These two actions can improve the business case for deploying and upgrading broadband network infrastructure and facilitate competitive entry.These costs can be reduced directly by cutting fees.This approach would also greatly reduce complexity and risk for those deploying broadband.Recommendation 6.2: The FCC should implement rules that will lower the cost of the pole attachment “make-ready” process.
Fiber Net commented that its make-ready charges for several fiber runs in West Virginia averaged ,200 per mile and took 182 days to complete, As a result, reform must address the obligations of existing attachers as well as the pole owner.
Recommendation 6.1: The FCC should establish rental rates for pole attachments that are as low and close to uniform as possible, consistent with Section 224 of the Communications Act of 1934, to promote broadband deployment.
As Exhibit 6-A shows, the rental rates paid by communications companies to attach to a utility pole vary widely—from approximately per foot per year for cable operators to per foot per year for competitive telecommunications companies to more than per foot per year for some incumbent local exchange carriers (ILECs).
In a rural area with 15 households per linear mile, data suggest that the cost of pole attachments to serve a broadband customer can range from .54 per month per household passed (if cable rates are used) to .96 (if ILEC rates are used).
If the lower rates were applied, and if the cost differential in excess of per month were passed on to consumers, the typical monthly price of broadband for some rural consumers could fall materially.