NTCA Testifies Before House on Permitting Application Legislation


NTCA EVP Mike Romano testified before the House Committee on Natural Resources Subcommittee on Federal Lands on two bills the rural broadband association believes would speed permitting. The bills are: H.R. 3283, and H.R. 3299.

H.R. 3283 would require the Department of Commerce to report to Congress on the progress by the Departments of the Interior and Agriculture in creating an online portal for submission of Forms 299. The forms are used to apply for a Right-of-Way (ROW), permit, license, lease, or certificate on federal lands. H.R. 3299 would then mandate the Departments of the Interior and Agriculture to create the online portals within one year.  

Romano testified yesterday that advancing these bipartisan bills would help improve the effectiveness of Form 299 and make it easier for providers and property-managing agencies alike to process broadband deployment applications, ultimately expediting such broadband deployments. 

Citing several examples of NTCA member permitting issues, Romano highlighted the need to ensure any improvements to permitting processes will apply with equal force to wireline and wireless deployments alike. He raised concerns about the time and expense involved in obtaining permission to upgrade networks in previously disturbed ROWs and under railroad crossings. The association lobbyist noted the importance of sufficient staffing and training within agencies to process applications in a timely manner.

Reader Interactions

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.