Six years ago, the federal agency that regulates the telecom and cable companies, the Federal Communications Commission, then headed by Obama-appointee Julius Genachowski, announced that it had reformed rules "to streamline access and reduce costs" to attach new broadband lines to utility poles dotting the American landscape — perhaps opening a new era of broadband competition.
It didn't happen.
In 2015, the FCC, with a different Obama appointee heading it, Tom Wheeler, tried again to make it easier for new broadband entrants, such as Google Fiber, to string wires on telephone poles and offer lightning-fast internet speeds at lower prices.
It didn't seem to do much as incumbents Comcast and AT&T — Comcast is now the nation's largest residential internet provider — rallied local political opposition to pole attachments.
Now, in 2017, the FCC is taking another pass at it.
On Thursday, the FCC's newest chairman, Trump-appointee Ajit Pai, as part of a raft of new initiatives, said he also would seek to reform rules to ease the process to string new wires on telephone and electric company poles because "high-speed broadband is an increasingly important gateway to jobs, health care, education, and information for all Americans."
Time will tell whether the third time will do the trick.