At a time when operators of every ilk deploy more and more fiber, incumbent local exchange carriers (ILECs) pay far more for pole access than competitive local exchange carriers (CLECs) or cable companies, according to a USTelecom survey. This pricing imbalance exists despite a 2011 regulatory effort by the Federal Communications Commission and ongoing attention to the difficulties associated with pole attachment in some regions. The result: a more time-consuming, expensive process for delivering high-speed broadband connectivity to customers whenever providers use pole attachment for their fiber.
ILECs pay an average of $26.12 today in states regulated by the FCC, the recent USTelecom survey found. On the other hand, cable pays an average of $3 and competitive local exchange carriers (CLECs) pay $3.75, according to the report.
The industry organization last week sent its survey and a cover letter to the FCC, detailing the study's findings and what it wants the government to do about the discrepancy.
"These findings clearly demonstrate that the Commission's 2011 Pole Attachment Order has not achieved its desired goal of ensuring just and reasonable pole attachment rates for ILECs," USTelecom wrote. "The results of the 2017 USTelecom Survey show that the Commission should expeditiously move forward with its proposal to create a presumption that ILECs are entitled to competitively neutral rates when attaching to investor-owned utility (IOU) poles."
Under the 2011 Pole Attachment Order, the FCC unanimously adopted an order impacting the 30 states where it regulates pole attachment rates, terms and conditions. The order, designed to limit rates and improve access, lowered the telecommunications pole rate formula to approximate the cable pole attachment rate in most cases and generated new guidelines that could increase penalties for unauthorized attachments. Additionally, it formed timelines to rule almost all steps of the pole attachment make-ready process for wireline and wireless attachments, allowing the use of contractors if timelines were not met, and allowed ILECs to petition the FCC for lower regulated attachment rates on a case-by-case basis.
But the evidentiary burden for ILECs is heavy, wrote attorneys Jay Ireland, Chris Fedeli and Jim Tomlinson of Davis Wright Tremaine in a company blog.
"ILECs will have to prove that they are similarly situated to cable or CLECs. ILEC complainants are expected to provide evidence that overall deals offered to other attaching entities are more favorable than the overall terms and conditions that they are afforded," they wrote. "And, the Commission may consider the ILECs' own attachment agreements with utility joint users and third-party attachers as further evidence of what is reasonable. Highly relevant to the FCC's consideration will be the ILECs' lack of bargaining power vis-à-vis the pole owner."
In a flurry of activity throughout the week, Donald (DJ) LaVoy, Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development at the US Department of Agriculture, and his team spent about $145.8 million in the non-urban or suburban areas of seven states.
Calix reported revenue of $120.19 million – up 4% – in Q4 2019, putting a bounce in the step of company president and CEO Carl Russo and a shine to Calix's ongoing transition from hardware vendor to a provider of platforms enabled by cloud, APIs and subscriber experience.
Looking to curtail e-waste and improve the bottom line, BT will require customers to return routers and set-top boxes, although subscribers will not have to pay a fee when they receive regular broadband equipment.
Deploying DOCSIS 3.1 across its entire footprint gave Rogers Communications the ability to offer speeds of up to 1 Gbit/s,
contributing to a broadband segement that generated about 60% of the Canadian operator's $3.05 billion (US) in Q4 cable earnings.
Over the next two years, approximately 60% of service providers (both large and small) will adopt virtualization on a wide scale across their networks, according to the latest survey report from Ovum. Why are providers making these moves? Is there an easy way to start?
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