Taxpayer advocates fret over Waco broadband discussions
Tom Struble, tech policy manager at R Street Institute in Washington, D.C., said that while Section 224 of the federal Communications Act gives the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) authority to regulate rates of pole attachments (that is, the equipment attached to utility poles, such as fiber-optics), the section has a “reverse presumption” provision that allows states to certify that they can regulate those attachment rates.
“It’s a weird, sort of quirky law because by default the FCC’s rules apply across the board, but states can reverse or preempt the FCC and adopt their own pole-attachment regime,” Struble told The Texas Monitor.
Seth Cooper wrote in the Free State Foundation that states can aid in broadband growth by using the FCC’s formula that balances the need to keep the attachment rates low while also ensuring that the owners of the poles recover their costs. Struble also suggests a “shot clock” to ensure that decisions on pole attachments are made in a timely manner and therefore don’t impede broadband infrastructure construction.