UPDATE There’s FCC movement on two requests from the wireless industry relating to towers and small cells. The agency has invited public comment on a Petition for Rulemaking and a Petition for Declaratory Ruling, both filed by the Wireless Infrastructure Association (WIA). The association asked the Commission to adopt new rules or explain existing ones regarding Section 6409(a) of the Spectrum Act of 2012. The Commission is also seeking public input on a similar request from CTIA.
WIA asked the FCC to amend its rules to reflect that collocations requiring an expansion of the current site—within 30 feet of a tower site—qualify for relief under Section 6409(a) and to require that fees associated with eligible facilities requests under Section 6409 be cost-based. WIA also asked the Commission to clarify:
- that Section 6409(a) and related rules apply to all state and local authorizations;
- when the time to decide an application begins to run;
- what constitutes a substantial change under Section 6409(a);
- that “conditional” approvals by localities violate Section 6409(a); and
- that localities may not establish processes or impose conditions that effectively defeat or reduce the protections afforded under Section 6409(a).
CTIA seeks clarification of the terms “concealment element,” “equipment cabinet,” and “base station” in the agency rules, and to make clear that when an application is “deemed granted” under Section 6409, applicants may lawfully construct even if the siting authority has not issued construction permits. With respect to section 224, CTIA asks the Commission to:
- determine that the definition of the term “pole” includes light poles;
- conclude that utilities may not impose blanket prohibitions on access to certain parts of the pole; and
- clarify that utilities may not ask attachers to accept terms and conditions that are inconsistent with the Commission’s rules.
All filings must refer to RM-11849 and WT Docket No. 19-250, and if addressing issues relating to section 224, WC Docket 17-84. Comments are due by October 15.
September 16, 2019
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