On September 17, NRECA, along with the Edison Electric Institute (EEI) and Utilities Technology Council (UTC), filed reply comments
with the FCC opposing a petition for rulemaking filed by the NCTA that calls for utility pole owners to pay a substantial portion of the cost to replace a pole in order to accommodate new communications attachers. The comments urge the FCC to deny the petition as it unreasonably asks the Commission to upend its existing make-ready policies concerning pole replacements to accommodate pole attachment requests, denies utility pole owners just compensation for their incremental costs, and administratively shifts these incremental costs to utilities. Doing so is contrary to the Commission’s policy and would have the effect of undermining the Commission’s pole attachment rate formulae. Moreover, the Commission’s current policy with respect to pole replacements acknowledges that leaving pole owners with unrecovered costs would raise constitutional questions regarding just compensation and create a disincentive for utilities to build taller poles or perform such pole replacements at all.