FCC Defends Aug 2018 Vote on Pole Attachment Deregulation

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Backed by the Justice Department, the Federal Communications Commission as told the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit that it knew what it was doing when it deregulated pole attachments, and had the authority to do it. The FCC voted in Aug 2018 (unanimously, though with one partial dissent) to adopt various reforms related to new broadband attachments on utility poles. The petitioners, a group of electric utilities companies, challenged the FTC's authority to undertake the reforms in Oct. The FCC wrote in the brief, "[T]he challenged rules, which expanded on previous reforms, reflected a reasonable and carefully considered exercise of the agency’s authority.... Accordingly, the Court should reject petitioners’ claims and uphold the Order." DOJ Antitrust Chief Makan Delrahim was also on the FCC's brief, signaling Justice agreed the FCC had the legal authority. 

FCC Defends Pole Attachments Dereg