Verizon accuses FPL of postponing decisions on pole attachment rates

Verizon (NYSE: VZ) says Florida Power and Light's recent request to the FCC for a Motion for Leave to File is nothing more than a stalling tactic it is taking to deny the telco from providing reasonable rates to attach its wires to the utility company's poles.

In an FCC filing, Verizon said that FPL's proposal is another way to "delay and frustrate the implementation of just and reasonable rates for Verizon as of July 12, 2011."

"Nothing in Verizon's state court appeal will challenge the single issue the Enforcement Bureau waited for the state court to rule upon -- namely, the "correct contractual rates" under the rate formula in the parties' Joint Use Agreement (JUA)," Verizon said in an FCC filing. "Now that the Commission knows the "correct contractual rates" for 2011 and 2012 are the invoiced $35.465 and $36.225 rates, it should promptly rule on the key issue in this proceeding: whether those "rates comply with Section 224."

FPL, according to Verizon, told the Florida state court that the FCC is the better forum to rule if the utility company's rates comply with Section 224(b)(1). When Verizon filed counterclaims in Florida state court over what it said were rates that were "unlawfully high under Section 224 and the Pole Attachment Order," FPL countered that the "state court "must refrain" from considering the counterclaims "until the FCC's process has run its course."

Further, Verizon said that FPL wants to dismiss Verizon's claims by arguing that the FCC should honor the Florida state court on the Section 224 claims.

Verizon says that FPL's moves are nothing more than a way to "delay this proceeding in hopes that it will be able to postpone21 or avoid22 the just and reasonable rates required by Section 224(b) and the Pole Attachment Order."

With this in mind, Verizon has asked the FCC's Wireline Enforcement Buereau to deny deny FPL's attempt to delay a decision based on Verizon's federal law claims.

This is just one of one of a number of battles that Verizon has had with FPL. Earlier this month, the telco found itself rebutting FPL's claims that telco gets "unique benefits" in attaching to its poles.

For more:
- see the FCC filing (PDF)

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