FCC Record, Volume 26, No. 7, Pages 4843 to 5761, March 28 - April 08, 2011 Page: 5,244
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for the telecommunications access rate, and a process to ensure just and reasonable rates, terms and
conditions for pole attachments by incumbent LECs. In particular, this Order takes the following actions:
o Timeline. The Order establishes a four-stage timeline for attachment to poles, with a maximum
timeframe of up to 148 days for completion of all four stages: survey (45 days), estimate (14
days), attacher acceptance (14 days), and make-ready (60-75 days). The Order applies this
timeline to requests for attachment in the communications space on a pole-for both wireline and
wireless attachments. As a remedy in cases where the survey or make-ready work is not
completed on time, attachers are permitted to engage utility-approved independent contractors to
do the work. This self-effectuating remedy-based on a successful model that has been working
in the State of New York for several years--is balanced by limitations on the number of poles per
month that may be subject to the timeline, and the ability of the utility to temporarily stop the
clock for legitimately exceptional circumstances. We adopt a modified timeline for wireless
attachments above the communications space, for which we provide a total of up to 178 days and
a complaint remedy. We also adopt longer timelines for requests to attach to a large number of
poles (more than 300 poles or 0.5 percent of a utility's total poles within a state, whichever is
less), for which we provide an additional 15 days for survey and 45 days for make-ready, for a
total of up to 208 days for attachments in the communications space and 238 days for wireless
attachments above the communications space.
o Attachments. We also conclude that if an electric utility rejects a request for attachment of any
piece of equipment, it must explain the reasons for such rejection-and how such reasons relate
to capacity, safety, reliability, or engineering concernss--in a way that is specific with regard to
both the type of facility and the type of pole. We further conclude that section 224 allows
attachers to access the space above what has traditionally been referred to as "communications
space" on a pole, but only using workers that are qualified to work above the communications
o Rates. The Order reinterprets the telecommunications rate formula for pole attachments
consistent with the existing statutory framework, thereby reducing the disparity between current
telecommunications and cable rates. Specifically, different interpretations of the term "cost" in
section 224(e) yield a range of rates from the existing fully allocated cost approach at the high
end to a rate closer to incremental cost at the low end. Balancing the Commission's broadband
goals with the interest in continued pole investment, we adopt a definition of cost that yields a
new "just and reasonable" telecommunications rate. This new telecom rate generally will recover
the same portion of pole costs as the current cable rate. The Order also confirms that wireless
providers are entitled to the same rate under the statute as other telecommunications carriers.
o Incumbent LEC Attachments. Historically, incumbent LECs owned roughly as many poles as
electric utilities, and were able to ensure just and reasonable rates, terms, and conditions for pole
attachments by negotiating "joint use" agreements. Given evidence in the record about current
market conditions, however, we identify a need for targeted Commission oversight to ensure just
and reasonable rates, terms, and conditions that might not otherwise result from negotiations
standing alone. Revisiting our prior interpretation of the statute, we allow incumbent LECs to file
pole attachment complaints if they believe a particular rate, term or condition is unjust or
unreasonable, and provide guidance regarding the Commission's approach to evaluating those
complaints and what the appropriate rate may be (whether the new telecommunications rate or
is See 47 U.S.C. 224(0f)(2).
1'6 47 U.S.C. 224.
Federal Communications Commission
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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/m1/416/: accessed November 17, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.