FCC Record, Volume 26, No. 7, Pages 4843 to 5761, March 28 - April 08, 2011 Page: 5,305
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provide a reduction in the telecom rate, and will, in general, approximate the cable rate, advancing the
Commission policies identified above.45
150. We adopt a different definition of cost in non-urban areas--namely, 44 percent of fully
allocated costs--to address the fact that there typically are fewer attachers on poles in non-urban areas, as
reflected by the Commission's presumptions. Given the operation of section 224(e), using the same
definition of cost in both types of areas would increase the burden pole attachment rates pose for
providers of broadband and other communications services in non-urban areas, as compared to urban
areas. Such an outcome would be problematic given the increased challenges already faced in non-urban
areas, where cost characteristics can be different and where the availability of, and competition for,
broadband services tends to be less today than in urban areas.452 By defining cost in non-urban areas as
44 percent of the fully allocated costs we largely mitigate that concern, particularly under the
151. We observe that these definitions of cost, when applied pursuant to the cost apportionment
formula in section 224(e), generally will recover a portion of the pole costs that is equal to the portion of
costs recovered in the cable rate. In this regard, we note that for many years the majority of third-party
pole attachments subject to Commission regulation have been priced at the cable rate, and there is nothing
in the record to suggest that there is, or ever has been, a shortage of pole capacity arising from the
utilities' cost recovery at that level. In addition, because there are far more attachments by cable
operators than by telecommunications carriers paying the telecom rate,454 the number of attachments for
which there is an actual change in utilities' current pole attachment cost recovery by virtue of the new
telecom rate is likely to be relatively modest. Accordingly, we conclude that the pole owner will have
appropriate incentives to invest in poles and provide attachments to third-party attachers, carrying forward
under our new approach to the telecom rate. Moreover, this approach will significantly reduce the
marketplace distortions and barriers to the availability of new broadband facilities and services that arose
from disparate rates.455
152. The Commission's calculations show that the costs for urban and non-urban areas
typically will be within the higher- and lower-bound range permissible under section 224(e), and in those
circumstances, we adopt that definition of cost for establishing the just and reasonable telecom rate.456
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regulations. That regulation could be uniquely applicable to pole attachment matters .... Tariff filings and other
aspects of the full panoply of Title II common carrier regulation need not apply, and the Commission is afforded
discretion to select regulatory tools.").
451 See supra para. 147; see also infra paras. 174-177.
452 See infra Part V.B.3; see also, e.g., SBA Comments, GN Docket No. 10-188 (filed Oct. 15, 2010) (discussing
preliminary findings in an SBA report of a "rural-urban divide in broadband services" and recommending, among
other things, that "the Commission  examine the impact that increasing pole attachment rates for small cable
broadband providers of comingled video and broadband services would have on these providers' ability to compete
and deploy broadband, especially in underserved areas").
453 Under the telecom rate formula, each attacher, other than the pole owner, pays approximately 11.2% of the
relevant "cost" of a pole in urbanized service areas and about 16.9% in non-urban areas. See Further Notice, 25
FCC Red at 11913-14, para. 119. Under the definition of "cost" as 66% of fully allocated costs in urban areas, the
new telecom rate recovers approximately 7.4% of the fully allocated costs of the pole. By defining "cost" as 44% of
fully allocated costs in non-urban areas, the new telecom rate likewise recovers approximately 7.4% of the fully
allocated costs of the pole in those areas.
4 See, e.g., Coalition NPRMComments at 17 (citing data on the aggregate number of poles with cable and
competitive LEC attachments for certain utilities).
455 See generally infra Part V.B.3
456 See Further Notice, 25 FCC Red at I 1923, paras. 140-41; id at App. A. Nothing in the record here demonstrates
that this expectation is incorrect. (We note that, although there was an error in the computation of the rates for
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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/m1/477/: accessed August 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.