The CRTC has opened a call for comments as it prepares to develop a model municipal access agreement that would help carriers secure the right to build, maintain and operate transmission infrastructure on municipal property. The lengthy back-and-forth consultation process will help the commission establish general principles to guide an ad-hoc CRTC Interconnection Steering Committee that will draft the model agreement following the deadline for final replies and comments next March, the commission said in a Friday release. The commission noted that an increasing number of carriers has created additional demand for access to municipal properties since a 2001 decision establishing general guidelines for such agreements opted not to draft a model contract. This increased demand has also caused considerable strain on both carrier and municipal resources, as both companies and municipalities are now typically required to negotiate multiple agreements. “A model would provide such benefits as predictability, lower personnel costs in terms of time and money, and entry into new small markets on a more efficient basis, while allowing for a degree of customization to incorporate unique circumstances,” the commission noted in its release. The commission has invited interested parties to comment on what factors should be considered in developing the model agreement, including the responsibilities and commitments that should be imposed on both carriers and municipalities. Among other items, the commission is specifically calling for submission on the topics of agreement terms, liability requirements, types of costs to be recovered, costing methodologies and assumptions, loading factors, and public safety matters. The deadline for written comments is March 6, 2012. Those seeking to become a party to the proceeding are asked to file an intervention by Nov. 18, 2011.