The FCC today passed a one-touch make-ready (OTMR) policy for pole attachments. Commissioners say the change would speed safe and affordable broadband deployment. It would allow one attacher, usually the last, to perform all the work for the new attachment. Additionally, it provides for a remedy if an original attacher is unhappy with the outcome.
Commissioner Michael O’Rielly says the item allows “pole overlashing” so all existing pole space is used. It ensures telecoms pay rates comparable to cable and other industries for pole use.
Considered by many to be a key element, the item bans state and local moratoria preventing wireless infrastructure deployment. This was a recommendation from the agency’s Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee. O’Rielly says some state and local governments delay projects and use pole attachment rates as “shakedowns.” He said, “State and local governments have been on notice for decades. Congress wants them to stop making decisions based on aesthetics.”
Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel split her vote, half for and half against. She favors the OTMR concept, but says the way the agency wrote the change invites legal challenges. She also believes it will take jobs away from union workers, which Chairman Ajit Pai refutes.
By Leslie Stimson, Inside Towers Washington Bureau Chief
August 2, 2018