Monday, January 28, 2013
FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski today announced new actions as part of the Broadband Acceleration Initiative, a comprehensive effort to remove barriers to broadband build-out, including streamlining the deployment of mobile broadband infrastructure, such as towers, distributed antenna systems (DAS) and small cells.
The Commission defined and clarified a technical provision in the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 regarding local review of requests to modify an existing wireless tower or base station. This provision will accelerate deployment and delivery of high-speed mobile broadband to communities across the nation. This action will create greater certainty and predictability for providers that today invest more than $25 billion per year in mobile infrastructure, one of the largest U.S. sectors for private investment. The Commission today also launched a proceeding to expedite placement of temporary cell towers – cells on wheels (COWs) and cells on light trucks (COLTs) – that are used to expand capacity during special events, such as the Inauguration or the Super Bowl. Chairman Genachowski also announced actions in the coming months to further streamline DAS and small cell deployment; examine whether current application of the tower siting shot clock offers sufficient clarity to industry and municipalities; and begin developing model facility siting rules for localities.
Each of these actions would contribute to faster, more efficient deployment of wireless infrastructure. Chairman Genachowski said, “Providing more certainty to industry and municipalities, and more flexibility to carriers to meet extraordinary, short-term service needs will accelerate private and public investment to strengthen our nation’s communications networks. Just as is the case for our nation’s roads and bridges, we must continue to invest in improvements to cell towers and transmission equipment, in order to ensure ubiquitous, high-speed Internet for all Americans. To keep pace with technological advances, such as the advent of small cells, and to lay the groundwork for new developments, our policies must continue to adapt.”