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Broadband Deployment Law Advisor Insight and Commentary on the Deployment of Communications Infrastructure

Category Archives: Pole Attachments

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The Need for Speed 2: FCC Releases Final NPRM to Accelerate Broadband Deployment

Posted in Broadband Deployment, Pole Attachments

On April 21, 2017, the Federal Communications Commission (“Commission”) released its final version of the combined Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, Notice of Inquiry and Request for Comment  in the matter of Accelerating Wireline Broadband Deployment by Removing Barriers to Infrastructure Deployment (“Final NPRM”),  adopted at the FCC’s April 20 Open Meeting. The Final NPRM, designed… Continue Reading

The Need for Speed: FCC Circulates Proposal to Accelerate Broadband Deployment

Posted in Broadband Deployment, Pole Attachments

Changes to Pole Attachment Make-Ready Rules and Rates as well as Local Law Preemption Under Consideration On March 30, 2017, the FCC released a draft of a combined Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, Notice of Inquiry and Request for Comment designed to facilitate and accelerate the deployment of next generation broadband networks. The draft Notice was released… Continue Reading

Texas Hold ‘Em: Long-Lasting Pole Attachment Dispute Ends (For Now)

Posted in Pole Attachments

In late February, the Texas Court of Appeals issued an opinion resolving an eight-year dispute concerning municipal pole attachment fees charged to AT&T and Time Warner Cable (TWC) by CPS Energy (CPS), an electric utility owned by the City of San Antonio. In addition to upholding the jurisdiction of the Public Utility Commission of Texas… Continue Reading

FCC Approves ILEC Shift to GAAP Accounting, Mitigates Pole Rate Impact

Posted in Broadband Deployment, Pole Attachments

At today’s open meeting the FCC adopted a Report and Order that streamlines and eliminates Part 32 accounting requirements governing price-cap carriers, allowing them instead to rely on GAAP accounting methods and thus eliminate the need to maintain two sets of accounting books. In doing so, however, the FCC acknowledged the important role that Part… Continue Reading

FCC Chairman Pai Launches “Digital Empowerment Agenda” and Creates New Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee—Nominations Due Feb. 15

Posted in Broadband Deployment, Pole Attachments

In one of his first acts as FCC Chairman, Ajit Pai announced he was moving forward with his Digital Empowerment Agenda accompanied by the announcement this past Tuesday that the FCC is forming a new federal advisory committee, to be called the New Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee (“NBDAC”).  Then-Commissioner Pai had proposed the creation of… Continue Reading

California PUC Adopts Safety Enforcement Citation Program

Posted in Pole Attachments, State Activities

On Dec. 1, 2016, the California PUC (CPUC) unanimously adopted Resolution SED-3, which implements a safety enforcement citation program for communications infrastructure providers (CIPs) including CLECs, cable operators, wireless providers, and facilities-based VoIP providers.  The citation program appears focused on violations pertaining to General Order (GO) 95 (aerial facilities) and GO 128 (underground facilities), but… Continue Reading

Arkansas Public Service Commission Adopts Comprehensive Set of Pole Attachment Rules

Posted in Pole Attachments, State Activities

On June 24, 2016, the Arkansas Public Service Commission (“Commission”) adopted a comprehensive set of new pole attachment rules that apply broadly to providers of electric, telecommunications, cable television, internet access, and other information services, and govern access to telephone, electric distribution and dual-use transmission poles, as well as conduit, owned by the state’s investor-owned… Continue Reading

Open Internet Webinar

Posted in General, Pole Attachments, Privacy and Cybersecurity

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… Continue Reading

FCC Revises Telecom Pole Attachment Rate Formula

Posted in Pole Attachments

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… Continue Reading

CPUC Proposed Decision Extends Pole Attachment Rights to CMRS Providers

Posted in Pole Attachments, State Activities

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… Continue Reading

Worth the Wait? After Thirty-Six Years, the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission Takes Comprehensive Action on Pole Attachments

Posted in Pole Attachments, State Activities

On October 21, 2015, the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (“WUTC”) adopted a comprehensive set of pole attachment rules (hereinafter “Pole Attachment Rules”), following a year-and-a-half-long rulemaking and 36 years after the state legislature authorized the WUTC to make such rules.  The Pole Attachment Rules apply to poles owned by the State’s investor-owned electric and telephone… Continue Reading

Open Internet Rules Become Effective June 12: Impact on Pole Attachments

Posted in Pole Attachments

On Friday, June 12 – barring a judicial stay – many of the FCC’s “Open Internet” rules will become effective.  A significant consequence of the reclassification of retail broadband Internet access service (BIAS) as a “telecommunications service” under Title II is the potential impact on pole attachment fees cable operators pay in FCC-regulated states, as… Continue Reading

FCC Sets Stage for Supplemental Changes to the Federal Telecom Pole Attachment Rate Formula – Comments due June 4

Posted in DWT Advisory, Pole Attachments

Today, the FCC Wireline Competition Bureau released a Public Notice seeking to refresh the record on a Petition for Reconsideration filed by the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA), COMPTEL, and tw telecom in June 2011 seeking to change certain aspects of the FCC’s new telecommunications pole attachment rate formula to make the telecommunications and cable pole attachment… Continue Reading

FCC Enforcement Bureau Stays Pole Attachment Complaint Proceeding Pending Completion of Arbitration

Posted in Pole Attachments

In a March 16, 2015 Letter Ruling, the Market Disputes Resolution Division of the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau granted a request by Duke Energy Carolinas, LLC (“Duke”) for a stay in a pole attachment complaint proceeding brought by Frontier Communications of the Carolinas LLC (“Frontier”) so that the parties might complete arbitration of the dispute, as… Continue Reading

Google’s Pole Attachment Rights in California on Hold for Now

Posted in Pole Attachments, State Activities

The California Public Utilities CPUC (CPUC) released a Proposed Decision on February 20, 2015 denying a petition by Google Fiber Inc. (Google) to modify the CPUC’s Video Service Provider Decision or DIVCA Order.  Google’s proposed modification would have allowed it and all other state-franchised video service providers (VSPs) the right to access utility poles, ducts… Continue Reading

California Updates Existing Utility Pole Rules to Improve Safety and Reliability

Posted in Infrastructure (Poles, Conduit and Rights of Way), Pole Attachments, State Activities

The California Public Utilities Commission (“CPUC”) released a unanimous decision amending the rules governing design, construction, and maintenance of outdoor overhead power and communication lines. The 16 amendments are intended to improve safety, enhance reliability, increase efficiency, and correct errors in General Order (GO) 95, which governs overhead line construction and safety. The amendments are… Continue Reading

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

Posted in Pole Attachments

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… Continue Reading

Connecticut Uses FCC Formulas to Set CL&P Pole Rents

Posted in Pole Attachments, State Activities

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… Continue Reading

FCC Orders Electronic Filing of Pole Attachment and Section 208 Complaints

Posted in Pole Attachments

On November 12, the FCC released an Order making significant changes to its rules governing the filing of pole attachment complaints brought under Section 224 as well as formal complaints against common carriers brought under Section 208 of the Communications Act.  Once effective, the rule changes will require the electronic filing of all such complaints –… Continue Reading

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

Posted in Pole Attachments, State Activities, Wireless

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… Continue Reading

Massachusetts DTC Applies Pole Attachment Rate Formula to Municipal Lighting Plants

Posted in Pole Attachments, State Activities

Today, the Massachusetts Department of Telecommunications and Cable (“DTC”) issued an Order holding that the pole attachment rate formula adopted by the Massachusetts Department of Telecommunications and Energy (“DTE”) in 1998 (the “Massachusetts Formula”) and used by investor-owned utilities (“IOUs”) also applies to municipally-owned electric utilities in Massachusetts, which are known in the Commonwealth as… Continue Reading

Public Utilities Commission of Ohio Advances Broadband Deployment by Adopting Comprehensive Set of Pole Attachment Rules, Modeled on Federal Rules

Posted in Pole Attachments

On July 30, 2014, the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (“PUCO”) issued its Finding and Order, “In the Matter of the Adoption of Chapter 4901:1-3, Ohio Administrative Code, Concerning Access to Poles”, Ducts, Conduits, and Rights-of-Way by Public Utilities, pursuant to which PUCO adopted a comprehensive set of rules governing access to public utility poles,… Continue Reading

North Carolina Court Orders Electric Cooperative Pole Owner to Apply FCC Cable Formula

Posted in Pole Attachments, State Activities

On May 22, 2014, the General Court of Justice of Rutherford County, North Carolina issued an important Order and Opinion interpreting a state statute governing the maximum lawful pole attachment rates that North Carolina electric membership corporations (i.e., cooperatives) may charge and ultimately rejecting a cooperative’s proposed pole attachment rates, which ranged from $15.50 to… Continue Reading