Wednesday, April 6, 2011

FCC Sets New Pole Attachment Rules

The FCC reformed its pole attachment rules to streamline access and reduce costs for attaching broadband lines and wireless antennas to utility poles across America - a key component of broadband infrastructure.

The revised FCC rules:

  • Set a maximum timeframe of 148 days for utility companies to allow pole attachments in the communications space, with a maximum of 178 days allowed for attachments of wireless antennas on pole tops, and an extra 60 days for large orders;

  • Set the rate for attachments by telecommunications companies at or near the rate paid by
    cable companies;

  • Confirm that wireless providers are entitled to the same rate as other telecommunications

  • Allow ILECs, which are not covered by the rate schedule, to file complaints with the FCC
    for relief from unreasonable rates, terms, and conditions;

  • Clarify that the denial by a utility of a request for attachment must explain the specific
    capacity, safety, reliability, or engineering concern;

  • Encourage negotiated resolution of disputes and pre-planning and coordination between pole
    owners and attachers, which will be taken into account in any enforcement action; and

  • Remove the cap on penalties for unauthorized attachments.

See also