With regard to other infrastructure such as utility poles, the FCC has authority to improve the deployment process and should use that authority.Lowering the costs of infrastructure access involves every level of government; active consultation among all levels of government will be needed to put in place pro-deployment policies such as joint trenching, conduit construction and placement of broadband facilities on public property.In a rural area with 15 households per linear mile, data suggest that the cost of pole attachments to serve a broadband customer can range from .54 per month per household passed (if cable rates are used) to .96 (if ILEC rates are used).
While these are positive steps, more can and should be done.
Federal, state and local governments should do two things to reduce the costs incurred by private industry when using public infrastructure.
Reform of this inefficient process presents significant opportunities for savings.
Fiber Net commented that its make-ready charges for several fiber runs in West Virginia averaged $4,200 per mile and took 182 days to complete, As a result, reform must address the obligations of existing attachers as well as the pole owner.
JUST AS WIRELESS NETWORKS USE PUBLICLY OWNED SPECTRUM, wireless and wired networks rely on cables and conduits attached to public roads, bridges, poles and tunnels.
Securing rights to this infrastructure is often a difficult and time-consuming process that discourages private investment.
Because of permitting and zoning rules, government often has a significant role in network construction.
Government also regulates how broadband providers can use existing private infrastructure like utility poles and conduits.
Different rates for virtually the same resource (space on a pole), based solely on the regulatory classification of the attaching provider, largely result from rate formulas established by Congress and the FCC under Section 224 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended (“the Act”).