Rep. Eshoo Introduces Wireless Siting Legislation Empowering Local Governments

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Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA) has introduced into Congress a bill that would overturn FCC rules that preempt local government regulations on the deployment of 5G infrastructure. Entitled the “Accelerating Wireless Broadband Development by Empowering Local Communities Act of 2019” (HR.530), the bill has no Republican supporters but is co-sponsored by Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA). According to a press release issued by Rep. Eshoo, the FCC has “let industry write [] regulations without sufficient input from local leaders” and this “has led to regulations that restrict cities from requiring carriers to meet the needs of communities in which they want to operate.” On August 2, 2018 and September 26, 2018, the FCC adopted regulations that according to Rep. Eshoo limit “the abilities of cities and states to regulate small cell sites (e.g., pole attachments) needed for the deployment of 5G.” Rep. Eshoo went on to add that these actions “limit the type and amount of fees cities and states may charge, set ‘shot clocks’ as low as 60 days for cities and states to authorize proposals, and limit non-fee requirements cities and states may institute.” Those FCC regulations adopted in the summer of 2018 took effect on January 14, 2019. The text for HR.530 has yet to be released, and the proposed legislation has been referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce for further deliberation.

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