News - June 27, 2022

INCOMPAS to FCC: Pole Attachment Blockades Slow Competition and Deployment

WASHINGTON DC (June 27, 2022) –
INCOMPAS, the internet and competitive networks association who represents the nation’s most robust builders of fiber and broadband networks of the future, is calling on the Federal Communications Commission to take significant action on pole attachment issues.

“While it may sound like an under the radar issue, pole attachment policy may ultimately determine the speed, success or failure of the nation’s historic bipartisan broadband infrastructure investment, said Chip Pickering, CEO of INCOMPAS. “The FCC has an incredible responsibility to get pole access right so that families, schools and small businesses can more quickly connect with new networks that deliver faster speeds, lower prices and more competition.” 

Filing comments today at the FCC in the Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeking comment on questions concerning the allocation of pole replacement costs and the resolution of pole attachment disputes, INCOMPAS provides a laundry list of examples (including Kansas, Maine, and Texas) where smaller, competitive broadband providers have been blocked or seriously delayed by pole related challenges. 

Having long-championed policies at the federal, state and local level that reduce barriers to new investment in internet infrastructure and streamline the deployment process, INCOMPAS is asking the FCC to provide a transparent, just, and reasonable process that ensures a fair allocation of replacement costs between pole owners and new attachers seeking to use the poles. This is an action that will speed deployment in urban, suburban and rural communities. 

To help increase competitive choice and more broadband connectivity and availability, INCOMPAS also urges the FCC to take additional action to remove barriers and streamline processes for fiber, fixed wireless, and mobile wireless providers. 

Saying pole attachment reform promotes an “all of the above” approach for broadband, promoting wired, wireless, small cell and 5G growth, INCOMPAS is urging the FCC to ensure telecommunications and broadband services have access and rights to poles on a non-discriminatory basis. 

To read the INCOMPAS comments to the FCC, click here