Pole Attachments

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FCC Announces Date of New Procedures for Retrieving ILEC Pole Cost Data

Yesterday, the FCC Wireline Competition Bureau issued a Public Notice announcing the effective date of new procedures for incumbent local exchange carriers (ILECs) to file -- and communications company attachers to retrieve -- ARMIS reports and pole and conduit-related cost and operating data. The Bureau announced that effective January 1, 2015, the mid-sized ILECs required to make complete annual ARMIS filings (i.e., Puerto Rico Telephone Company, Windstream, FairPoint Communications and Frontier) must file ...Continue Reading

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Connecticut Uses FCC Formulas to Set CL&P Pole Rents

Connecticut has finally shed its legacy adherence to an old pole attachment formula that weighted in (higher) incremental costs and used dated assumptions about how much usable space exists on a utility pole. In a Final Decision approved today, the Connecticut Public Regulatory Authority (PURA) set Connecticut Light & Power (CL&P)  pole attachment rental rates using the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) formulas. The resulting rates – which we expect to be ...Continue Reading

Wireless

California

California PUC to Hold Workshops in November to Discuss Wireless Pole Attachment Issues

As an update to our May 7 blog entry about the California Public Utilities Commission (“PUC”)’s rulemaking to consider if its existing rules for nondiscriminatory access to poles, conduits and rights-of-way should be amended to include Commercial Mobile Radio Service (“CMRS”) carriers (“Rulemaking”), the PUC recently announced that it will hold informational workshops on November 4 and 5 to discuss CMRS access issues.  Informational reports describing the size, type, load and ...Continue Reading

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Areas Eligible for Rural Broadband Experiments Funding Announced

On July 25, the FCC released the list of eligible areas for its $100 Million Rural Broadband Experiments program, the details of which are summarized in our recent Advisory. The list includes the following key information: the state and county of each census block, along with its tract and block identification numbers; the number of locations in the census block, including locations served by rate-of-return carriers and price cap carriers; the number of price ...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

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Connecticut Uses FCC Formulas to Set CL&P Pole Rents

Connecticut has finally shed its legacy adherence to an old pole attachment formula that weighted in (higher) incremental costs and used dated assumptions about how much usable space exists on a utility pole. In a Final Decision approved today, the Connecticut Public Regulatory Authority (PURA) set Connecticut Light & Power (CL&P)  pole attachment rental rates using the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) formulas. The resulting rates – which we expect to be ...Continue Reading