On Oct. 10, 1906, representatives of the fledgling power, telephone and railroad industries met and developed a unique way to deal with the construction of utility poles. The Los Angeles Joint Pole Committee was formed to devise “ways, means, rules, regulations and methods whereby any two or more (parties) may own and occupy poles jointly.”

From the seven initial members in 1906, the number of joint owners has grown to 29 members that include municipalities, power and telephone utilities, as well as newer competitive utilities that utilize technology such as wireless and fiber optics to serve Southern California. There are currently 1,172,055 such utility poles under joint ownership.

Now called the Southern California Joint Pole Committee (SCJPC), to reflect the broader geographic area it covers, the members of the SCJPC include: Adelphia Cable Communications, AT&T Communications, AT&T Local Services, AT&T California (SBC), Cingular Wireless, City of Anaheim, City of Azusa, City of Burbank, City of Colton, City of Glendale, City of Lompoc, City of Los Angeles (DWP), City of Pasadena, City of Riverside, City of Vernon, Comcast Cable Communications, Golden State Water Company, MPower Communications, MCI Metro/ATS, MCI Telecommunications, Nextel Communications, NextG Networks, Southern California Edison, Sprint Communications LP, Sprint PCS, TMobile USA, Verizon California, Verizon Wireless and XO Communications.

Representatives will be gathering to celebrate the SCJPC’s 100th anniversary at a dinner cruise in Newport Harbor on Oct. 10, 2006.

No other state has a similar method of dealing with joint use. Only the SCJPC and the Northern California Joint Pole Association allow utilities that qualify for membership to buy the necessary space to construct their systems on existing utility poles rather than having to construct new poles or lease space from the utility that built the pole. This has minimized the construction of new utility poles, distributed maintenance costs among utilities and facilitated the deployment of new technology, all to the benefit of California consumers.

For more information, contact Jennie Corella at (909) 592-4001 or jennie@scjpc.org.