PCIA President and Chief Executive Officer Jonathan Adelstein noted today that his group has seen successes in the past year in helping make it easier to deploy small cells, including adoption of the FCC’s wireless infrastructure order, and he observed that additional efforts are underway to further streamline small cell deployment in historic areas.
“Today, our members have a clearer runway and new ability to install on thousands of qualifying facilities including utility poles and other non-tower structures without having to worry about those heavy compliance regulations,” Mr. Adelstein said in the text of a speech he delivered this morning at PCIA’s HetNet Expo in Los Angeles.
“This may come as a shock to some of you, but Congress is actually looking for ways they can help us. Growing out of the hearings, committee leaders in both the House and Senate are developing legislation to streamline wireless infrastructure deployment,” Mr. Adelstein said. “We’re looking for your input as to how they can help us.
“We’ve gotten DAS and small cells excluded from some heavy regulatory requirements. We convinced the FCC in last year’s Infrastructure order to exclude facilities that meet certain size limits from federal environmental and historic review processes,” he added. “We helped get the FCC to recognize that subjecting each and every DAS node or a small cell to a complete federal review process for historic and environmental impact made little sense.”
“We’re continuing to work with the FCC to examine new exclusions for you. If these streamlining processes are enacted, they’ll expand on the success we had last year on poles and utility structures,” Mr. Adelstein said. “We’re trying to facilitate siting DAS and small cells on historic properties and in historic districts.”
“We’re also trying to clear the way to site wireless facilities on federal lands and properties,” he said. “The federal government owns nearly 30 percent of all land in the U.S., including thousands of buildings, some in prime locations. Improved access to these facilities will help you expand wireless broadband in rural and urban areas.
“We’re also working hard to secure new pole attachment rules that facilitate wireless attachments,” the speech continued. “In Washington State for example, new regulations were issued last Friday that will provide wireless attachers with greater access, more efficient timelines, and reasonable attachment rates. … We’re also looking to update rules in Arkansas, and ensuring a level playing field for competitive attachers in Colorado.” —Paul Kirby, firstname.lastname@example.org