Saturday, January 26, 2013

FCC Streamlines Mobile Infrastructure Rules

The FCC announced new actions as part of its Broadband Acceleration Initiative to remove barriers to broadband build-out, including streamlining the deployment of mobile broadband infrastructure, such as towers, distributed antenna systems (DAS) and small cells.

The actions include the clarification of rules regarding local review of requests to modify an existing wireless tower or base station.  The FCC said this new provision will help to accelerate deployments and create greater certainty and predictability for network operators. The FCC is also clarifying rules regarding the placement of temporary cell towers – cells on wheels (COWs) and cells on light trucks (COLTs).  

In the coming months, the FCC will consider ways to further streamline DAS and
small cell deployment; examine whether current application of the tower siting shot clock offers sufficient clarity to industry and municipalities; and begin developing model facility siting rules for localities.

"Providing more certainty to industry and municipalities, and more flexibility to carriers to meet extraordinary, short-term service needs will accelerate private and public investment to strengthen our nation’s communications networks. Just as is the case for our nation’s roads and bridges, we must continue to invest in improvements to cell towers and transmission equipment, in order to ensure ubiquitous, high-speed Internet for all Americans. To keep pace with technological advances, such as the advent of small cells, and to lay the groundwork for new developments, our policies
must continue to adapt," stated FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski.