Thursday, October 3, 2013

FCC Makes it Easier for Wireless Antenna Construction

On September 26th, the FCC filed a notice of proposed rulemaking that aimed to lessen the restrictions and application procedures for companies that are looking to construct new wireless facilities. Wireless is growing faster than ever before and we need to make sure our wireless infrastructure is built to keep up. Wireless providers have a lot of hurdles to jump when starting a new project. They have to receive approval from local and federal governments as well as following the zoning, historical preservation, and environmental laws.

These steps can delay or even stop the construction of wireless infrastructures, which ends up delaying wireless services to customers. Bryce Baschuk of Bloomberg BNA explained that, “The commission acknowledged the increased deployment of small cell antennae and distributed antenna systems (DAS) as a means to supplement traditional wireless towers where towers' construction would be impractical or inefficient. As a result, a greater number of small cell and DAS antennae are needed to provide sufficient coverage, thus increasing the amount of construction approvals required by local municipalities and federal entities like the FCC.

“Newer technologies can be deployed on utility poles, street lamps, water towers, or rooftops -- a big reason why they are becoming more common,” said acting FCC Chairwoman Mignon Clyburn. “The time is ripe for the commission to look at updating our rules for these new technologies.” (Source: Bloomberg BNA)

Hopefully this proposal will allow wireless companies to deploy small cells and DAS antennae in order to bring enough wireless coverage to specific areas to keep up with demand. This proposed rulemaking will help wireless infrastructure to be deployed in a timely manner so companies are less likely to run into problems during the construction process.

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