FCC Requests Comments on Wireless Spectrum
 
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued a public notice calling for comments on a petition for rulemaking requested by the Wireless Infrastructure Association (WIA). The Wireless Telecommunications Bureau and the Wireline Competition Bureau of the FCC are seeking comments from the public regarding existing rules for the Wireless Facility Siting section of the Spectrum Act of 2012. This section of the law mandates that a State or local government approve certain wireless broadband facilities siting requests for modifications and collocations of wireless transmission equipment on an existing tower or base station that does not result in a substantial change to the physical dimensions of such tower or base station.
 
The petition filed by WIA asks the FCC to amend the existing rules to “reflect that collocations requiring an expansion of the current site—within 30 feet of a tower site—qualify for relief under Section 6409(a) and to require that fees associated with eligible facilities requests under Section 6409 be cost-based.”
 
This petition and the resulting decision made by the FCC will have broad implications for public works in terms of present deployment of wireless infrastructure, as well as future use of public rights-of-way. APWA and its more than 30,000 members across North America believe that in terms of broadband internet deployment specifically, and infrastructure generally, enhancing state and local control regarding public works projects is key to successfully designing, maintaining, and operating infrastructure. When it comes to broadband installation, APWA opposes unfunded mandates and any effort to impede the appropriate use of public right of way. APWA strongly encourages the federal government and the telecommunications industry to coordinate with state and local governments on broadband infrastructure projects.
 
You can submit comments directly to the FCC at their website. If you have questions, please contact APWA Government Affairs Manager Sean Garcia.