FCC Record, Volume 26, No. 7, Pages 4843 to 5761, March 28 - April 08, 2011 Page: 5,317
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competition ... or other regulatory methods that remove barriers to infrastructure investment."s3
Further, Congress declared in the Act that "[i]t is the policy of the United States ... to promote the
continued development of the Internet and other interactive computer services and other interactive
media.""38 Consistent with those goals, the telecom rate we adopt today helps to ensure that our policies
regarding pole attachment rates promote competitive and technological neutrality, and hence more
effective competition, resulting in more efficient investment, innovation, and service provision.
174. As the Further Notice explained, cable operators have been arbitrarily deterred from
offering new, advanced services that potentially could be classified as telecommunications services, such
as high-capacity connections to anchor institutions or wireless towers, based on the possible financial
impact of having to pay the currently higher telecom rate for all their pole attachments.539 The record
here likewise confirms that a low and more uniform rate will reduce disputes and costly litigation about
the applicability of "cable" or "telecommunications" rates to broadband, voice over Internet protocol, and
wireless services that distort attachers' deployment decisions.54 Narrowing the range of potential prices
attachers face reduces the gains each party can obtain through winning a dispute. This benefits the parties
and economic efficiency by reducing risk (the range of potential outcomes due to a dispute are narrowed).
Economic efficiency is further improved because there are fewer rents to be fought over and hence rent
seeking, which results in efficiency losses, also is reduced. Further, several commenters argue that
reducing the current disparity in cable and telecom rates, which distort investment decisions for
telecommunications carriers and cable operators, represents "the most effective means of promoting
175. This approach also is consistent with prior Commission policy regarding pole rental rates.
In the 1998 Implementation Order, the Commission anticipated that rates higher than the cable rate
537 47 U.S.C. 1302(a). Advanced telecommunications capability is defined as "high speed, switched, broadband
telecommunications capability that enables users to originate and receive high-quality voice, data, graphics, and
video telecommunications using any technology." 47 U.S.C. 1302 (d)(1).
s3s 47 U.S.C. 230.
s39 See, e.g., Further Notice, 25 FCC Rcd at 11912, para. 116 (citing Letter from Daniel L. Brenner, Counsel, Bright
House Networks, to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC, GN Docket Nos. 09-47, 09-51, 09-137 (filed Feb. 16,
2010) Attach. (Affidavit of Nick Lenochi) (providing example of how application of higher telecommunications rate
for poles would increase expense of deploying Fast Ethernet connections to a large school district by $220,000
annually); NCTA Comments at 17 (filed Sept. 24, 2009); Letter from Jill M. Valenstein, Counsel for the Arkansas
Cable Telecommunications Association, to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC, WC Docket No. 07-245, at 1-2
(filed July 11, 2008)).
4 See, e.g., Charter Comments at iii, 5 (explaining that disputes and litigation with pole owners about whether the
telecom rate is applicable negatively affect deployment of integrated voice, data, and video services, and waste
"critical resources that could have been spent on deploying advanced services to consumers," and noting that
"[a]pplication of the telecom rate to Charter's attachments is especially disadvantageous because Charter typically
serves areas that are more rural and non-urbanized with fewer attachers (the lower the number of attaching entities,
the higher the telecom rate)"); see also Bright House Comments at 3-7 (explaining that it is attached to more than
one million poles across its service areas, pays more than $11 million in annual pole rents, has incurred litigation
expenses during the past four years over the characterization of its attachments, and that a higher rate can frustrate
competitive entry in new, innovative services); Comments of the Office of Advocacy, U.S. Small Business
Association, GN Docket No. 10-188 at 8 (filed Oct. 15, 2010) (observing that "small cable broadband providers are
concerned about possible increases in rates for comingled Intemet and video services," and that the Office of
Advocacy "encourages the Commission to 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").
i See TWTC/Comptel Wood Decl. at 5 ("In addition to being compensatory, a rate based on a proper calculation of
incremental costs would provide the clearest signals to the marketplace (thereby minimizing any distortion to carrier
deployment decisions) and would represent the most effective means of promoting broadband deployment.").
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/m1/489/: accessed July 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.