LUMA has draft contract with telecommunications companies for use of poles
By The Star Staff
The president of LUMA Energy, Juan Saca, reported that the energy distributor has a draft contract with telecommunications companies in Puerto Rico for the use of poles of the electrical network.
“We are working very closely with them. I know that there is a concern about the issue of what is charged for the joint payments that have not been paid since (Hurricane) Maria, but this is an issue that is also being considered within that contract,” Saca said in a written statement..
“Our task as LUMA is to collect everything that corresponds to all the entities that have to be charged,” he added.
The contract, according to the CEO, should end in about 60 days. The review of the latest draft of the agreement will take place at a meeting scheduled for Oct. 18 with telecoms companies.
The Puerto Rican Telecommunications Alliance (APT) stressed that they have not avoided paying, but that the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) ceased to issue invoices. “It is important to clarify that the telecommunications companies did not determine to evade their responsibility. PREPA stopped issuing the invoices without explanation,” APT Executive Director Denise Berlingeri said.
In addition, it was highlighted that both PREPA and now LUMA Energy use poles owned by telecommunications companies for their electrical wiring. “Therefore, the fact that PREPA has not billed Claro for the use of the poles of the former entails the fact that PREPA has not paid Claro for the use of the poles of the former,” said the director of Legal Affairs of Claro Puerto Rico, Francisco Silva.
In relation to the fee that would be charged, Wanda Pérez explained that there is a federal formula based on the incremental cost of maintaining the pole, estimating a range between 25 cents to $ 3.
Rep. Jesús Hernández Arroyo, chairman of the House Telecommunications Committee, emphasized the need to solve this matter and assured strict supervision of the process.