NextG Pays Over California Fire Linked to Fallen Poles

February 25, 2013

A phone company has agreed to pay $14.5 million over a 3,800-acre Malibu Canyon wildfire blamed on allegedly overloaded utility poles blown down by Santa Ana winds.

The Los Angeles Times reports NextG Networks will pay $8.5 million into California’s general fund and $6 million to hire independent engineers to inspect each of the company’s attachments on tens of thousands of poles across the state. Any pole found to be overloaded or decayed would be replaced, with co-owners sharing the cost.

The fire started on Oct. 21, 2007, when winds blew down three poles jointly owned by Southern California Edison Co., AT&T Mobility, Sprint Telephony, Verizon Wireless and NextG.

In September, AT&T, Sprint and Verizon agreed to pay $4 million each to resolve issues relating to the fire.

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