FCC Record, Volume 26, No. 7, Pages 4843 to 5761, March 28 - April 08, 2011 Page: 5,325
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common costs, as certain utilities point out.588 These common costs do not vary with the number of
attachers on a pole.589 Thus, none of these costs is caused by the attacher. Based on the legal and
economic principles discussed above, the entire amount of these costs could be excluded from the lower-
bound rate without resulting in a subsidized rate.59
193. Usable Space. We also conclude that the attacher's share of the fully allocated
maintenance and administrative costs relating to usable space reasonably represents the extent to which
the attacher causes these costs.5s9 The relative use allocator in section 224(e) aligns with cost causation
principles because it apportions these costs on the basis of the fraction of the pole occupied by the
attacher, thereby producing an allocation that is commensurate with use. Moreover, the share of usable
space is the allocator that Congress specified for both the cable rate formula and the existing telecom rate
formula. Likewise, courts have upheld rates reflecting costs apportioned using this allocator.592
194. We noted in the Further Notice that the Coalition of Concerned Utilities argues that the
incremental operating costs for attachments, which utilities contend are caused by communications
attachers, exceed the operating costs for a pole that the attachers bear under the Commission's pre-
existing implementation of the telecom rate.593 We remain skeptical of this claim because we would
expect that a significant portion of the pole-related maintenance and administrative expenses would be
incurred for routine activities unrelated to the number of attachments. We nevertheless invited parties
wishing to rebut that position to "submit studies that isolate and quantify the effect of third-party
attachment demand on operating expenses."" Utilities, in response to the Further Notice, did not
provide a study that might demonstrate that the maintenance and administrative costs caused by third-
party attachers exceed the share of these costs the attachers bear under the fully distributed cost
methodology reflected in the Commission's existing telecom rate formula, which, in turn, is equal to the
share reflected in the lower-bound rate. Given the absence of such evidence in the record, we find the
maintenance and administrative costs reflected in the lower bound rate are not subsidized amounts.
58 Alliance Comments at 78 n.157; EEI/UTC Chakrabarti Report at 5. Common costs are incurred in the production
of multiple products or services, and remain unchanged as the relative proportion of those products or services
varies. See Local Competition First Report and Order, 11 FCC Rcd at 15845, para. 676.
s9 Kahn, supra note 422.
59 See supra para. 184.
591 Utilities do not argue that the relative use allocator specified in section 224(e) apportions too little of the usable
space costs to third-party attachers. Rather, their position is that the Commission's rebuttable presumptions, if used
as inputs for that allocator, result in an under-allocation of usable space costs to third-party attachers. In particular,
the utilities argue that the rebuttable presumptions regarding usable space and unusable space, and the
Commission's treatment of worker safety space that affects these presumptions, produce this under-allocation. See
EEIIUTC Chakrabarti Report at 6-9. We reject these assertions above. See supra para. 180.
592 See generally FCC v. Florida Power Corp., 480 U.S. 245; Alabama Power Co. v. FCC, 311 F.3d 1357.
593 Further Notice, 25 FCC Red at 11922, para. 138 (citing Coalition May 4, 2010 Ex Parte Letter at 2 (contending
that "annual operating expenses that are caused solely by communications attachers" add considerable costs, and
"[t]he Commission's rate formulas allow recovery of only a small fraction of these costs. ... [F]or instance, the
mechanics of the pole attachment formula reduce recovery to a minute percentage, far less than even the tiny 7.4%
responsibility percentage for cable companies under the Commission's rules.")). Although the precise argument is
somewhat unclear, presumably the Coalition believes that more operating costs should be included in the relevant
definition of costs allocated pursuant to the section 224(e) methodology.
94 Further Notice, 25 FCC Red at 11922, para. 138 & n. 377 (discussing elements of such a study). The
Commission provided specific guidance on how commenters might demonstrate the amount of operating expenses,
if any, that would not have been incurred "but for" the communications attachers. Id. (requesting cost studies that
keep certain variables constant, include calculations on a per pole basis and on a per pole per attacher basis, describe
analytical techniques used, and explain what data was sampled).
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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/m1/497/: accessed January 18, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.