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FCC’s 2015 pole attachment order upheld by circuit court

The FCC’s 2015 pole attachment order was upheld in a ruling (PDF) yesterday by the Eighth Circuit Court, providing a potential win for competitive and incumbent providers expanding their fiber networks.

In 2015, a group of electric utilities, including Ameren Corporation, American Electric Power Service, CenterPoint Energy Houston Electric, and Virginia Electric and Power Company petitioned to review a November 2015 order of the FCC governing the rates that utility companies may charge telecommunications providers for attaching their wired facilities to utility-owned poles.

The FCC, which was joined by intervenors Incompas, National Cable & Telecommunications Association, Level 3 Communications, and USTelecom, opposed the petition.

RELATED: FCC to accelerate broadband builds by creating parity for cable, telecom pole attachment rates

In delivering its decision, the court found that the November 2015 Order provided a “reasonable interpretation of the ambiguity” in Section 224 of the Pole Attachments Act.

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