Comment Deadlines Set for Proceedings on Accelerating Broadband Deployment

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On April 21, 2017, the FCC adopted Notices of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRMs) and Notices of Inquiry (NOIs) requesting comments on how the Commission might eliminate or reduce regulatory barriers to wireless and wireline broadband infrastructure investment and deployment.  The FCC has now established deadlines for filings comments on the NPRMs and NOIs.

In the NPRM and NOI related to wireless infrastructure, the Commission seeks comment on: (1) improving state and local infrastructure reviews, such as zoning requests; (2) minimizing costs and delays associated with the FCC’s historic preservation and environmental review processes; and (3) two provisions of the Communications Act that acknowledge the importance of state and local regulation, but also protect against regulations that impose barriers to entry or are otherwise unreasonable.

In the NPRM , NOI, and Request for Comment related to wireline infrastructure, the Commission solicits input on: (1) pole attachment reforms to make it easier for broadband providers to attach the wires necessary for next-generation networks; (2) expediting the process for local exchange carriers to retire copper networks and provide notice of network changes; (3) using the FCC’s preemption authority to prospectively prohibit enforcement of state and local laws that pose barriers to broadband deployment; and (4) when carriers must obtain FCC permission to alter or discontinue a service.

Comments on both NPRMs and NOIs are due June 9, 2017, and reply comments are due July 10, 2017.

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