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Utility Pole Attachment Agreements: Ohio Sets the Stage

POSTED BY: Ashley Little on 04.18.2014

utilitypoleattachmentagreements_ohioA quick update on the local vs. federal issue regarding control over utility pole attachment rate setting, an issue currently being discussed in house legislature sessions across the U.S. Ohio, it seems, has struck a deal that did not require legislation and that allows member municipalities to retain local control of their utility operations and rates, including utility pole attachment rates.

We have spoken of this issue in-depth before, reporting that a number of states, including Washington, Virginia and Missouri have similar proposals in play.

Backstory surrounding this issue begins with the FCC’s 2011 revision of pole attachment rules to promote broadband deployment and ease telecom's entry into uncharted territory.[1] The ruling has ping-ponged around legislative bodies since, with the federal government upholding its initial ruling in 2013. The decision was called “a win for competition, a win for consumers, and a win for broadband deployment", though many disagree.[2]

The Ohio agreement is a triumph for those on the local-control side of the issue, and, according to AMP, a way to fairly recover costs without the time and cost of rate studies, negotiations and potential legal fees and fights.[3]

The final signed agreement between AMP, OMEA and the Ohio Cable Telecommunications Association was mailed in early April. Perhaps this solution will spark discussion in other states where similar legislative actions are on the table.

 

[1] http://www.multichannel.com/news/policy/supreme-court-wont-review-fcc-pole-attachment-decision/262704#sthash.h3r4FeM8.dpuf

[2] http://www.fiercetelecom.com/story/fccs-pole-attachment-rules-upheld-dc-court/2013-03-01

[3] AMP Update, April 4, 2014

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