Friday, August 3, 2018

FCC Makes One-Touch Make-Ready a Reality

FCC Commissioners Michael O’Rielly, Brendan Carr and Jessica Rosenworcel

The FCC passed a one-touch make-ready (OTMR) policy for utility pole attachments yesterday, saying the update will speed the safe and affordable deployment of broadband wireless infrastructure. The change will allow one attacher, usually the last, to perform all the work for the new attachment; it provides for a remedy if an original attacher is unhappy with the outcome.

Pole overlashing of existing wires is allowed, without first seeking the utility’s approval, so all pole space can be efficiently used. It ensures telecoms pay rates comparable to cable and other industries for pole use. The Report and Order makes clear the FCC will preempt, on a case-by-case basis, existing local laws, to allow providers access to poles for restoration work after a disaster.  

A declaratory ruling emphasizes the Telecommunications Act bans state and local moratoria that prevents wireless infrastructure deployment. Commissioner Michael O’Rielly said during the vote that while many localities “get kudos” for making the broadband deployment process more efficient, some state and local governments delay projects and use pole attachment rates as “shakedown bounties.” He said: “State and local governments have been on notice for decades. Congress wants them to stop making decisions based on aesthetics.”

(For industry reaction, see story below: “Industry Applauds FCC ‘Keeping Foot on The Gas’ for OTMR”)  Continue Reading

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