Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Foot-Dragging, Stifling Fees Impede Tower Siting

Wireless carriers and towercos tell the FCC that municipalities are dragging their feet and charging excessive fees to site infrastructure. Localities argue they have processes in place to protect the public. Some 70 comments were filed in the past 30 days on the FCC’s proposals to ease regulatory barriers to siting wireless infrastructure. Replies to Docket 17-79 were due Monday night. Here are Inside Towers’ takeaways from the infrastructure point of view; see the municipalities arguments in a separate story.

The Competitive Carriers Association emphasized the need for the FCC to shorten shot clocks, adopt a “deem granted” remedy, and reform historic and environmental review reform to enhance broadband deployment. Mobilitie said “There is no question that needed deployment is being materially slowed and impeded by regulatory barriers.” In a petition filed in November 2016, the company asked the Commission to “dismantle excessive fees that many localities are imposing on wireless providers for access to local rights-of-way (ROWs),” noting “many localities are imposing extremely high fees – as much as $10,000 or more per site in up-front licensing and application charges, and equally excessive annual ‘rents.’" Continue Reading

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