Leading members of the Senate Commerce Committee are gearing up for legislation aimed at helping the wireless industry’s move to 5G, according to an 18-page draft bill obtained by POLITICO. The draft, which reflects input from Chairman John Thune (R-S.D.) and Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), proposes harmonized shot-clock deadlines for state and local authorities to decide on siting of antennas, and a GAO study on broadband deployment on tribal land, among other provisions. Committee spokesman Frederick Hill said there’s no timetable yet for the bill’s introduction.
Source Politico Morning Tech
A previous “shot clock” decision for cellular tower operators set a decision time for state and local government to act on siting requests from tower builders and wireless companies. The FCC setting 90 and 150-day time limits for state/local to take actions on wireless tower permit requests. The FCC authority to set a shot clock was affirmed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in 2012. As a result state and local officials should ordinarily take no more than 90 days to act on wireless “collocation” applications and 150 days to act on all other wireless siting applications.
More on the Fifth Circuit decision can be found HERE.
The FCC is working with Congress but a stop to the coming 5G NIMBY Wars with the forthcoming legislation. Governor Brown vetoed SB-649 which would have removed local control over 5G antenna sitting, now Congress is going to take action to limit local control over 5G installations. Stay Tuned.
THUNE EYES BROADBAND MARKUP – Thune also has ambitions to mark up this year the 5G-focused draft bill he put together with Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), he told reporters Tuesday. He says he doesn’t think “we’ll get it” by a Nov. 8 markup, but “it would be the one after that,” which (given Senate Commerce tendency to hold one markup monthly) would likely mean December.
– But the National League of Cities is concerned about the current language, Angelina Panettieri, the group’s principal associate for tech and communications, told POLITICO: “We would not want to see this draft move forward in its current form.” She described big concerns with the way the legislation tightens shot clocks, which she said goes beyond what Thune’s Mobile Now spectrum legislation (S 19) would do for siting on federal lands. Panettieri also raised objections to the way the 5G draft suggests simply deeming wireless carriers’ applications granted after a certain amount of time passes. Senate Commerce indicates a willingness to talk, she said.
Update Source Politico Morning Tech
On Wednesday, 1 November 2017, the House Energy and Commerce telecom subcommittee holds an oversight hearing on FirestNet Details: HHRG-115-IF16-20171101-SD001-U1
FirstNet and AT&T launched the first developer program that is developed for the nation’s safety responders. The program equips first responders with state-of-the-art communications tools. This brings public safety officials closer to having their own app store where they can find new solutions. The Developer program will give the FirstNet app store to provide public safety with a “one-stop-shop” for reliable, highly secure solutions optimizing for the FirstNet network. This solution with give innovative, cost effective, and interoperable public safety solutions.
Developers now have access to specialized portal housing services to help them build, test, deploy and maintain public safety applications The FirstNet solution includes an application development platform that will encourage developers to explore further into FirstNet and eventually embrace it. FirstNet application developer programs will focus including important features towards interoperability and highly secure communications. It will use capabilities such as streaming surveillance video, priority services, and focus on critical service delivery for cellphone apps. The application portal will feature guidelines to follow when developing apps for public safety. These potential developers will include situational awareness, in-building mapping, field reporting and records management, wearable devices and telemetry solutions, and forensic intelligence
FirstNet and AT&T will host events and challenges to help foster this collaboration. After submission FirstNet & AT&T will evaluate performance, service-level agreements and potential source code vulnerabilities, to provide a certified or reviewed rating depending on the application’s availability, resiliency and expandability for multiple users, publish certified, and reviewed applications in the FirstNet app store
Source: Utah Broadband
California has until 28 December 2017 to decide if the state will join FirstNet with AT&T or go another route with an alternative provider.
BY KISH RAJAN in the Sac Bee.
California missed an opportunity to bring our mobile communications networks into the modern age with Gov. Jerry Brown’s veto of Senate Bill 649, which could have paved the way for 5G to spread across the state.
Brown blocked the bill because he believed it took too much power away from local municipalities that want control over where the small 5G cell towers go, but he left the door open to revisiting the issue.
If a similar bill comes before the Legislature, it will be important for everyone involved to learn from the veto and ensure local officials are motivated to support the policy. This turned into a dispute between technology advocates and local governments. It’s a shame, because it is in everyone’s interest for California to upgrade to 5G.
States that are implementing 5G will have a technical advantage over California. 5G networks are essential infrastructure for self-driving vehicles and delivery trucks. Too much local resistance will result is Federal action to smooth the implementation of 5G networks in the US. Other nations are implementing this technology, which could give them a competitive advantage.
The US Broadband Maps are three years out of touch with reality, with the last update in June 2014. The previous update to the California Broadband Maps was December 2015. The FCC and the CPUC recognize these out of date maps are a problem.
All over the map: Pai told lawmakers he’s secured a reprogramming of funds from the Hill “to enable us to discharge that important function” on broadband mapping, following three years with no update to the National Broadband Map. Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel noted that’s only for wired broadband and thinks it should also include wireless. Pai said it’s all subject to congressional appropriations.
Source: Politico Morning Tech
See post at CPUC Wants to Collect Actual Broadband Speeds
The current Broadband Maps are based on advertised speeds and coverage by the providers. These maps proved to be unreliable as they are based on the premise that if one user in a census block had broadband, all the homes and business in the census block had coverage. While consulting for SEDCorp and the Gold County Broadband Consortia, I demonstrated the problems with this logic by plotting the physical broadband access and speeds on a map. This data provided to the CPUC resulted in a new layer added to the CA Broadband maps, a Public Feedback Layer.
Rep. Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) is hoping to introduce his Broadband Infrastructure Finance Innovation Act next week, a staffer with knowledge of the bill confirmed to John. The proposed legislation “would make low-interest financing available to public-private partnerships to help deploy broadband,” which would “enjoy the flexibility to apply for secured loans, lines of credit, or loan guarantees,” Lujan said in a letter to other lawmakers seeking co-sponsors. “The bill also includes provisions to ensure the Federal Government takes on little risk and provides a streamlined application process for smaller projects,” the letter states.
Source: Politico Morning Tech
Spectrum Caucus Co-Chairs Reps. Brett Guthrie (R-Ky.) and Doris Matsui (D-Calif.) say they’ve heard the FCC’s concerns loud and clear and are introducing the Spectrum Auction Deposits Act. It fixes a technical issue that Pai has raised that he says prevents the agency from holding any auctions for now, as John reported Tuesday. The lawmakers “felt we should move quickly,” Guthrie said. “In order to remain a global leader in 5G, we must accelerate our work to free up spectrum for commercial use,” agreed Matsui. House Energy and Commerce Committee lawmakers already included this provision in their FCC reauthorization bill, but Commissioner Mike O’Rielly plans to testify at today’s oversight hearing that Congress should fast-track the fix separately. Senate Commerce Chairman John Thune (R-S.D.) has backed stand-alone legislation addressing the issue, too.
Source: Politico Morning Tech
Watch for these bills to include authorization to install 5G mini cells all across America, taking away local control and local opportunities for graft. To maintain 5G momentum companies will have to find a way around local control obstacles.