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Tom Magee Quoted in The Wall Street Journal Article on Pole Replacements and Broadband Expansion

Keller and Heckman Partner Tom Magee was quoted in The Wall Street Journal article, “Fights Over Rural America’s Phone Poles Slow Internet Rollout.” The article addresses disputes between electric utilities and cable companies over who pays when new poles are needed to accommodate broadband services. Internet providers who do not own poles have asked the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to shift more pole-replacement costs to utilities. Meanwhile, utility pole owners are pushing back, saying that increasing utilities’ costs is unnecessary, unfair, and counter-productive.  

Tom, who specializes in pole attachment issues for electric companies, commented, “Our view is we don’t get fully compensated now, yet we do it anyway. It’s not like we don’t have any better things to do.”

As of right now, the FCC has not committed to revising its rules. A spokeswoman said the agency is aiming “to strike a balance between the local authority of pole owners and internet service providers.”

To read the full article, please click here (subscription required).