FCC Has Commenced New Rulemaking on Wireless -
• Rulemaking issued Thursday, Sept. 26; 60-day initial comment period after Fed. Reg. publication.
• Local authority is at risk:
..Basic assumptions underlying many local ordinances, that locality can grant a permit that limits the size of wireless facilities, is at risk.
..Rulemaking also threatens ability to prevent harm to environmentally sensitive areas, as well as historically significant areas.
..Industry will make a significant effort to limit local authority.
..Localities will need to participate to protect their interests.
Background: Underlying Federal Laws -
• 47 U.S.C. § 332 (c)(7)(b) Preserves Local Authority to Regulate Placement of Personal Wireless Service Facilities So Long As:
..Locality does not prohibit or effectively prohibit provision of service;
..locality does not unreasonably discriminate against functionally equivalent services;
..locality acts on an application within a reasonable period of time;
..makes a decision in writing; and
..the decision is supported by substantial evidence.
•Locality cannot deny based on RF risks.
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