Some localities are worried they would get less say in how broadband is deployed in their areas based on legislation that Congress is preparing and rules the FCC has proposed to streamline such deployment nationwide.
Senate Commerce Committee Chairman
John Thune (R-S.D.) said during a hearing on reducing barriers to
broadband infrastructure deployment on Wednesday regulators are working
to reduce digital disparity between rural and urban areas, and with good
reason. “In places like South Dakota, you are lucky if you have a
six-month window to lay fiber,” noting companies need to begin the
permitting process one to two years ahead of time.
Yet regulators must be cognizant of the roles localities play in the infrastructure permitting process. Wilton Manors, FL Mayor Gary Resnick told lawmakers when
localities deny installs in public rights-of-way it’s for a good
reason. “We pay a price in Florida to live in paradise. Because of
hurricanes, it makes sense to construct utilities underground,” so
residents can drive away quickly after a storm. “The only safe way to
pull off a road and not get submerged is to not have anything in the
way.” Continue Reading