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

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 using the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) formulas.

The resulting rates – which we expect to be $6.60/$13.19 for cable attachments on jointly and solely owned poles and $6.94/$13.89 for telecommunications attachments on jointly and solely owned poles – are significantly less than rate increase sought by CL&P ($8.28 JO/$16.56 SO). The large majority of CL&P poles are jointly owned with Frontier.

Significantly, in following the FCC formulas, the PURA rejected arguments by CL&P which sought to inflate embedded pole costs, to use a superseded and unsubstantiated usable space factor, and to alter the cost adjustment factors established in the 2011 FCC Pole Attachment Order. It also accepted a statistically valid survey that the Connecticut cable operators conducted demonstrating the substantially higher pole heights in use today, which in turn produce lower pole rents.

The decision is a significant victory for NECTA and Fibertech, which participated on behalf of the cable and telecom industries.

DWT presented expert witness testimony and strategic support for NECTA in this case.