FCC Proposes New Rules for Over-the-Air Reception Devices

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At its April 12, 2019 Open Meeting, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) adopted a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to update its rule for state and local regulation of over-the-air reception devices, which it claims will further help spur 5G deployment.

Under the Commission’s current over-the-air reception device rules, state and local governments are prohibited from restricting and unreasonably impairing users from deploying small, next-generation networking devices on their own property.  If adopted, the Commission’s new proposed rule would further expand the scope of those prohibitions to also cover hub and relay antennas.  According to the Commission, if adopted, such a rule would “allow fixed wireless providers to deploy hub and relay antennas more quickly and efficiently and help spur investment in and deployment of needed infrastructure in a manner that is consistent with the public interest.”

In addition to seeking comment on the proposed rule mentioned above, the NPRM also seeks comment on how best to implement the proposed rule and on whether the Commission should retain an exception to the over-the-air reception device rule for safety or historic preservation purposes.

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