Muni’s, Utilities Want Full Appeals Court Review of Small Cells Decision


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Municipalities and power companies asked the full ninth circuit appeals court to review a panel decision concerning small cells. They say the August 12 order too easily enables telecoms to deploy 5G infrastructure in local markets and on utility poles, reported Bloomberg.

The judge’s August decision mostly upheld the FCC’s order aimed at speeding wireless and wireline infrastructure deployment. The panel said the agency’s order was largely “in accord with the congressional directive” and “not otherwise arbitrary, capricious, or contrary to law,” Inside Towers noted.  

The cities say the Commission’s action went beyond the agency’s authority and reduced cities’ control. At the time, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said the court rightly affirmed the agency’s efforts “to ensure that infrastructure deployment critical to 5G is not impeded by exorbitant fees imposed by state and local governments, undue delays in local permitting, and unreasonable barriers to pole access.”

The three-judge panel decision marked a, ”dramatic incursion on local governments’ traditional control over their property and rights-of-way,” muni’s in New York, Los Angeles and Dallas pleaded in a Monday petition, according to Bloomberg.

The American Power Association, too, wants a rehearing by the appeals court. 

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