Georgia - Support HB 244 | Council For Citizens Against Government Waste

Georgia - Support HB 244

March 1, 2019

Georgia House of Representatives
State Capitol
Atlanta, GA 30334

Dear Representatives,

On behalf of the 39,732 members of the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW) in Georgia, I write to express our support for efforts to encourage further broadband deployment by removing unnecessary barriers, reducing the cost of investment, and providing predictability to this vital sector of the economy.  Legislators should strike the right balance between allowing new entrants into the market and protecting consumers. 

To offer more competitive service to all Georgians, providers need certainty on the issue of pole attachments.  In many states, legislators have successfully reduced high pole attachment fees associated with placing equipment on utility poles that were originally erected for electric and wireline communications networks.  In Georgia, however, the current average pole attachment rate is more than three times the amount that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) says is reasonable.  House Bill 244 will ensure that any communications service provider participating in utility pole attachments will pay a reasonable fee that fits within the FCC’s recommended rate structure. 

Legislators should also improve conflict resolutions for broadband projects by placing the Georgia Public Service Commission in charge of overseeing disputes and resolving any conflicts expeditiously, so that broadband projects do not continue to clog local court calendars. 

CCAGW has worked to fight governmental overreach and promote an economy in which business can flourish.  For the broadband industry, this means reasonable pole attachment rates and regulations as provided through HB 244.

Sincerely,

Thomas A. Schatz

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