High Court will Rule on Pole Fees


The Supreme Court last week agreed to hear oral arguments on a case that could substantially raise cable operators' costs to attach wires to poles. Last April, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta ruled that cable operators that deliver both video and Internet services are not covered by the FCC's pole-attachment rules because data over cable lines is not, in their view, a cable service. Power companies, which cable companies pay for pole access and which are beginning to offer Internet services themselves, say cable companies should pay free-market prices. According to the cable companies, allowing fees to increase as much as 500% will slow rollout of high-speed digital services.