FCC Prepares to Push Forward With Streamlining 5G Deployment

Federal Communications Commission Commissioners Michael O'Rielly, left, and Brendan Carr.

Federal Communications Commission Commissioners Michael O'Rielly, left, and Brendan Carr. Jacquelyn Martin / AP Photo

 

Connecting state and local government leaders

“My guess is they just ran out of time and patience for the process to play out,” said one local government advocate.

A Federal Communications Commission member announced a proposed order Tuesday that would limit the fees municipalities can charge providers to deploy fifth-generation wireless infrastructure, as well as shorten application review periods.

Commissioner Brendan Carr, a Republican, highlighted his plan in a speech before the Indiana Senate—Indianapolis having recently been selected by Verizon to pilot 5G residential service later this year.

Carr said his plan would save providers $2 billion in unnecessary fees and streamline small cell deployments in both cities and underserved rural and suburban communities of all sizes. But an advocate for local government voiced concerns about the as-yet-unreleased order.

“I understand he is trying to offer a compromise to local government, but unfortunately it is just too much federal overreach,” Angelina Panettieri, principal associate for technology and communications at the National League of Cities, told Route Fifty.

While Carr said the order rejects a “deemed granted” approach to application reviews—whereby deployments are automatically approved if the overseeing jurisdiction fails to complete its evaluation within a set timeframe—the proposed timeframes he outlined are still expedited.

Like the STREAMLINE Small Cell Deployment Act currently under consideration in the U.S. Senate, Carr’s plan would provide 60 days to approve small cells being attached to existing structures and 90 days for entirely new poles.

“Success can only be measured when all Americans, no matter where they live, have a fair shot at fast, affordable broadband. So we at the FCC have studied the success of your efforts in this statehouse and the rest of the states that have enacted small cell bills,” Carr said. “We learned how removing unnecessary regulatory barriers to deploying small cells can directly impact investment, jobs, education, and families.”

Most local government application fees are already connected to the cost of reviewing them, Panettieri said, but Carr’s order will propose annual rent ceilings on recurring charges for placing wireless facilities on public property. The order would not preempt states with extremely low rent limits, such as the one imposed by Arizona in its state small cell legislation.

“Cities and states could be looking at the worst of all worlds,” Panettieri said.

Local government has a harder time planning when it can’t act as the landlord of public property available for private industry’s profitable use, which could hurt broadband deployment long term, Panettieri added.

Indiana passed small cell legislation in 2017, paving the way for more than 1,000 such devices in 30 communities across the state. The legislation is one of about 20 state laws informing Carr’s order and limits application fees to $100 per small cell facility and reviews to 60 days.

“Here in Indiana, we believe in minimizing burdensome regulations in order to pave the way for investments of all kinds in our local communities and across the state,” said Indiana State Sen. Jim Merritt, a Republican who authored the legislation, in a statement. “We made common-sense changes in our state law to encourage wireless investment, and those efforts are paying off in a tremendous way.”

The FCC will vote on Carr’s order at its Sept. 25 meeting, before its Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee has a chance to finalize a model code in October for states looking to craft legislation of their own.

Panettieri said she expects the draft order to be released Wednesday and called a vote on it “premature,” after the state model code “fell apart” at the BDAC’s summer meeting.

“I think they’re leaving some potential feedback on the table,” she said. “My guess is they just ran out of time and patience for the process to play out.”

Dave Nyczepir is a News Editor at Government Executive’s Route Fifty and is based in Washington, D.C.

NEXT STORY: A New Accelerator for Community-Owned Broadband Networks

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.