MACo Submits Concerns to FCC Over Small Cell Order

MACo submitted comments to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on a proposed order intended to streamline and reduce industry’s costs for the deployment of small cells in local right of ways at the expense of local authority. The FCC will vote at its September 26, 2018 open meeting on the order.

From MACo’s letter:

Expanding broadband access is an essential component for a county’s economic development and for the socio-economic advancement of its communities. However, MACo is concerned that the proposed language significantly impedes local authority over the expansion of broadband in public rights of way. It does not properly balance industry desires and public welfare.

Local governments are owners and guardians of taxpayer-funded infrastructure inside the local rights of way. Local authority and community decision-making are crucial to the deployment of small cells or any facilities in the local rights of way. Local governments must be able to protect the safety and interest of their communities.

As previously reported on Conduit Street, that the proposed FCC order would create new categories of “shot clocks”, limit application fees for all small wireless facilities, limit recurring fees for small cells in public rights-of-way, and limit allowable local aesthetic requirements among other limitations on local governments. Local governments are bound to manage deployments under FCC requirements.

Prior coverage from Conduit Street:

NACo Prompts County Action to Comment on FCC Small Cell Order