Verizon: Our San Jose Deal is Not a National Siting Model
UPDATE Verizon’s not on board with the concept of its small cells deals with San Jose, CA being used as a nationwide infrastructure siting model for public Rights-of-Way.
Some siting reform critics have cited agreements that Verizon and other providers have negotiated with other municipalities and declared there’s no problem, or that reform efforts should slow down, according to Verizon SVP for Federal Regulatory and legal Affairs Will Johnson. “These suggestions are off base,” and would threaten the speed of 5G deployment, says Johnson in ablog post.
FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel highlighted San Jose’s agreements with Verizon, AT&T and Mobilitie last week. Without naming anyone, the Verizon executive says reaching a deal with San Jose and a few other cities was “not quick or easy,” and confirms small cell siting reforms are still essential.
“The costs associated with some of these arrangements also are high, far exceeding the costs incurred by cities, and it would be a mistake to assume that they would be economical in many other locations,” says Johnson. “These arrangements leverage private sector investment, not public dollars, and the practical reality is that capital budgets are limited, and expense budgets have to be managed. So higher costs to deploy in one city mean less network infrastructure deployment in others,” he explains.
Noting the Commission’s current infrastructure siting approach was meant for macro towers, applying those same procedures to small cell siting takes too long, is too expensive, and “gives outsized leverage to the localities that control the rights-of-way and have gatekeeping control to much of the infrastructure.” He stressed the agency should continue updating its approach to siting small cell infrastructure.