The ruling strengthens the “shot clocks” and prevents local governments from delaying or blocking changes on existing 5G structures.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued the ruling on a 3-2 vote last week. The action is the latest blow to local governments in recent years of struggles between the FCC and wireless industry over the deployment and oversight of 5G structures.
The regulations clarify aspects of the 2012 Spectrum Act, which was passed to speed up the deployment of 5G by allowing telecom companies to make changes to existing cell towers to support 5G service. Specifically, the new rules prevent municipalities from blocking or delaying changes, such as antenna replacements, to existing tower structures, so long as the underlying structure remains.
The article notes that FCC Chairman Ajit Pai supported the rule change as a means of removing roadblocks and delays to employment. Dissenting FCC Commissioners Jessica Rosenworcel and Geoffrey Starks opposed the ruling because of the burdens it would place on local governments particularly as they are dealing with the economic fall out of the coronavirus pandemic and protests against police brutality.
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