March 16, 2022
Background: At an open Commission meeting today, the FCC adopted two items, both of which concern priority issues for USTelecom: (1) a Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeking comment on questions concerning the allocation of pole replacement costs between utilities and attachers and ways to expedite the resolution of pole replacement disputes; and (2) a Notice of Inquiry that would start a proceeding to address the issue of digital discrimination and ensure that all people of the United States benefit from equal access to broadband internet access service, consistent with Congress’s direction in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
USTelecom President and CEO Jonathan Spalter said:
Resolving Pole Replacement Disputes
“USTelecom’s members have been providing voice and broadband service to Americans in rural areas for over a hundred years. Access to poles has been, and will continue to be, a key ingredient and cost of serving rural America and no broadband provider should be required to subsidize the pole attachment costs of a competitor. We also strongly support the calls to ensure that all pole owners, including those owned by municipalities and electric cooperatives, are subject to the same rules of the Commission and states as the rest of the broadband provider community.”
“We support the Commission’s critical work to close the digital divide and promote digital inclusion and equity. There are many factors that drive broadband deployment and our nation and every community benefit when every American no matter where they live has access to affordable broadband service. USTelecom and our members are committed to deploying broadband in the hardest to reach and most vulnerable communities, and supporting government and industry-led affordability programs as we work toward our shared goal of a fully connected America.”
USTelecom is the national trade association representing technology providers, innovators, suppliers, and manufacturers committed to connecting the world through the power of broadband. Visit us at www.ustelecom.org.