Pole Attachments

OTMR Effective Date and Ninth Circuit Briefing Schedule Announced

Friday, the FCC published the Office of Management and Budget’s approval of the one-touch make-ready (OTMR) rules in the Federal Register and set May 20, 2019 as the effective date for these rules. As previously reported by DWT the joint electric utility challenge to the OTMR rules was transferred to the Ninth Circuit and consolidated with the challenge to the FCC rules prohibiting state and local telecommunications deployment moratoria.  Yesterday the ...Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Assigns OTMR Petition

As DWT previously reported, in August, the FCC released its Third Report and Order and Declaratory Ruling (“August Order”) in its wireline and wireless infrastructure dockets (WC Docket No. 17-84 and WT Docket No. 17-79) adopting, among other things, new “One Touch Make-Ready” rules (“OTMR”). In October 2018, American Electric Power Service Corporation and several other utilities jointly filed a petition for review challenging the OTMR portions of the August ...Continue Reading


FCC Adopts One-Touch Make-Ready Rules and Declaratory Ruling Preempting State and Local Moratoria on Wireline and Wireless Deployment

The FCC, at its Open Meeting today, adopted its Third Report and Order and Declaratory Ruling (“Order”) in the wireline infrastructure docket which, among other things, implements one-touch make-ready (“OTMR”) and prohibits state and local moratoria on telecommunications services and facilities deployment. While the final text of the Order has not been released (only a news release so far), the commissioners’ remarks at the meeting provided insight concerning certain issues ...Continue Reading

FCC Proposes Two Items to Expedite Wireline and Wireless Attachments to Utility Poles

New “One Touch Make-Ready” Regime Proposed with Shortened Timeframes and Revised Terms for Completing Pole Attachments Draft Declaratory Ruling Would Prohibit State and Local Moratoria on Wireline and Wireless Deployment Last spring, largely responding to claims by Google Fiber that existing attachers and sequential make-ready costs and delays were impeding broadband deployment, the FCC circulated a proposal for substantial changes to its pole attachment make-ready rules and associated timelines to accelerate the deployment ...Continue Reading

MDU Access

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

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

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

Inside Scoop on California Net Neutrality Policy

The past year of net neutrality policy in California has been a real roller coaster, from failed bills to passed builds, and from preliminary injunctions to stipulations. The Federal Communications Bar Association will host the key figures involved to discuss the current state of affairs in the California net neutrality policy debate, and where things go from here. Date/Time: Thursday, February 28, 5:30 – 7:00 p.m. PST Location: Davis Wright Tremaine LLP, ...Continue Reading

Privacy and Cybersecurity

Chairman Wheeler to Leave FCC Jan. 20

FCC Issues Clarification of Broadband Privacy Rules Deadlines Today, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler confirmed that he will resign effective January 20, 2017, Inauguration Day. With Commissioner Rosenworcel unlikely to be confirmed for a new term, this would leave the FCC with two Republicans (Commissioners Pai and O’Rielly) and one Democrat (Commissioner Clyburn). The majority in favor of the Republican Commissioners would enable the FCC to more easily overturn recent, controversial items. Additionally, ...Continue Reading