Carriers Praise Streamlined Small Cell Siting Proposals, Tribes Do Not
UPDATE Reaction continues to pour in regarding the FCC’s proposal to streamline permitting for small cells. FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr said Wednesday that the agency is set to vote March 22, on a plan to eliminate the federal environmental and historic preservation reviews to site wireless infrastructure for small cells that are not on Tribal land or reservations.
For large cell employment, the plan is to streamline the historic preservation requirements and the Section 106 Tribal Review process, Inside Towersreported. Wireless infrastructure trade groups hailed the proposals.
Carriers did too, particularly AT&T and Verizon. AT&T EVP Regulatory and State External Affairs, Joan Marsh, lauded the direction the Commission is taking the proceeding. She praised Carr, saying he’s, “done a tremendous job leading the charge to address the outdated, unnecessary and costly regulations that do nothing but stand in the way of wireless broadband deployment. The environmental and historic preservation rules the commission seeks to modernize were designed for large cell towers, not the small cells of today that play a huge role in our ability to increase mobile speeds and performance for our customers.”
However, the National Congress of American Indians prefers the current process. The NCAI said in a statement Wednesday it, “has concerns with the FCC’s approach to lessen protections afforded to tribal governments on infrastructure development that can negatively impact sacred and cultural sites.”