Court of Appeals Upholds FCC Pole Attachment Rules

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The US Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit has released a decision upholding an Order on Reconsideration released by the FCC in November 2015, which itself addressed an even earlier 2011 Report and Order and Order on Reconsideration that saw the Commission amend its then-existing pole attachment rules in an effort to make broadband more affordable and available by reducing the financial costs of attaching lines to utility poles.  The court has ruled in Ameren Corporation, et al. v. FCC & USA that the FCC’s recent changes to pole attachment rules constituted “reasonable policy” and could stand.  When filing the suit, the utility companies argued that the FCC lacked authority to amend pole attachment rate formulas and acted in a procedurally improper manner, and that the resulting formulas triggering pole attachment rates were arbitrary and capricious.

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