Pole Attachment Development (October 7, 2003)
Ninth Circuit Rules Cable Modem Service is a Telecom Service

Date: Oct 07, 2003

Yesterday the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit vacated the FCC's determination that cable modem service is an information service, and ruled instead that it includes both information and telecommunications components. Brand X Internet Services v. FCC, No. 02-70518 (9th Cir. Oct. 6, 2003). Importantly for pole attachment purposes, the court held that the transmission component of cable broadband service is a telecommunications service. That means that a cable operator providing both cable and Internet service using attachments to utility poles is providing both a cable service and a telecommunications service. Once the court's opinion becomes final, utilities whose attachments are regulated by the FCC may begin charging those cable operators the much higher telecom rate instead of the cable-only rate, if their contracts so permit. If you have any questions as this case develops, feel free to contact Tom Magee at (202) 434-4128 or magee@khlaw.com.