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FCC Overreach on Deployment of Next Generation Wireless Prevents Cities from Protecting Public Interest

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Washington, D.C. -- Today's vote by the Federal Communications Commission is an overreach of federal authority which limits the ability of local governments to establish aesthetic standards and set access fees for wireless providers who are building next generation broadband networks.

"The current process is working," said Debbie Goldman, CWA Research Director and member of the FCC's Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee. "Cities want to bring next-generation technology to their communities. At the same time, local authorities have the expertise and experience to tailor solutions to their communities' unique conditions and priorities. The Commission has taken away local governments' discretion to balance the needs of their communities. It has replaced the power of local elected officials with that of an unelected federal agency."

The FCC's order ignores the work of Chairman Pai's own Broadband Deployment Advisory Model Local Code Working Group, which spent over a year developing recommendations for model municipal codes. The FCC order mandates unreasonably low fees and prevents cities from negotiating funding for programs to close the digital divide as part of their agreements with wireless providers. This order places unreasonable limitations on community members' input into aesthetic standards for small cell equipment which will be positioned just a few feet from residences and businesses.

By issuing this order, the FCC has put the interests of the wireless industry over those of the public.

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