Capito Wants Action on Poles, Easy Info on Satellite Apps, MobileX in Walmart

Senator wants FCC to make order on pole attachment, replacement cost issues.

Capito Wants Action on Poles, Easy Info on Satellite Apps, MobileX in Walmart
Sen Senator Shelley Moore Capito, R-West Virginia, by Gage Skidmore from March 2013

October 24, 2023 – Sen. Shelley Capito, R-West Virginia, urged the Federal Communications Commission to make an order to better address pole replacement and attachment cost disputes.

Capito suggested establishing a fair sharing of pole replacement costs with a streamlined process for resolving disagreements as a way the agency could prevent delayed construction.

She explained that those kinds of delays have the potential to negatively impact programs like the Broadband, Equity Access and Deployment, which requires deployment construction to be completed by certain dates.

In 2018, the FCC implemented rules that allowed new attachers to perform work on poles, which was meant to expedite the process and reduce costs by letting a sole contractor make necessary repairs and changes.

But disputes over pole replacement costs still exist. Currently, a third-party provider wanting to attach equipment on a pole would often need to foot the bill if the attachment requires a new pole. Third parties have told the FCC that the cost should be shared because the pole owner also benefits from the new pole.

In 2022, the FCC requested comments on implementing a cost sharing regime, but has not moved on the issue since.

FCC publishes explanatory documents on satellite applications

The Federal Communications Commission’s Space Bureau announced Monday that it will begin providing user-friendly information in the form of explanatory documents on its website to clarify the satellite application process.

The commission will continue to post explanatory documents on its website, the first of which was posted Monday, providing “guidance on space station license processes, terms, and costs,” according to a press release.

“The space economy is growing at a pace we haven’t seen in decades. Making sure everyone understands how to be a part of that growth is a crucial part of maintaining U.S. leadership, and increasing competition in the space sector benefits us all,” said FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel.

The bureau will discuss these transparency efforts at its November 1st open house, with a presentation outlining the explanatory documents it will release up to that date alongside a future-looking timeline for documents it plans to release.

MobileX available in Walmart

MobileX, a mobile service provider, announced Tuesday that its services will now be available for consumers to purchase in nearly 1,000 Walmart locations across the United States.

Customers shopping at Walmart will be able to sign up for MobileX’s plans, read a press release, which include personalized plans from $4.08 a month as well as basic unlimited plans from between $14.88 to $24.88 a month.

“Partnering with one of America’s most beloved and well-known retail brands, Walmart, is an extraordinary milestone for MobileX. In my experience, it’s been unprecedented that a new brand gets an endcap in the largest Walmarts so early on,” said Peter Adderton, CEO of MobileX.

MobileX relies on app-based services as well as artificial intelligence to predict how much data a user will need, which can allow customers to reduce costs, explained the release.