Edwards Wildman Client Advisory: Supreme Court Declines Review of FCC Pole Attachment Order
On Monday, October 7, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court denied a petition for certiorari filed by several electric utilities seeking to overturn the D.C. Circuit Court’s decision affirming the FCC’s April 2011 Pole Attachment Order. The 2011 Order reformed the FCC’s pole attachment rules by lowering the rates telecommunications providers can be charged by utility pole owners to about the same as cable operators are charged, expanded wireless provider access to utility pole tops, set new make ready deadlines for new pole attachments, and expanded the incumbent local exchange carriers’ ability to access utility poles on reasonable terms and conditions. Most importantly for the cable industry, the 2011 Order meant that cable companies have certainty that their attachment rental payments will be essentially the same regardless of whether their service offerings cause them to be subject to either the telecommunications or the cable rate formulas. Monday’s Supreme Court’s action means that those rules will remain in place.