State DOT Challenges FCC “Shot Clock” Sharing Policy
The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) alerted the FCC to concerns regarding barriers to wireless infrastructure siting at the state and local level, advising that both industry and localities should carry the weight of issuing timely permits, reports Law360. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai proposed plans to ease wireless infrastructure deployment; some local officials have expressed concern about the potential preemption of local authority, Inside Towers has reported.
The FCC uses a “shot clock” for wireless siting applications and if a local authority goes beyond the prescribed timeline, carriers can take the issue to court, according to experts, cites Law360. One part of the FCC’s plan proposes that localities okay an application if it isn’t acted on within a certain timeframe.
But IDOT says that shifts the burden from the company seeking authorization to local municipalities. In Illinois, complete plans and permits and clear template drawings are required to properly set industry expectations. This helps keep municipalities from being swamped with applications from carriers that don’t intend to act on all of them right away, reports Law360. Additionally, since some permits require review by multiple departments, IDOT noted that the clock shouldn’t begin ticking “until the permit is substantially complete.”
“IDOT believes its process for review and issuance of permits is very timely, citing recent work with the fiber optic industry,” the department said. “The burden of timely issuance of permits is shared by both the state and the industry. It is important that the utility fulfill its duties and meet their obligations.”