Stalled federal bill preempting local pole ownership, authority gets a push

7 October 2018 by Steve Blum
, , ,

Congress might jump into the tug of war between the Federal Communications Commission and local governments over control of municipal property located in the public right of way. According to a story in Politico, the chairman of the federal senate’s commerce committee, senator John Thune (R – South Dakota) wants to move his small cell preemption billS. 3157 – ahead as the current congressional term winds down.

As originally drafted, S. 3157 tracks closely with the “small wireless facility” preemption ruling issued last month by the FCC.… More

FCC backs off on timing, but not substance of municipal wireless property preemption

28 September 2018 by Steve Blum
, , ,

The final version of the Federal Communications Commission’s ruling preempting local ownership of street lights, traffic signals and other publicly owned property in the public right of way has been posted. It gives cities and counties more time to comply with its diktats – that’s the major change I spotted last night as I was reading through it.

Originally, the ruling was set to take effect 30 days after it’s published in the Federal Register.… More

FCC preempts local property rights, gives street light poles to wireless companies

27 September 2018 by Steve Blum
, , ,

Cities and counties shouldn’t take more than 60 days to process a permit to allow a wireless company to attach equipment to an existing structure, or more than 90 days if building a “small wireless facility” requires installation of a new pole or tower. That was the unanimous vote of the Federal Communications Commission yesterday. Democrat Jessica Rosenworcel joined her three republican colleagues and endorsed that particular section of an FCC ruling that also preempts local ownership of property that wireless companies might covet.… More

FCC says wireless companies matter, local governments don’t

26 September 2018 by Steve Blum
, , ,

State and local governments have to give mobile carriers unlimited access to publicly owned property along roads and waterways, according to an FCC ruling approved this morning by the Federal Communications Commission. All three republicans on the commission voted aye; the lone democrat endorsed shorter shot clocks for permit processing, but otherwise voted no.

Cities, counties tell FCC that local property rights are beyond its authority

25 September 2018 by Steve Blum
, , ,

With the Federal Communications Commission set to vote tomorrow on new rules it wants local governments to follow when issuing permits for “small wireless facilities”, support and opposition is flooding in from the usual directions. CTIA, the primary lobbying front for mobile carriers in Washington, D.C., met behind closed doors with all four commissioners last week (the fifth seat, formerly occupied by Mignon Clyburn, is vacant, awaiting confirmation of a democratic nominee, Geoffrey Starks).

In its legally required disclosure statement, CTIA “applauded the commission” for giving industry lobbyists pretty much everything they could possibly ask for.… More

FCC commissioner frames preemption of local streetlight ownership as digital divide issue

14 September 2018 by Steve Blum
, , , ,

Big cities are blocking 5G deployments in rural communities with high permit fees and expensive aesthetic requirements for new wireless facilities. That’s the argument FCC commissioner Brendan Carr made at the Mobile World Congress Americas show in Los Angeles yesterday. He’s the principal author of new, draft rules that would set federal benchmarks that, he hopes, cities and counties will follow when processing permit applications.

If mobile carriers have to spend more money than they want to when they build out 5G networks in high value, high priority cities, then there won’t be anything left over for rural areas, his reasoning goes…

Despite all of that progress, there still are many communities, especially in rural America, that feel that they may be left behind.


California cities can resist FCC pole preemption

7 September 2018 by Steve Blum
, , ,

A draft ruling by the Federal Communications Commission, if – when – adopted later this month, will preempt local ownership of street light poles and other facilities in the public right of way, and severely limit local discretion over permit fees, requirements and processes. At least that’s the goal the big four mobile carriers – AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint – had when they steamrolled their wish list through the FCC’s broadband deployment advisory committee and, when that wasn’t sufficient, the FCC’s leadership and staff.… More

Radical changes to city control of streetlights and wireless permits proposed by FCC

6 September 2018 by Steve Blum
, , ,

Cities and other local agencies could only charge mobile carriers $270 per year to install “small wireless facilities” on street lights and other property they own in the public right of way (ROW), under new rules proposed yesterday by the Federal Communications Commission. Permit fees and processing times, and other requirements, including aesthetic, undergrounding and minimum spacing standards – pretty much any basis for saying no – would also be sharply restricted.

If adopted later this month, the 100-page draft will make sweeping changes to the manner in which the public right of way is managed, and how it’s defined.… More

FCC proposes preempting city ownership of streetlights, caps rent at $270 per year

5 September 2018 by Steve Blum
, , ,

I said in this morning’s blog post that the devil will be in the details of the FCC’s draft ruling on small cell rules. It indeed is. The draft released this afternoon limits “fees for the use of government property in the [public right of way], such as light poles, traffic lights, utility poles, and other similar property suitable for hosting Small Wireless Facilities”.

That means that cities and local agencies will not be able to set “market-based charges” for renting out poles and other municipal property to mobile carriers, and would be limited to a maximum annual lease rate of $270.… More

New FCC rules coming for local small cell reviews, permit fees

5 September 2018 by Steve Blum
, , ,

Local governments can charge based fees to cover “the costs associated with reviewing small cell deployment”, but the Federal Communications Commission will set “specific fee amounts, below which we presume the local governments’ fees are lawful”. That’s according to a speech made by FCC commissioner Brendan Carr in Indianapolis yesterday. The draft of the new rules will be published shortly, Carr said.

Going by the plain words of Carr’s speech and the subsequent press release, the new rules won’t be about the lease rates that a city can charge for attaching wireless equipment to property that it owns, such as a light pole or traffic signal.… More