The FCC announced today the initiation of a rulemaking proceeding to identify and address unnecessary regulatory barriers to wireless infrastructure deployment to promote the rapid deployment of advanced wireless broadband services. The FCC seeks comment on improving state and local processes that affect the speed and cost of infrastructure deployment in review processes such as zoning requests. The FCC also seeks comment on, among other issues, whether siting applications that are not acted on by state or local governments within a reasonable period of time should be deemed granted under the FCC’s rules. The FCC is also examining its rules and procedures for complying with the National Historic Preservation Act and National Environmental Policy Act, and seeks input on the costs and benefits of historic preservation and environmental reviews as currently structured.
The FCC also announced the initiation of a Notice of Inquiry seeking comment on two provisions of the Communications Act, Sections 253 and 332, that acknowledge the importance of state and local regulation, but also protect against regulations that impose barriers to entry or are otherwise unreasonable. The FCC stated that the ability for wireless providers to meet the demand for next generation services that have the potential to bring enormous benefits to the United States, depends on having a regulatory framework that promotes infrastructure deployment.