The cable and telco industries don't usually agree on much, but when it comes to how much they pay to attach their infrastructure to utility poles, they're in lockstep. Thus, an FCC reform of pole attachment rules that lowers the rates that utility pole owners can charge to a universal broadband-centric price of about $7 per foot per year drew cheers from both industries. Utilities had wanted to charge cable the higher $20 a foot fees they charge telcos.
Wireless industry trade group CTIA issued a statement that commended the FCC "for affirming wireless providers' rights to attach to utility poles, including the tops of poles, to enable greater signal coverage."
Of course gravity demands a down for every up and the utilities, which are expected in some quarters to appeal the ruling, are real downers. "This is a bailout for the communications industry that won't benefit broadband consumers and will harm electric consumers," said William Moroney, president-CEO of the Utilities Telecom Council in a statement.
FCC prepared to reduce pole attachment fees
Utilities: Cable should pay telecom rate for pole attachments