February 14, 2024

ACA Connects: Time to Cut Down on Pole Attachment Burdens & Boost Infrastructure Deployment

February 14, 2024 – On behalf of its Members, ACA Connects is advocating to speed up the deployment of telecommunications and cable service infrastructure.

In comments to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) , ACA Connects urged the Commission to speed up critical communications deployments by facilitating pole attachments. ACA Connects explained that its Members faced significant delays when they request attachment to a large number of poles. The FCC can address this problem by setting limited timeframes. In addition, to ensure the attachment process stays on track, ACA Connects is asking the Commission to require utilities to notify attacher applicants every 15 days of receipt on the status of their request. ACA Connects also called on the FCC to adopt audits and establish “metrics for success” to increase transparency and accountability of the pole attachment process.

In another filing to the FCC, ACA Connects opposed a petition by Edison Electric Institute (EEI) to undo FCC efforts to fairly apportion the cost of pole replacements. EEI seeks to force attachers to pay for the entire cost of a pole replacement precipitated by a utility’s changing construction standards. Once a utility declares a pole no longer complies with its own standards, it should bear a fair share of the costs of replacing the pole and not be permitted to shift the entire cost of replacement to an applicant attacher.

“For a more connected America, it is good news that the FCC is looking to improve the pole attachment process,” said Grant Spellmeyer, President and CEO of ACA Connects. “Far too often, our ACA Connects Members, who are smaller broadband providers, encounter barriers to attaching to poles at reasonable costs. By eliminating delays in the attachment process and establishing equitable cost allocation rules, the Commission will help our Members speed up deployment of critical communications infrastructure, especially to unserved and underserved communities.”

About ACA Connects: America’s Communications Association –America’s Communications Association – ACA Connects is a trade organization representing more than 500 smaller and medium-sized, independent companies that provide broadband, video, and phone services covering 31.9 million households, 7.3 million of which are located in rural and smaller suburban markets across America. ACA Connects Members operate in every state, providing advanced communications to connect homes, companies, main street, schools, hospitals and more. America’s economic prosperity in smaller communities and rural areas depends on the growth and success of ACA Connects Members, who believe a connected nation is a prosperous nation.

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