FCC Record, Volume 26, No. 7, Pages 4843 to 5761, March 28 - April 08, 2011 Page: 5,243
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generated a substantial record from numerous commenters, and since that time the Commission and its
staff have engaged stakeholders and state commission representatives in workshops and other forums."
6. The record in this proceeding demonstrates that the current framework often results in
negotiation processes that may be so prolonged, unpredictable, and costly that they impose unreasonable
costs on attachers and may create inefficiencies by deterring market entry.'2 We are also persuaded by
evidence in the record that widely disparate pole rental rates distort infrastructure investment decisions
and in turn could negatively affect the availability of advanced services and broadband, contrary to the
policy goals of the Act. Obtaining access to poles and other infrastructure is critical to deployment of
telecommunications and broadband services.'3 Therefore, to the extent that access to poles is more
burdensome or expensive than necessary, it creates a significant obstacle to making service available and
affordable. At the same time, we recognize that pole owners are entitled to fair compensation for their
property, and have a desire to minimize disruption to themselves and existing attachers. The record also
suggests that inefficiently low rates for pole attachments could deter pole owners from deploying new
poles or upgrading their poles. Thus, in this Order, we seek to eliminate unnecessary costs or burdens
associated with pole attachments, while taking into account legitimate concerns of pole owners and other
parties that might be affected by additional attachments.
7. We also recognize and build on the work of our state partners. In section 224, Congress
recognized the important role of states in ensuring that utilities provide access to poles, ducts, conduits
and rights-of-way in a manner consistent with the statute. Under the "reverse preemption" provision in
section 224, states may certify that they regulate rates, terms, and conditions for pole attachments in their
respective states; the Commission retains jurisdiction over pole attachments only in states that do not so
certify."4 As a result, state experience with regulation of pole attachments provides an invaluable
opportunity for the Commission to observe what works and what does not work to achieve policy goals.
State efforts to date on establishing fair access rules-including timelines--have been particularly
instructive as the Commission attempts to balance the needs of communications companies to deploy
vital network facilities with the needs of utility pole owners, including the need to protect safety of life
and the reliability of their own critically important networks.
8. Based on the record received in response to the Further Notice, we now adopt rules
establishing a specific timeline for access, improvements to our enforcement process, a revised formula
1 See infra para. 18.
12 See, e.g., Letter from Brian Regan, Director, Government Relations, PCIA, to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC,
WC Docket No. 07-245, at 1 (filed Mar. 18, 2011) (arguing that the misallocation of resources results in inefficiency
in the market; conversely, with improved regulatory certainty, "an estimated 2,500 to 5,000 additional wireless
attachments may be deployed annually").
13 See Letter from Brian Regan, Director, Government Relations, PCIA, to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC, WC
Docket No. 07-245, at 1 (filed Mar. 31, 2011) (stating that the number of Distributed Antenna Systems ("DAS")
nodes in operation could double to 20,000 by the end of 2012 and estimating a total of 150,000 by 2017; cumulative
capital expenditures by DAS providers could double by the end of 2012, with an estimated total of over $15 billion
by 2017); see also Letter from Brian M. Josef, Assistant Vice President, Regulatory Affairs, CTIA, to Marlene H.
Dortch, Secretary, FCC, WC Docket No. 07-245, at 1 (filed Mar. 17, 2011) ("IT]he Commission has recognized that
'the deployment of facilities without unreasonable delay is vital to promote public safety, including the availability
of wireless 911, throughout the nation' and that commercial and public safety communications 'depend on the
presence of sufficient wireless towers.'") (citations omitted).
14 47 U.S.C. 224(b), (c). The statute also exempts poles owned by municipalities, cooperatives, and non-utilities.
47 U.S.C. 224(a)(1). Twenty states and the District of Columbia have certified that they directly regulate utility-
owned infrastructure in their regions. See App. C; States That Have Certified That They Regulate Pole Attachments,
Public Notice, WC Docket No. 10-101, 25 FCC Red 5541, 5541-42 (WCB 2010).
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United States. Federal Communications Commission. FCC Record, Volume 26, No. 7, Pages 4843 to 5761, March 28 - April 08, 2011, book, April 2011; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc52169/m1/415/: accessed March 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.