FCC Order Promotes Wireless Deployments, Despite Community Standards

The Federal Communications Commission issued an order governing small hub and relay antennas – part of wireless infrastructure – specifically noting their intent to set aside “local regulations.”

The ongoing debate regarding roll-out of wireless infrastructure took yet another turn, with the federal agency overseeing telecommunication matters issuing a new rule, limiting local governments’ authority to establish community guidelines for several classes of antennas and similar equipment.

According to a press release from the FCC:

The Report and Order released today updates the Commission’s rule governing over-the-air reception devices to reflect recent trends in wireless networking and to accelerate the deployment of competitive fixed wireless services to consumers.  The Commission has long prohibited certain state and local restrictions that unreasonably impair the ability of users to deploy small over-the-air reception devices on their own property, but the Commission’s rule did not cover such devices if they were used primarily as hubs for the distribution of service to multiple customer locations.  As developments in fixed wireless technology and network design have resulted in denser deployment of smaller antennas, fixed wireless providers have less flexibility in where they can locate hub and relay sites.

The full order may be obtained from the FCC website.

Michael Sanderson

Executive Director Maryland Association of Counties