FCC Rejects Huge Pole-Rate Hike


The Federal Communications Commission Friday refused to allow an Alabama
power company to jack up its pole-attachment rates for state cable operators by
420 percent.

In a unanimous action, the FCC said Alabama Power's annual per-pole rate of
$38.81 was unreasonable and ordered the company to restore the pre-existing rate
of $7.47 until the company and Alabama cable operators had negotiated a new

Under federal law, the FCC has the authority to set pole-attachment fees, but
power companies are contesting whether the commission's rate protections cover
cable operators that provide cable service and Internet access.

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to decide the issue in a case that won't be
heard until later this year or early next year.