FCC Votes to Clarify Nondiscriminatory Access to Utility Poles For Cable, Telco

The FCC Thursday (May 20) voted to clarify what it means for cable and
telcos to have nondiscriminatory access to utility poles, though it
left the heavy lifing on setting and lowering rates and timelines (shot
clock) for a further rulemaking proposal.

The commission's goal
is to set pole-attachment rental rates "as low and close to uniform as
possible," said Wireline Competition Bureau attorney advisor Wes Platt,
while speeding the process of attaching to those poles. Both are seen
as a way to stimulate broadband deployment and competition. The FCC
made pole attachment reform a part of the national broadband plan and
one of its first action items.

The FCC voted to launch the pole
attachment reform process and several other broadband plan-related
items at its monthly public meeting Thursday.
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John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.