A 35-45 foot telephone pole is the standard (typical) length used in cities to carry one or two cross arms. But, depending on needs, some poles can reach heights of 120 feet or more to satisfy clearance requirements. These are not the standard telephone poles. Also, telephone poles are typically spaced about 100 feet to 150 feet apart, with 125 feet being the norm in urban areas.

Telephone poles are spaced about 300 feet apart in rural areas, but distances may vary widely based on the terrain. Joint use poles exist and are usually owned by one of the utility companies. The owner will lease space on the pole to others. In the United States, the National Electrical Safety Code, published by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) (not to be confused with the National Electrical Code published by the National Fire Protection Agency [NFPA]), sets the standards for construction and maintenance of utility poles and their equipment.

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