SHLB Acknowledges the FCC's Pole Attachment Order, Encourages Further Clarity and Guidance

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For Immediate Release

Contact: Saskya Cabral

Marketing Director 

SHLB Acknowledges the FCC's Pole Attachment Order, Encourages Further Clarity and Guidance

Washington, D.C. (December 13, 2023) - Today, the Schools, Health & Libraries Broadband (SHLB) Coalition, a leading advocate for community anchor institutions (CAIs) in the broadband policy arena, responded to the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) order on pole attachments.

The FCC’s order, approved by all five Commissioners earlier today, includes measures to improve transparency in the pole attachment processes, enhance pole owner disclosure obligations, and establish a new rapid response team to resolve pole attachment disputes.  The Order does not, however, provide guidance on the critical issue of how to allocate the costs of pole replacements.

"SHLB applauds the FCC's strides in addressing certain pole-related concerns; however, we are disappointed that today’s Order does not clarify the critical issue of cost allocation for pole replacement/make-ready expenses,” said John Windhausen, SHLB’s executive director. “Further, the decision to defer processing timelines for projects involving 3,000 poles or more does not reflect the urgency of the moment. States will be awarding billions of dollars for broadband deployment projects in 2024, and these pole attachment policies could determine the success or failure of these investments. Moreover, while the Order mandates greater transparency for pole-related information, it falls short of incentivizing pole owners to actively maintain records. Nonetheless, we are pleased that the FCC continues to work on these issues and we hope the FCC will provide further guidance in the next six months."


About SHLB:

The SHLB Coalition is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) advocacy organization that supports open, affordable, high-quality broadband connections for anchor institutions and their surrounding communities. The SHLB Coalition is based in Washington, D.C. and has a diverse membership of commercial and non-commercial organizations from across the United States. To learn more, visit