FCC Approves Telecomm Tower Siting “Shot Clock”


This week, the FCC approved, on a 5-0 vote, an order setting presumptive deadlines for localities to resolve applications for siting of telecommunications facilities. Here is the FCC’s ruling.

Under the ruling, localities will have 90 days to consider applications for co-located facilities and 150 days for new tower locations. This ruling interprets the Communications Act section 332(c)(7)(B)(iii) (see U.S. Code, Title 47, Section 332 here), which has always required localities to act within “a reasonable period of time.” A failure to act on an application within those time frames means that the locality is rebuttably presumed to have NOT acted within the Act’s “reasonable period of time,” and the applicant can go to court for relief. In court, the locality can defend by proving that the time taken was reasonable, but this exposure to litigation and its defense costs likely will be all the incentive localities will need to comply.

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