FCC acts to speed deployment of next-gen wireless infrastructure
Via FCC Headlines
Mar 22, 2018
WASHINGTON, March 22, 2018—The Federal Communications Commission today adopted new rules streamlining the wireless infrastructure siting review process to facilitate the deployment of next-generation wireless facilities.
As part of the FCC’s efforts, the agency consulted with a wide range of communities to determine the appropriate steps needed to enable the rapid and efficient deployment of next-generation wireless networks—or 5G— throughout the United States.
The Order focuses on ensuring the Commission’s rules properly address the differences between large and small wireless facilities, and clarifies the treatment of small cell deployments. Specifically, the Order:
Excludes small wireless facilities deployed on non-Tribal lands from National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) review, concluding that these facilities are not “undertakings” or “major federal actions.” Small wireless facilities deployments continue to be subject to currently applicable state and local government approval requirements.
Clarifies and makes improvements to the process for Tribal participation in Section 106 historic preservation reviews for large wireless facilities where NHPA/NEPA review is still required.
Removes the requirement that applicants file Environmental Assessments solely due to the location of a proposed facility in a floodplain, as long as certain conditions are met.
Establishes timeframes for the Commission to act on Environmental Assessments.
The actions taken today will reduce regulatory impediments to deploying small cells needed for 5G and help to expand the reach of 5G for faster, more reliable wireless service and other advanced wireless technologies to more Americans.
Action by the Commission March 22, 2018 by Second Report and Order (FCC 18-30). Chairman Pai, Commissioners O’Rielly and Carr approving. Commissioners Clyburn and Rosenworcel dissenting. Chairman Pai, Commissioners Clyburn, O’Rielly, Carr and Rosenworcel issuing separate statements.
WT Docket No. 17-79
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