Sens Wicker, Cortez Masto Introduce ‘SPEED Act’

Sens Roger Wicker (R-MS) and Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) have introduced the “Streamlining Permitting to Enable Efficient Deployment of Broadband Infrastructure Act of 2017” (SPEED Act) (S 1988). Specifically, the SPEED Act would streamline federal permitting processes that impede the quick and efficient deployment of next-generation broadband technologies, including 5G. Currently, new and replacement telecommunications infrastructure is subject to numerous, sometimes duplicative federal approvals, including environmental and historical reviews. These duplicative approvals extend to areas that have already been established as a public right-of-way (ROW), and where telecommunications infrastructure already exists. The SPEED Act would not preempt the authority of a State or local government to apply and enforce all applicable zoning and other land use regulations on communications providers.