In exchange for obtaining a valuable license to operate a broadcast station using the public airwaves, each radio and television licensee is required by law to operate its station in the “public interest, convenience and necessity.” This means that it must air programming that is responsive to the needs and problems of its local community of license. In addition, how other media facilitate community discussions.
A number of cities plan to sue the Federal Communications Commission over its decision to preempt local rules on deployment of 5G wireless equipment. Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan and City Attorney Pete Holmes said their city intends to appeal the FCC order in federal court. Seattle will be coordinating with other cities on a lawsuit, they said. The FCC says its order will save carriers $2 billion, less than one percent of the estimated $275 billion it will take to deploy 5G across the country.
Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John Thune (R-SD) plugged his STREAMLINE Small Cell Deployment Act, S. 3157, which would override local rules and limit fees for installing 5G infrastructure. But despite Chairman Thune talking it up, local officials seem to have succeeded at beating back the legislation through steady opposition — although they failed to stop the Federal Communications Commission's vote approving a similar regulatory measure. Opponents of the bill may have run out the clock. No hearing is scheduled, and there's scant time before this current session of Congress ends.
Twenty-five members of Congress sent a letter to Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai on September 25, 2018, offering suggestions on promoting local deployment of advanced communications services, protecting local authority, and 5G.
The Federal Communications Commission reduced the role of local communities in the deployment of infrastructure necessary for 5G and other advanced wireless services. This action, which builds upon those already taken by states and localities to streamline deployment, underscores the FCC’s commitment to ensuring that the United States wins the global race to 5G. The first part of the decision, a Declaratory Ruling, focuses primarily on local fees for the authorizations necessary to deploy small wireless facilities. Specifically, the Declaratory Ruling:
Rep Jerry McNerney (D-CA), along with eight Democratic Representatives on the House Commerce Committee, sent a letter to Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai, requesting the proposed Streamlining Deployment of Next Generation Wireless Infrastructure Declaratory Ruling and Third Report and Order be removed from Sept 26’s FCC Open Meeting agenda. "[I]n order to achieve the best outcome for consumers, it is crucial that 5G be deployed in a way that carefully balances the interests of both communities and the wireless carriers.
On September 26, at the Federal Communications Commission’s open meeting, commissioners will vote on an order that will limit the roles of local policymakers in the deployment of fifth generation (5G) wireless infrastructure.
As the Communications Workers of America’s representative on the Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee’s Model Code for Municipalities Working Group, I filed a letter on September 18, 2018, to express concern with the Federal Communications Commission’s draft order on streamlining wireless infrastructure deployment, which will be considered at the FCC's September 26, 2018 Open Meeting. The draft order is inconsistent with recommendations from the Model Code for Municipalities Working Group and is an overreach of federal authority.
On September 5, the Federal Communications Commission released the text of an order in its ongoing proceeding to streamline the rollout of infrastructure for broadband services, including small cells for 5G wireless service. The order is expected to be adopted at the FCC’s September 26th meeting. The order is a blatant effort by the FCC to strengthen the hand of carriers in negotiations with local governments over small cell deployment and to limit the ability of local governments to negotiate in the public interest around small cells.
The Federal Communications Commission has a key role in the United States’ transition to fifth-generation (5G) wireless technologies and infrastructure. New technologies and devices connecting to the internet as part of the Internet of Things will radically increase the amount of traffic on the network, and important applications such as self-driving cars and health applications will rely on 5G to function.
National organizations representing municipalities are rebelling against Federal Communications Commissioner Brendan Carr’s plan to streamline the deployment of the 5G wireless infrastructure known as small cells. The proposal, set for a Sept. 26 vote, would preempt local government authority, a measure of run-around that wireless giants like AT&T and Verizon say may be necessary for 5G deployment given delays they face at the local level.