Cities Fight FCC Over 5G Upgrade Order

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UPDATE Several local governments from California and Oregon are challenging the FCC’s 5G upgrade order. The FCC approved the plan 3-2 earlier this month to streamline infrastructure modifications for existing towers. The vote was combative. Democratic Commissioners Jessica Rosenworcel and Geoffrey Starks criticized the Commission for not giving localities more time to comment, considering local government budgets are stretched by the pandemic and protests. Indeed, the National League of Cities and the National Association of Counties, asked the agency to delay the vote. 

The Republican majority said the order will speed work such as antenna swaps for 5G, Inside Towers reported. Co-location “is less intensive and requires less regulatory review than new tower construction,” FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr said. Before the vote, Carr acknowledged to Inside Towers not every locality supported the change, but said overall, We think it’s a right-balanced approach.”  

Now, some of the California and Oregon localities have told the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals the FCC’s actions “unlawfully preempt local and state government authority” without responding to local government input, according to Politico.

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