FCC Gets Tough on Tower Siting Delays

November 24, 2009
The FCC has acted on a petition filed by the CTIA-the Wireless Association, requesting clarification of provisions in the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, which cover state and local review of wireless facility siting applications.

The Commission issued a Declaratory Ruling which establishes timeframes of 90 days for review of co-location applications, and 150 days for review of all other tower siting applications. The ruling also establishes that it is a violation of the Communications Act for a state or local government to deny a wireless service facility siting application based on service being available from another provider.

As far as I can tell, this ruling will not apply to any wireless facilities licensed to broadcasters. Section 332(c)(7) of the Communications Act, addresses state or local government "decisions regarding the placement, construction and modification of personal wireless service facilities." Personal wireless service facilities are defined in Section 332(c)(7)(C)(ii) as "facilities for the provision of personal wireless services" and personal wireless services are defined in Section 332(c)(7)(C)(i) as "commercial mobile services, unlicensed wireless services, and common carrier wireless exchange access services."

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