FCC Wants It to Be Easier to Put Up Cell Towers
The Federal Communications Commission today issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that seeks comment on policies regarding wireless infrastructure. Specifically, the FCC wants to streamline the environmental and historic preservation review process for putting in new small cells and distributed antenna sites; remove barriers that prevent temporary equipment from being installed; and clarify the Commission's "shot clock" with respect to the time period state and local governments use to review applications for cell towers. "Increasing certainty in the FCC's processes and removing barriers to infrastructure deployment will spur public and private investment, while expanding wireless coverage and capacity throughout the Nation," said the FCC. The FCC wants to make it easier for wireless companies to install the equipment needed to operate today's wireless broadband networks.
Court: FCC Allowed to Manage Tower Siting Process
An appeals court sided with the FCC recently in a decision that upholds the agency's authority to accelerate the process of gaining local approval for cell towers. The U.S.
FCC Proposes Updates to Emergency Alerts
The FCC wants to see wireless emergency alerts used more effectively and proposed several changes to improve them. Wireless emergency alerts have been used since 2012 to warn people about severe weather or other safety threats, alert them to missing children, and deliver other information via text messages.
FCC Wants All Cell Phones Hearing Aid Compatible
The FCC today expanded the scale of hearing aid compatibility in cell phones to include IP-based communications, such as WiFi and VoLTE. AT&T and Verizon Wireless recently sought and received waivers to offer WiFi calling along with an alternate to the legacy technology called RTT (real-time text).
FCC Chairman Pai Takes First Steps to Reverse Net Neutrality
Ajit Pai, Chairman of the FCC, today outlined his plan to remove the Title II classification from broadband services and kill off net neutrality laws put in place by the Commission two years ago. In a sometimes fiery and heavily partisan statement, Pai suggested that the previous Commission made an incredible mistake by re-classifying broadband under Title II and installing bright line rules that could not be broken.