Pole Attachment Development (July 29, 2005)
Pole Attachment Legislation

Date: Jul 29, 2005

A bill was introduced Wednesday in Congress (the "Broadband Investment and Consumer Choice Act") with the potential to transform joint use relations with Verizon, SBC and other incumbent local exchange carriers ("ILECs"), all to the benefit of the ILECs.

The legislation, introduced by Senator John Ensign (R-Nev.), would revise the Pole Attachment Act to enable the ILECs to demand access to electric utility poles at regulated rates, at least in those states that have not preempted FCC regulation.

To make matters worse, if the ILEC also provides video service, as Verizon and SBC intend to do, those attachments would be subject to the cable rate, not the higher telecom rate. Cable television operators also would benefit from the legislation since it would entitle a cable operator providing telecom service to the lower cable rate.

This legislation, if enacted, would have a profound effect on existing joint use relationships.

If you have any questions regarding this new bill, please contact Tom Magee at 202-434-4128 or magee@khlaw.com.