National League of Cities Submits Comments on Preemption of Local Broadband Laws

On December 21, 2017, the National League of Cities sent a letter to the chair of the Federal Communications Commission's Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee concerning filings made by a number of local government associations on broadband deployment. The NLC highlighted four points from the filings:

  1. The FCC cannot rewrite relevant statutory language to preempt local government laws that might inhibit broadband deployment.
  2. Sections 253(c) and (d) prevent the FCC from preempting beyond a limited scope local management of the rights-of-way.
  3.  The text of section 332(c)(7) does not permit the FCC to broadly preempt local action on wireless facilities;
  4. "Fair and reasonable" compensation includes market-based rent.

The letter concludes, "We hope that the BDAC will avoid making any recommendations to the [FCC] that advise actions that are not within the Commission’s current legal authority. Excessive overreach by the Commission into congressionally defined local authority will only harm efforts to deploy broadband in the United States, not speed them. We hope that the BDAC, in crafting its final recommendations, will consider the feedback provided by local governments and the statements put forth by local government BDAC participants to create a fair and actionable final report."


National League of Cities Submits Comments on Preemption of Local Broadband Laws