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