Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Why Pole Attachment Improvements Remain Elusive

The FCC adopted an order six years ago designed to equalize the regulated rates paid by telecom providers to attach equipment to utility poles. That has not panned out. In fact, a USTelecom survey about pole attachment rates charged by Investor Owned Utilities (IOUs) points out the opposite. The results show rates charged to Incumbent Local Exchange Carriers (ILECs) have increased even as the pole attachment rates charged by ILECs to competitive carriers and cable companies have significantly decreased. USTelecom urges the Commission to move forward with its proposal to create a presumption that ILECs are entitled to competitively neutral rates when attaching to investor-owned utility (IOU) poles.

A filing shows a “wide disparity in pole rental rates,” according to the trade association. Surveyed ILECs pay IOUs nearly nine times what ILECs charge cable providers, and almost seven times the pole attachment rates ILECs charge CLECs. The ILECs pay an average of $26.12 to IOUs today in Commission-regulated states, compared to cable and CLEC provider payments to ILECs, which average $3 and $3.75, respectively, according to the survey.  Continue Reading

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