Agency Struck A Reasoned Balance In Facilitating Access To Essential Infrastructure For Communications Deployments
For Immediate Release
Contact: Ted Hearn
PITTSBURGH, Nov. 14, 2018 – In a filing submitted last Friday, the American Cable Association told the Federal Communications Commission it must reject an attempt by the Coalition of Concerned Utilities (a group of electric utilities) (CCU) to weaken the agency’s new pole attachment rules.
“The FCC proceeded transparently and reasonably in adopting the Pole Attachment Order. It received lengthy submissions from the CCU, other utilities, and a wide variety of other stakeholders and held numerous meetings with them. It reached well-reasoned decisions that serve the public interest by removing barriers to broadband deployment. The CCU’s Petition fails to meet any of the FCC’s criteria for reconsideration. Not liking the rules that the FCC adopted is simply not enough,” ACA President and CEO Matthew M. Polka said.
The FCC’s new rules were adopted after an 18-month process, where the CCU and other electric utilities, along with other stakeholders, raised their concerns and made their proposals. The FCC decision accounted for all of these comments and is a model of reasoned decision-making, fairly balancing the many competing claims, according to ACA.
A month ago, CCU filed a petition asking the FCC to reconsider many elements of its August 3, 2018 Pole Attachment decision, generally claiming that the FCC”s new attachment requirements would cause safety and reliability issues. On Nov. 9, ACA filed its opposition to the CCU petition.
In the comments, ACA asserted that the utilities provided no basis for the FCC to reconsider its new requirements facilitating attachments. ACA underscored that the facts and arguments made by CCU are not new, and could have been made during the rulemaking process.
Moreover, there is no public interest benefit in hearing these arguments for the purpose of modifying decisions in the FCC’s order that already maximize the public welfare. Further, the CCU does not show that the FCC committed a material error or omission. Thus, CCU has failed to meet any of the FCC’s standards for reconsideration. Denial of the petition is appropriate for it represents an attempt by the CCU to have the FCC re-hear issues that CCU wishes would have been decided differently.
Among other things, ACA is urging the FCC to:
• Deny CCU’s request to prohibit attachers from invoking the self-help remedy in the electric space:
• Reject CCU’s request to modify the overlashing rule;
• Reject CCU’s request to modify the preexisting violation rulings in the order;
• Reject CCU’s request to modify the requirement that utilities provide detailed estimates at no cost to the new attacher;
• Reject CCU’s request to modify the joint survey rule;
• Reject CCU’s call to modify the contract list rule; and
• Reject CCU’s request to modify the complete application rule.
About the American Cable Association: Based in Pittsburgh, the American Cable Association is a trade organization representing more than 700 smaller and medium-sized, independent companies that provide broadband, phone and video services to nearly 8 million customers primarily located in rural and smaller suburban markets across America. Through active participation in the regulatory and legislative process in Washington, D.C., ACA’s members work together to advance the interests of their customers and ensure the future competitiveness and viability of their business. For more information, visit: https://www.americancable.org/