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Wireless Industry Responds to Wireless Infrastructure Rules by Alan Hearty

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Last week, wireless industry providers along with several hundred others filed comments with the Federal Communications Commission in response to the agency’s PROPOSED RULES on wireless deployment and infrastructure siting.  Two industry groups, PCIA  – The Wireless Infrastructure Association and The HetNet Forum submitted joint comments strongly urging the FCC to do the following:

  • Exclude DAS and small cell installations from the environmental review process.  They reasoned that “DAS and small cell installations have limited visual impacts, involve minimal ground disturbance and generally occur in existing rights-of-way where some ground disturbance is to be expected.”  As such, they strongly advocated that no environmental review is needed and a categorical exemption is proper.
  • Adopt and implement rules enforcing section 6409(a) of the Spectrum Act.  They warned the FCC that “failing to act here and provide needed certainty would allow Section 6409(a) to be interpreted case-by-case through the courts and local jurisdictions – a lengthy, arduous process that would inevitably lead to patchwork implementation and undermine the streamlining purpose of the legislation.”
  • Take further steps to implement Section 332(c)(7).  They urged the FCC to apply the test for substantial increase in size under the Shot Clock and Section 332(c)(7) in the same way it interprets the test under Section 6409(a).
  • Make permanent its environmental notification waiver for temporary towers.  They argued that since the waiver was enacted, “significant public interest benefits” have been afforded without any significant impact to the “environment, migratory birds, or air safety.”  As such, the FCC “should solidify the positive results of its waiver” by implementing a permanent exemption for temporary towers that meet its measured criteria.

Last week’s filing by PCIA and HetNet can be found HERE.  The deadline for filing replies is March 5.  Stay tuned for what is sure to be be a lively debate on the FCC’s proposed new rules.

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California Wireless Law, Regulations, Alan Hearty, Wireless Deployment, Wireless Infrastructure