FCC Record, Volume 26, No. 7, Pages 4843 to 5761, March 28 - April 08, 2011 Page: 5,304
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down. But NASUCA members also ... are interested in ensuring that pole attachment rates appropriately
compensate the owners of the poles, so that other services are not required to subsidize the
attachments.""442 Balancing these concerns, NASUCA recommends that the cable rate "should be used for
all pole attachments.'""3
148. We also observe that pole owners have the opportunity to recover through make-ready
fees all of the capital costs actually caused by third-party attachers.444 As a result, the pole owner need
not bear any significant risk of unrecovered pole investment undertaken to accommodate a third-party
attacher. Thus, permitting recovery of 100 percent of apportioned, fully-allocated costs through the pole
rental rate seems unwarranted under the statute and could undermine furtherance of important statutory
149. Although we do not permit utilities to recover 100 percent of apportioned, fully-allocated
costs through the new telecom rate, we find it appropriate to allow the pole owner to charge a monthly
pole rental rate that reflects some contribution to capital costs, aside from those recovered through make-
ready fees. As noted above, for example, regulated pole attachment rates historically have included such
a contribution, and we are concerned that adopting a telecom rate that no longer permits utilities to
recover such capital costs would unduly burden their ratepayers. We are also mindful of the possible
adverse impact of other pole attachment reforms. For one, our regulation of rates for attachments by
incumbent LECs could reduce the amount of costs that utilities are able to recover from other sources.44
Moreover, in conjunction with the pole access reforms adopted above,446 we are mindful of Congress'
expectation that the priority afforded an attacher's access to poles would relate to its sharing in the costs
of that infrastructure."' We balance these considerations by adopting, in most cases, the following
definition of "cost" for purposes of section 224(e): (a) in urban areas, 66 percent of the fully allocated
costs44" used for purposes of the pre-existing telecom rate; and (b) in non-urban areas, 44 percent of the
fully allocated costs used for purposes of the pre-existing telecom rate.449 Defining cost in terms of a
percentage of the fully allocated costs previously used for purposes of the telecom rate is a readily
administrable approach, and consistent with Congress' direction that the Commission's pole attachment
rate regulations be "simple and expeditious" to implement.4s5 Further, the specific percentages we select
442 NASUCA NPRMReply at 2. NASUCA is a voluntary, national association of consumer advocates in more than
40 states and the District of Columbia. Id. at 1.
443 Id. at 5. Based on these same policy considerations, we are unpersuaded by claims that consideration of the
interests of utility ratepayers-who also stand to benefit from reductions in excessive costs of providing broadband
and other communications services--requires a different outcome. See, e.g., Coalition Comments at 9.
444 As noted below, parties can seek Commission review of make-ready charges to the extent that they believe they
are unjust or unreasonable. See infra note 572.
445 See infra Part V.C.
446 See supra Part III.
447 1977 Senate Report at 19, reprinted in 1978 U.S.C.C.A.N. at 127-28.
448 As specified in the pre-existing telecom rate formula, this is the net cost of a bare pole times the carrying charge
rate. 47 C.F.R. 1.1409(e)2).
449 An urbanized service area has 50,000 or higher population, while a non-urbanized service area has under 50,000
population. 47 C.F.R. 1.1417(c). "If any part of the utility's service area within the state has a designation of
urbanized (50,000 or higher population) by the Bureau of Census, United States Department of Commerce, then all
of that service area shall be designated as urbanized for purposes of determining the presumptive average number of
attaching entities." Id. The Further Notice referred to these areas colloquially as "urban" and "non-urban" areas,
and we do so again here. See, e.g., Further Notice, 25 FCC Red at 11913-14, para. 119.
450 1977 Senate Report at 21, reprinted in 1978 U.S.C.C.A.N. at 129; see also 1978 Pole Attachment NPRM, 68
FCC 2d at 4, para. 4 ("The supplemental regulation envisioned by the [Senate Committee] Report is to be simple and
expeditious, necessitating a minimum of staff, paperwork and procedures consistent with fair and efficient
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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/m1/476/: accessed October 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.