Kiss Local Control Goodby: FCC Vote

The FCC 5G Face-Off

— The FCC today is expected to approve a proposal from GOP Commissioner Brendan Carr to override local regulations for installing 5G wireless infrastructure. Big cities from Los Angeles to Chicago to New York are slamming the move as unjust, and Best Best and Krieger partner Gerry Lederer says he’s already assembling local government leaders in preparation to sue the FCC following the order’s adoption. Carr has kept up a marathon speaking tour in defense of the plan, saying it’s crucial to helping connect small and midsize cities. Despite nine House Democrats on Tuesday calling for delay, a Carr spokesman touted a supportive letter led by Rep. Billy Long (R-Mo.) with 25 GOP signers. “Seventeen months into this proceeding, it is time to act and ensure our regulations are 5G ready,” a Carr spokesman said.

— Count the National Governors Association and the National Conference of State Legislatures among the opponents. The two groups sent the FCC a joint letter on Tuesday blasting the way the Carr plan would pre-empt state authority and affect states that handle wireless infrastructure deployment through laws already on the books. “Not only will these 20 states be affected, but it also ties the hands of any other state that is looking to ensure inclusive and equitable access to high speed internet services to residents,” they wrote.

— And representing Team Carr: The Wall Street Journal editorial board came out in favor of Carr’s proposal Tuesday night, decrying what it called “self-serving behavior” by local officials who are “throttling [5G] deployment with extortionist fees.” “What liberal big city politicians really want is to grab more revenue without soaking their constituents with ever higher wireless taxes that average around 19% in California and nearly 25% in New York,” the editorial board wrote . “But their extortion would give an innovation edge to China in the 5G race and cost American businesses and consumers dearly.”

Source: POLITICO Morning Tech

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