The FCC Wants Our Public Property. We’re Saying No.

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On Sept 26, the Federal Communications Commission may try to dismantle the balanced system [of local control], handing taxpayer-owned assets over to multi-billion dollar telecommunications companies, and encouraging them to run wild on our public rights of way.  There are several reasons this move would be deeply damaging for towns and cities, big and small:

  • Federal control of local streets isn’t going to bring more or better wireless service to Americans.
  • Lack of local control over public streets could endanger everyone’s safety.
  • Federal control will stifle smart city innovation.
  • The FCC is threatening to take control without the necessary legal authority.

Our message is clear. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai: it’s time to start over, working in honest collaboration with cities to determine a path forward that puts people first. We see your Commission’s strategy as part and parcel of a larger, systemic attack towards municipalities aimed at “getting local government out of the way.” 

[Samir Saini is the New York City Chief Information Officer and Commissioner with the Department of Information Technology & Telecommunications]

The FCC Wants Our Public Property. We’re Saying No.