FCC’s O’Rielly: Macro Towers Are Not Last Year’s News

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The FCC continues to work on removing barriers for macro tower deployment. FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly told attendees at MWL he’s discussed “various options” with his colleagues and hopes the agency releases a further item by year-end.

He referenced petitions filed by the Wireless Infrastructure Association and CTIA in August and September to formally tee up such issues. The associations asked the agency to clarify section 6409(a) of the Communications Act, “because some localities are intentionally ignoring the law’s intent by misinterpreting the Commission’s rules,” said O’Rielly. He called the requests “a great starting point” for a notice on ways to facilitate the construction and modification of macro towers, along with providing additional relief for small cells.

“While some treat macro towers as last year’s news, this is short-sighted,” said O’Rielly. “Macro towers will continue to be the primary means for providing service to many Americans, especially with the emphasis on mid band spectrum. It makes no sense, especially economically, to fill rural, or even suburban America, with small cells when larger, more powerful equipment can be used.” He urged CTIA members and the tower industry to raise siting concerns and share more ideas on how to relieve the burdens on those wishing to construct, expand, and replace macro towers.

October 28, 2019

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