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Pole Attachments

USTelecom has consistently and aggressively advocated for reasonable pole attachment rates for ILECs.


In mid-2011, the FCC comprehensively reformed its pole attachment regulations to more accurately reflect the intense competition in the broadband marketplace between cable providers, competitive Local Exchange Carriers (CLECs), Incumbent Local Exchange Carriers (ILECs) and wireless companies. In addition to many changes to the rules governing pole attachments, the new guidelines extend just and reasonable rate protection to ILECs through a more balanced rate structure.


Previous pole attachment regulations used two separate formulas to determine the maximum rates for pole attachments by cable and CLEC attachers in the 30 states not subject to state pole attachment regulation. The result was an imbalanced rate structure whereby cable providers and CLECs paid lower rates, and ILECs paid substantially higher attachment rates.

In mid-2011 the FCC comprehensively revised its rules regarding pole attachments through an order that touched nearly every facet of pole attachment regulation. The reform addressed the competitive realities of today’s broadband marketplace and followed years of USTelecom advocacy identifying pole attachment reform as a means to reduce barriers to broadband build-out.

USTelecom Position

USTelecom has engaged in aggressive advocacy for rate parity in pole attachments, repeatedly meeting with FCC officials to encourage reform. We applaud the changes implemented by the FCC’s rule revisions and continue to work toward positive reform.

Carrier Impact

The FCC’s new rules provide significant opportunities for ILECs to pay fair and reasonable rates through the newly established FCC complaint process.  The rules also dictate how ILECs provide competitive access to their poles and change how they attach to poles they do not own.

The FCC also revised its rules for cable and CLEC attachers. The FCC's rules include some new obligations on ILEC pole owners, including the establishment of attachment timelines and the use of contractors by third-party attachers.