PITTSBURGH, January 21, 2015 – American Cable Association President and CEO Matthew M. Polka issued the following statement regarding the potential for higher pole attachment fees paid by independent cable operators newly regulated as common carriers under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934.
“If broadband service provided by cable operators is reclassified as a telecommunications service under Title II, the FCC needs to ensure that rates for access to poles, ducts, and conduits do not increase for these providers, especially small and medium-sized firms that will be disproportionally harmed. Even though cable broadband providers reclassified as telecommunications service providers won’t lose pole attachment rights, pole owners can prevent them from obtaining the FCC’s lower cable rate formula for the payment of pole attachment fees. In this instance, reclassified cable broadband providers will have to pay the higher telecommunications provider rate, which will inevitably put upward pressure on retail broadband rates and create network investment disincentives.
“The FCC should avoid this outcome by adopting recommendations proposed by the National Cable & Telecommunications Association in a petition for reconsideration that would harmonize the cable and telecom pole attachment formulas by reducing the telecom rate to the lower cable rate. This action would, among other things, continue to compensate pole owners fairly, eliminate competitively significant distortions created by the FCC’s bifurcated pole attachment regulatory structure and encourage providers to put their risk capital to work for a better broadband experience for consumers, particularly those located in rural areas.”
About the American Cable Association: Based in Pittsburgh, the American Cable Association is a trade organization representing about 850 smaller and medium-sized, independent cable companies who provide broadband services for nearly 7 million cable subscribers 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://acaconnects.org/