The FCC today voted to exempt small cell siting from some regulatory reviews in a bid to lower deployment costs and expedite infrastructure build out. The wireless industry supports the change to eliminate the Tribal and environmental review process for small cells in most cases. Though the changes are for small cells not located on Tribal lands, Tribes oppose the changes, saying the agency skirted the review process. The 3-2 vote was contentious. Commissioner Mignon Clyburn wanted to delay the vote until the agency could further assess how the proposal might hurt tribal lands and the environment. Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel said the order won’t address the race to lead in 5G.
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, and Commissioners Michael O’Rielly and Brendan Carr said the changes will make a difference. Pai added that, “talk is cheap and it’s time to act.”
Look for details and reaction in tomorrow’s Inside Towers newsletter.
March 22, 2017