WIA Supports U.S. Forest Service’s Proposal to Expedite 5G

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The Wireless Infrastructure Association (WIA) has submitted comments in support of the U.S. Forest Service’s proposed rule implementing guidance from Congress in the 2018 Farm Bill and the MOBILE NOW Act to expedite deployment of telecommunications infrastructure on land managed by the Forest Service.

“These measures strive to meet the Farm Bill’s guidelines encouraging expedited and harmonized applications throughout the Forest Service’s covered lands. WIA worked with Congress to include these streamlining provisions in the Farm Bill. The Forest Service aims to encourage upgrades to existing telecommunications infrastructure by limiting onerous, and often redundant, environmental impact assessments,” said WIA President/CEO Jonathan Adelstein. “These proposed reforms will encourage wireless siting on Forest Service lands, boosting the deployment of 5G networks, especially in rural areas. It will also encourage network resiliency by allowing backup generators to be deployed more easily.”

The proposed rule would provide updates to add transparency and consistency to the federal application process. For example, it would broaden categorical exclusions from environmental reviews, mandate action on an application within 270 days, develop a tracking system for applications that are under review, and increase the term for leases on Forest Service lands to 30 years.

November 26, 2019

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