Pole Attachments

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Open Internet Webinar

Wednesday, December 16, 2015 1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. EST Please join us for an interactive, end-of-year discussion about developments in the FCC’s Open Internet (a.k.a. “net neutrality”) rules.  Will the rules survive judicial challenge?  Will Congress act?  How will the rules impact your business in 2016? Agenda: Judicial challenge oral arguments, presented by John Seiver & Dan Reing Capitol Hill developments, presented by Kim Bayliss & Steve Perry (from Grayling) FCC privacy update, presented by ...Continue Reading

FCC Revises Telecom Pole Attachment Rate Formula

New Order Eliminates Possible Disparity in Cable and Telecom Pole Attachment Rates In last week’s Order on Reconsideration, the FCC definitively closed the “telecom formula loophole” thereby ensuring that pole attachment rates for telecommunications attachers (including providers of broadband Internet access service) approximate the rates for cable attachers, as intended by the Commission’s 2011 Order amending its pole attachment rules.  In the Reconsideration Order, the FCC further revised the telecom formula to ...Continue Reading

Wireless

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FCC Wireless Shot Clock Trumps Complex Local Processes, Says First Circuit While Addressing Section 332 “Final Action” Requirement

On Jan. 8, 2016, in Global Tower Assets, LLC v. Town of Rome, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit held that a wireless permit applicant must go through all administrative appeals required by local law before there is a “final action” by the local government that may be appealed under Section 332(c)(7)(B)(v) of the Communications Act. The First Circuit’s holding on that issue was perhaps not a surprising ...Continue Reading

FCC Wireless Infrastructure Deployment Rules Affirmed By Fourth Circuit

On Friday, December 18, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit affirmed the FCC’s rules implementing Section 6409(a) of the Spectrum Act, including the “deemed granted” remedy for a local government’s failure to grant an eligible wireless tower or base station modification request within sixty days. In Montgomery County v. FCC (opinion here), the Court rejected an appeal by several municipalities, holding that the FCC’s action “is ...Continue Reading

MDU Access

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Disputes Over MDU Access Persist

You would be forgiven if you thought the status of exclusive agreements for exclusive broadband cable service to “multiple dwelling units” such as condominiums and planned communities (MDUs) was settled. In 2007, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) issued a ruling broadly declaring that such exclusivity agreements are “null and void,” and adopted a rule that prohibits the enforcement or execution of “any provision in a contract that grants to it ...Continue Reading

Fiber Networks

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Is Dark Fiber a Regulated Service?

It may come as a surprise to know that the FCC (and the courts) have determined that dark fiber can be a regulated service. The FCC has found that leasing dark fiber is “wire communications” subject to its jurisdiction under Title II of the Communications Act because it “permits the transmission of information” and because “the provider of dark fiber still owns, maintains, and repairs the fiber and merely leases it ...Continue Reading

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Are REITs a Viable Strategy for Communications Companies?

Windstream Holdings, Inc. recently announced plans to spin off its copper, fiber and other fixed real estate assets into an independent publicly traded real estate investment trust (REIT).  Windstream received a private letter ruling from the IRS confirming the tax-free nature of the spin-off and the qualification of the network assets as real property for REIT purposes.  The transaction will reportedly save about $100 million per year in income taxes ...Continue Reading

State Activities

CPUC Proposed Decision Extends Pole Attachment Rights to CMRS Providers

On Friday, October 30, 2015, the Assigned Commissioner to a rulemaking at the California Public Utility Commission (“CPUC”) issued a Proposed Decision to extend the state’s pole, conduit and right of way access rights to wireless installations of commercial mobile radio service (“CMRS”) providers. The Proposed Decision will not be effective until the Commission votes to approve the item, which could be as early as December 3, 2015 (after the comment ...Continue Reading