Carriers Say FCC’s Small Cell Order Is “Not Enough”


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Several wireless carriers are challenging the FCC’s small cells order in federal court. The order, which the Commission voted on last month, caps siting application fees localities can charge and sets timelines to act on applications. Several municipalities are challenging the order in court, too, calling it federal overreach, Inside Towers reported.

Sprint, AT&T and Puerto Rico Telephone Co. filed legal challenges to the FCC’s small cells order, saying it didn’t go far enough to help ease wireless infrastructure siting. Sprint cited the agency’s decision not to “adopt a ‘deemed granted’ remedy when authorities fail to act on siting applications within the shot clock timeframes established by the Commission.” Localities praised the agency for that. Under the provision, the federal government could have mandated municipalities to automatically approve an infrastructure siting application if they had not acted on it by a certain time, reported Politico.

AT&T told D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals it’s “aggrieved” by the order and has standing to challenge it. The carrier tells the court it’s affected by delays imposed by the order, on requests for authorization to construct that postpone deployment.

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October 30, 2018