insurance policy or outdated agreement.

If you’re interested, please watch our introductory video here, view our pricing page for license and implementation information, or contact us directly.

Joint Use 365

Joint Use 365 is the premier software solution for managing utility poles and third-party joint use attachments. Joint Use 365’s automated permitting, workflows, notifications, billing and integration help you provide better service for your attachers and reduce workload on your staff and contractors.

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