FCC Seeks Comments on Industry Associations’ Petitions Regarding Tower Siting

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The Wireless Telecommunications Bureau and Wireline Competition Bureau (collectively, the Bureaus) has asked for comment on a Petition for Rulemaking and Petition for Declaratory Ruling filed by WIA, and a Petition for Declaratory Ruling filed by CTIA regarding tower siting. WIA’s Petition for Rulemaking asks the FCC to initiate a proceeding to adopt rules ensuring that collocations requiring limited compound expansions (excavation within 30 feet of a tower site) qualify under Section 6409(a) of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012, and that fees for eligible facilities requests be cost-based. WIA’s Petition for Declaratory Ruling urges the FCC to, among other items, clarify that Section 6409(a) applies to all state/local authorizations required for deployment on existing towers, and that the shot clock begins when an applicant makes a good faith attempt to request local approval. Similarly, CTIA seeks clarification of various rules relating to Section 6409, and Section 224 of the Communications Act, including clarification of the terms “concealment element,” “equipment cabinet,” and “base station,” and that where a siting authority fails to timely act on an eligible facilities request application, the application is deemed granted and applicants may lawfully construct even if the locality has not issued related permits. Comments are due October 15, 2019, and reply comments are due October 30, 2019.

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