FCC prepared to reduce pole attachment fees

The FCC appears to be ready to slice the effective rate that cable and phone companies pay to attach their equipment to utility-owned poles.

The Commission has estimated that pole attachment fees are about 20 percent of the total cost of deploying fiber optic cable needed for broadband networks. Large telcos like Verizon (NYSE: VZ) and AT&T (NYSE: T) generally pay about $20 per foot while cable companies pay about $7 per foot, per pole annually. There are estimated to be around 134 million poles in the U.S., about 50 million of which are under FCC jurisdiction. The remaining 84 million poles are regulated by states or are "exempt because co-ops, municipalities or non-utility companies own them," according to a story in Politico.

The yin to the service provider's yang is that a reduction of pole fees will move "the cost to the electricity consumer from the ones who want to attach to the pole," Aryeh Fishman, regulatory legal affairs director at Edison Electric Institute said.

For more:
- Politico has this story

Related articles:
Pole sitters: ACA supports FCC modernization of pole attachment rules
Verizon exec to chat up utilities about future cooperation
Pole rent fees on the way up in Kentucky; cable subscribers to feel the pain