FCC Moves to ‘Streamline’ Rules for Wireless Infrastructure Siting

The Federal Communications Commission on Oct. 27 voted to approve action to “reduce regulatory barriers to 5G deployment by further streamlining the state and local government review process for modifications to existing wireless infrastructure that involve excavation and deployment beyond existing site boundaries.”

In the Report and Order approved on a vote of 3 to 2, the commission revised some of its rules regarding implementation of the Spectrum Act of 2012.

The rule in question (Section 6409(a)) says that state and local governments may not deny certain requests to modify existing wireless structures that do not substantially change the physical dimensions of the structures. As part of the revision, the FCC now clarifies that excavating or deploying transmission equipment in an area no more than 30 feet beyond existing site boundaries would not disqualify the modification from section 6409(a) treatment. The FCC said this rule change is consistent with the current Nationwide Programmatic Agreement for the Collocation of Wireless Antennas.

In a statement, the FCC says that the action taken today will “promote the accelerated deployment of 5G and other advanced wireless services by facilitating the collocation of antennas and associated equipment on existing infrastructure while preserving the ability of state and local governments to manage and protect local land-use interests.”

Kate Polit
About Kate Polit
Kate Polit is MeriTalk SLG's Assistant Copy & Production Editor, covering Cybersecurity, Education, Homeland Security, Veterans Affairs