FCC Record, Volume 26, No. 7, Pages 4843 to 5761, March 28 - April 08, 2011 Page: 5,316
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3. New Telecom Rate Promotes Broadband Competition and Availability
172. The record here demonstrates that pole rental rates play a significant role in the
deployment and availability of voice, video, and data networks. Several commenters recognize the value
of the Commission's approach to lower and make more uniform pole attachment rates to "eliminate
barriers to broadband deployment,"528 provide "regulatory certainty,"529 "promote broadband deployment
and competition,'"53 "spur investment,"531 and "reduc[e] significant indirect costs caused by the existing
differences between" the rates paid by competitors.532 At the same time, the revised telecom rate
methodology remains readily administrable,533 consistent with Congress' instruction to develop a
regulatory framework that may be applied in a "simple and expeditious" manner with "a minimum of
staff, paperwork and procedures consistent with fair and efficient regulation.'" We are unpersuaded by
electric utilities' claims that the new telecom rate will not promote broadband deployment and is not good
173. New Telecom Rate Promotes Act's Goals. Specifically, the action we take will advance
the pro-competitive policies underlying the Act.s36 Under section 706 of the 1996 Act, Congress directed
the Commission to "encourage the deployment ... of advanced telecommunications capability to all
Americans by utilizing, in a manner consistent with the public interest ... measures that promote
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In rejecting utility arguments that the Commission should "abandon our use of regulatory accounts based on
historical costs" in favor of a forward-looking cost methodology, the Commission noted that Congress did not
'instruct the Commission to deviate from the use of historical costs when it amended the Pole Attachment Act in
1966." 2001 Order on Reconsideration, 16 FCC Rcd at 12114, 12117, paras. 16, 22. Contrary to Alliance's
assertion, the new telecom rate uses a historic cost methodology based on the same regulatory accounts the
Commission has used in the past.
528 Charter Comments at v.
529 NCTA Comments at 9.
530 Comcast Comments at 25.
531 CTIA Comments at 16.
532 TWC Comments at 4-5 (arguing the existing rate differences cause litigation costs by utilities seeking to impose
the existing telecom rate on new and innovative services that are introduced by cable operators and also
administrative costs of separately tracking pole attachments used to provide telecom services, which is "incredibly
complex ... in an integrated voice, video and data network").
533 For example, it uses publicly filed cost data, such as FERC 1 data, that are verifiable and comply with the
uniform system of accounts of the Commission and FERC. We note that AT&T, Qwest, and Verizon committed to
continue filing pole attachment data publicly and annually that had been in ARMIS Report 43-01 as a condition of
the Commission's forbearance from ARMIS financial reports. Petition of Qwest Corporation for Forbearance from
Enforcement of the Commission's ARMIS and 492A Reporting Requirements Pursuant to 47 U.S.C. f 160(c);
Petition of Verizon for Forbearance Under 47 U.S.C. 160(c) From Enforcement of Certain of the Commission's
Recordkeeping and Reporting Requirements; WC Docket Nos. 07-204, 07-273, Memorandum Opinion and Order,
23 FCC Rcd 18483, 18490, para. 13 (2008), pet. for recon. pending, pet. for review pending NASUCA v. FCC, Case
No. 08-1353 (D.C. Cir. filed Nov. 4, 2008).
534 S. Rep. No. 95-580, reprinted in 1978 U.S.C.C.A.N. 109, at 21. See also TWTC/Comptel Reply App. A, Decl.
of Don J. Wood at 24 (TWTC/Comptel Wood Decl.) (describing the Commission new methodology as a
"refinement of, not a radical departure from" the present methodology and "would not require the utilities to
undertake radically new calculations or to change their data collection and accounting methods.").
* See, e.g., Alliance Reply at 11; APPA Reply at 15-16.
536 A major impetus of the 1996 Act was "to accelerate private sector deployment of advanced telecommunications
and information technologies and services to all Americans by opening all telecommunications markets to
competition." Preamble to the 1996 Act. Telecommunications Act of 1996, Pub. L. No. 104-104, 110 Stat. 56
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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/m1/488/: accessed March 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.