In an Op-Ed published in Friday’s New York Times, titled, “Why San Jose Kids Do Homework in Parking Lots,” Liccardo says the FCC must do a better job to provide broadband in low-income neighborhoods. Several cities sought to make deals with wireless infrastructure providers to deploy small cells on streetlight poles, according to Liccardo. “However, the telecommunications industry has quietly worked to usurp control over these coveted public assets and utilize publicly owned streetlight poles for their own profit, not the public benefit,” he writes. He alleges the Commission has pushed an “industry-friendly proposal to mandate that cities offer below-market, taxpayer-subsidized lease rates to telecommunications providers that want to use streetlight poles.”
He’s referring to the new small cells order, led by Carr, that the FCC passed in September. It would set limits on how long municipalities can take to review carriers’ infrastructure applications and how much they can charge. Liccardo says the change “eviscerates” cities’ ability to craft their own deals for broadband. San Jose had such a deal and joined 20 other cities to challenge the Commission’s decision in court, Inside Towers reported.
“We must do better than Mayor Liccardo’s failed broadband policies,” Carr wrote on Twitter Thursday night in response to the Op-Ed. “Under his 3+ year leadership, San Jose approved zero small cells-ZERO-depriving residents of broadband options. It fell behind peer cities & the digital divide there only widened. Mayor Liccardo’s 5G tax has held San Jose back”.
Carr added: “Meanwhile, thousands of small cells were deployed in other cities, closing their divides & growing their economies. The FCC learned from their successful & commonsense approaches.”
Liccardo fired back to say San Jose has “approved 86 cells already, w/4,000 more to come from last month’s agreements.” San Jose, noted Liccardo, has “corrected your spokesperson’s falsehoods on this point before, & would have hoped you’d actually seek facts before parroting Big Telecom’s claims.” Comments? Email us.
November 12, 2018