Pole Attachment Development (December 23, 2004)
Wireless Bureau Warning to Pole Owners

Date: Dec 23, 2004

The FCC's Wireless Bureau today released a "Reminder" to utility pole owners that they must provide access to their poles to wireless telecommunications providers at reasonable rates, which the Bureau claims are no more than the "statutory pole rental rate."

The Bureau notes wireless carrier allegations that utilities have denied them access for the placement of wireless antennas on pole tops, and encourages wireless carriers to bring any complaints to the FCC or appropriate state regulatory agency.

The Bureau notes the full Commission's rejection of a presumption that space above the communications space can be reserved for utility use only, and notes that utilities can deny access "only" for capacity, safety, reliability or engineering reasons. This language is misleading, as the rejection of a presumption has little precedential effect and neither the full Commission nor the Enforcement Bureau has yet determined what constitutes a valid denial of wireless attachments for capacity, safety, reliability or engineering purposes.

Today's Wireless Bureau "Reminder" exposes that Bureau's bias toward wireless telecommunications providers, and, as usual, does not bode well for favorable complaint resolution at the Commission.

For more information, please contact Tom Magee at 202-434-4128 or magee@khlaw.com