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NCTA Wants to Join FCC in PoleAttachment Defense

The National Cable &
Telecommunications Association has signaled the U.S. Court of Appeals for the
D.C. Circuit that it wants to intervene in support of the FCC's pole attachment

In a motion filed with the court
this week, NCTA said it had the right to intervene in the case because it
participated in the rulemaking and its members would be affected by it.

Various power companies have
challenged the FCC's April 7 decision
to lower the rates utility pole owners can charge for telecom service (which
has been as much as $20 per foot per year) to about the same as the cable rate
of about $7 per foot per year. The FCC also voted to boost wireless access to
poles and to set a deadline for utility companies to allow attachments. The
change will mean cable companies won't have to pay more for their telecom
offerings, either, which could mean hundreds of millions of dollars in savings.

Not surprisingly, the utilities
have opposed the move, and took that opposition to the D.C. Circuit, which has
jurisdiction over appeals of FCC decisions. They had argued that the FCC was
shifting the cost from telecom companies to its ratepayers.

The pole attachment decision was
one of a number of moves the FCC is making to spur broadband adoption by
removing what it sees as barriers to buildout.