FCC Acts To Facilitate Deployment Of 5G And Wireless Broadband Infrastructure

The Federal Communications Commission adopted new rules streamlining the wireless infrastructure siting review process to facilitate the deployment of next-generation wireless facilities. The Order focuses on ensuring the FCC’s rules properly address the differences between large and small wireless facilities, and clarifies the treatment of small cell deployments. Specifically, the Order:

  • Excludes small wireless facilities deployed on non-Tribal lands from National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) review, concluding that these facilities are not “undertakings” or “major federal actions.” Small wireless facilities deployments continue to be subject to currently applicable state and local government approval requirements.
  • Clarifies and makes improvements to the process for Tribal participation in Section 106 historic preservation reviews for large wireless facilities where NHPA/NEPA review is still required.
  • Removes the requirement that applicants file Environmental Assessments solely due to the location of a proposed facility in a floodplain, as long as certain conditions are met.
  • Establishes timeframes for the FCC to act on Environmental Assessments.

https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/index.do?document=349845 Statement (Commissioner Carr)