Move Would Speed Deployment Of High-Performance Broadband Service To Consumers
PITTSBURGH, February 19, 2018 – The American Cable Association called on the Federal Communications Commission to codify its precedent allowing cable operators and telecommunications service providers to overlash on existing facilities on utility telephone poles without needing to file a pole attachment application or otherwise obtain a utility’s advance approval or pay additional charges.
“FCC precedent is clear that overlashing does not require prior utility approvals or payment of additional charges,” ACA President and CEO Matthew M. Polka said. “For more than 20 years, the FCC has found overlashing reduces the cost of and expedites wireline broadband deployment without jeopardizing pole safety or reliability. It has trusted service providers to overlash consistent with standard engineering practices and taken action to ensure that utilities are not interfering with these providers’ rights.”
Polka added, “In the face of longstanding law, some utilities continue to seek to impose costly and unnecessary overlashing conditions based on safety claims that the FCC has repeatedly considered and rejected. By acting now to codify its law, the FCC can put a halt to these unlawful acts and expedite the deployment of high-performance broadband service to consumers throughout the country.”
in reply comments filed on February 16, ACA urged the FCC to take action as part of the trade group’s continuing effort to assist the agency in developing policies that will help reduce the cost and speed the deployment of broadband facilities, especially in rural areas that have lagged more densely populated regions.
ACA appealed to the FCC to provide certainty because overlashing – the practice of tying additional cables and related equipment to the cables that are already attached to a utility pole – lowers the costs and speeds the deployment of critical broadband network capacity.
ACA members, most of whom provide service in rural areas, have reported that the expense and delays associated with trying to satisfy unlawful and onerous overlashing conditions imposed by utilities delayed important network deployments, upgrades, and repairs.
In its comments, ACA recommended the FCC adopt the following rule: “Overlashing to existing facilities on utility poles consistent with generally accepted engineering practices does not require prior utility pole owner approval, including a pole attachment application, or additional payment to the utility pole owner.”
ACA concluded by noting that although not required by FCC precedent, ACA does not oppose service providers and utilities negotiating a reasonable notice period for overlashing.
About the American Cable Association: Based in Pittsburgh, the American Cable Association is a trade organization representing nearly 750 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 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/