On March 9, NRECA signed onto a letter and public interest principles submitted into the FCC's pole attachment rulemaking docket that rebuts dubious pole attachment principles expressed by the cable-sponsored Schools, Health & Libraries Broadband Coalition (SHLB). The letter was led by the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors (NATOA) and was also signed by American Public Power Association (APPA), Communications Workers of America (CWA), National Association of Counties (NACo), National Association of Towns and Townships (NATaT), National League of Cities (NLC), Next Century Cities and the United States Conference of Mayors.
The letter and principles state unequivocally that municipal, public power and cooperative pole attachment policies protect local assets, public safety, lineworker safety and local ratepayers, while at the same time advancing the deployment of broadband and other vital services to every member of their communities. The top-down, one-size-fits-all policies SHLB suggests will result in unworkable and potentially unsafe standards that will only stifle deployment and could reduce the reliability and resilience of all services and providers attached to utility poles. It is essential that local control of pole attachment decisions be maintained by these community-based organizations, the letter concluded.