FCC Wants to Streamline Pole Attachment Processes

I cannot prove it is true, but I believe one reason why young digital natives often miss the business challenges of creating access network infrastructure is that it is so physical, so resistant to Moore’s Law improvement and other advantages available to creators of virtual products.

In other words, internet access facilities are construction projects. And, over a five-year period, the cost of getting a pole ready for hanging of one new cable can represent two orders of magnitude most cost than the cost of renting space on the pole for five years.

For such reasons, impediments to construction allow incumbents to delay competition. That has been an issue in access networks as long as I can remember (only a few decades, admittedly). One clear example is disputes over pole attachment rates and rights.

That is among the reasons the U.S. Federal Communications Commission wants to make the process of gaining pole attachment rights easier.

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai of the has proposed a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), Notice of Inquiry (NOI), and Request for Comment (RFC) to remove barriers to infrastructure investment by streamlining pole attachment processes.

Reforming the FCC’s pole attachment rules will make it easier, faster, and less costly to access the poles, ducts, conduits, and rights-of-way necessary for building out next-generation networks.  

The FCC chair also hopes the rulings will provide greater regulatory flexibility and expedite the process of retiring copper facilities by streamlining the regulatory process by which carriers must obtain FCC authorization to discontinue legacy services.





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