May 17, 2018 - 07:41 AM
Because they know they don't have the right under many leases to expand their utility/access easement without additional compensation, they try to convince the landowner that the lease allows them to do so. They ask for the landowner's consent which then acts gives them expanded easement rights on the property but without any compensation. They use tricky language like "along the existing easement" or "near the existing easement" as opposed to "in the existing easement".
We don't object to carriers adding fiber within their existing utility easements. However, expanding the easement in many cases means the landowner has to now avoid digging in multiple places and has additional easements clouding their title which may not be recorded.
We recommend asking the carrier who is requesting consent to provide a drawing that shows the lease area, the existing current utility easement and the proposed fiber right of way clearly. If the new fiber is being installed outside the lease area or the access/utility easements, then we ask them to place the fiber in the utility easement. Sometimes they will, othertimes they will offer compensation to avoid having to dig near existing fiber.
Typically, these types of easement expansions aren't worth a lot, but that doesn't mean you should let them do it without an amendment and without understanding the impact on your property.