FCC Amends Pole Fees


Washington-The Federal Communications Commission last week announced changes in the way that

cable carriers will be charged for leasing space on telephone poles.

The FCC-which currently uses a fee-pricing formula that relies on past prices to establish the cost of renting pole space-said the current formula will become the official calculating system should conflicts arise between utilites and cable companies.

The order "adopts a conduit methodology for determining the maximum just and reasonable rates utilities may charge cable systems and telecommunications carriers for their use of conduit systems," the agency said in a statement.

Many utility companies complained they were not receiving adequate compensation for pole usage by telecommunications companies, an FCC spokesperson said. In some cases, the spokesperson added, utility companies received negative rates.

The order explains how to calculate the pole-attachment fee so that it will not result in a negative rate, according to the statement. The FCC said negative rates will not result if general accounting principles are used.

States News Service