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FCC Actions Aim to Accelerate Broadband Deployment

Mon, 01/28/2013 - 10:11am
Andrew Berg

The FCC on Friday announced a number of new actions that it hopes will help accelerate the deployment of wireless broadband, by removing barriers from a number of areas in the build-out of new networks. 

On Friday, the Commission announced new rules that would make it easier to modify an existing wireless tower or base station that it said will create greater certainty and predictability for providers. 

Jonathan Adelstein, president & CEO of PCIA, said in a statement that the Wireless Infrastructure Association couldn't be more pleased with the FCC's actions. 

“Clarifying definitions related to the federal collocation/modification provision of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act eliminates confusion among state and local jurisdictions trying to comply with the law," Adelstein said. "Defining the “rules of the road” will speed the efficient deployment of the infrastructure needed to address the wireless data crunch." 

The Commission also launch a proceeding to expedite placement of temporary cell towers – cells on wheels (COWs) and cells on light trucks (COLTs) – that are used to expand capacity during special events, such as the Inauguration or the Super Bowl.

Chairman Genachowski said the FCC is will also work to further streamline DAS and small cell deployment; examine whether current application of the tower siting shot clock offers sufficient clarity to industry and municipalities; and begin developing model facility siting rules for localities.  

Adelstein of PCIA said the announcement demonstrates that the commission clearly "gets it," saying the FCC has laid out "an impressive agenda to promote infrastructure deployment right when it’s needed most."   

"They are looking ahead, be it temporary towers that help ensure consumers have access to wireless services during political conventions, sporting events, and other big gatherings that bring so many of us together, or small cells and DAS that work in conjunction with towers to provide wireless coverage and capacity."

Chairman Genachowski said reiterated the call to more certainty to industry and municipalities, and more flexibility to carriers. 

"Just as is the case for our nation’s roads and bridges, we must continue to invest in improvements to cell towers and transmission equipment, in order to ensure ubiquitous, high-speed Internet for all Americans," he said in a statement.

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