The American Cable Association (ACA) agrees with the FCC that pole attachment rules need to be modernized. It does not think that modernization, per se, should mean more money for the utilities.
"ACA members need to access poles at low and stable prices in order for the price of high-speed Internet access to remain affordable for all consumers," said Matt Polka, ACA's president-CEO in a news release. "While ACA supports the FCC's effort to ensure that pole attachment rates are as low and close to uniform as possible, ACA strongly opposes any increase in the current rate."
A 1978 federal law gave cable operators a right to attach their wires to utility poles--for a price. From there, the cable operators could deliver pay services, including Internet access and voice. Most recently, a picocell technology that would attach to cable strand and allow cable operators to dip into mobile operators' needs for backhaul services won top awards at the CableLabs Innovation Showcase.
These increasingly lucrative uses of pole-mounted infrastructure has led utilities to suggest that they, too, deserve more money. ACA, of course, disagrees. Polka argues that the ACA's smaller company members "rely on poles far more than urban providers and have fewer subscribers to absorb the impact of rising fees."
- see this news release
FCC vote gives small cable operators a win at the poles
Utilities: Cable should pay telecom rate for pole attachments