Conduit Lease/IRU Pricing

James Jun james.jun at
Sun Feb 5 21:13:12 UTC 2023

On Sun, Feb 05, 2023 at 12:36:27PM -0800, William Herrin wrote:
> One quick note: conduit on private property, such as the tail of a
> telco conduit serving a small office complex, is almost always a
> fixture of the property belonging to whoever owns the land. Even
> though the telco installed it for free. It's just too expensive for
> them to dot the i's and cross the t's legally when installing the
> conduit tail, so they generally just do it realizing there's low odds
> of anyone hijacking it from them.

This is an important point that does come up.  In commercial property installations, telcos often choose to look over this just like you stated--since they control the mainline system out in the street anyway, they feel that provides enough of security and not enough of a concern to lose sleep over it.

However, in valuable multi-tenant facilities (carrier hotels, data centers, and large commercial/urban developer projects), you will also find that telecom carriers can, and often will, absolutely enforce their rights to their conduit systems (including tails) being placed upon private property.  Access and Easement Agreements are frequently used to enforce the purpose of the wayleave for large telecom installations occuring upon private property.  Therefore, it is important to contact the property owner and the owner of the wayleave (i.e. carrier owning the conduit system on private property) for permission/license to enter, and never assume that just because a conduit is in private property and the landlord thinks you're ok, yo're good to go.  More often than not, it is not ok, and you will likely end up getting nasty surprises from the said carrier's legal department, when they decide to enforce their rights.

This happened to a large Tier-1 carrier who was pulling fiber into a new developer project here.  The property owner told them it was ok to use the conduit, and all of the manholes were simply labeled 'FIBER OPTIC' engraved on them, so the carrier thought they had permission to pull fiber.  They never realized that the ILEC had an easement agreement and those conuits and manholes were paid for by the ILEC for installation.  Their fiber cable was discovered about a week later when ILEC crews were working to pull their own cable in-- the rest is hitory, they had to make amends to obtain proper authorization and pay fees, etc. after being discovered.  After this happened, the ILEC also replaced all manhole covers in the property with their name and logo engraved on them.


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