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. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit ruled that local governments are not allowed to stymie or otherwise hinder the permitting of cell towers. Municipalities cannot deny requests to modify wireless equipment, said the court, especially if the modifications don't represent a substantial change to what's already in place. In 2014, the FCC overhauled the federal environmental review process in a bid to make it easier for wireless network operators to add distributed antenna systems and small cells to existing towers and sites. A number of cities and counties sued, claiming the FCC overstepped its authority, misinterpreted the Spectrum Act, and violated the states' 10th Amendment rights. The towns also took issue with the FCC's declaration that once a company applied for approval, it would be deemed granted within 60 days. The court, however, ruled the FCC does have the authority, and is interpreting and applying the law correctly. The decision is a win for companies that operate cell towers.
Appeals Court Upholds FCC's Net Neutrality Rules
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia today upheld the FCC's 2015 net neutrality rules.
Court Rules Cell Location Data Fair Game
The U.S. Court of Appeals has sided with the government and ruled that law enforcement can gather cell location records without first obtaining a warrant.
Court Says FCC's Incentive Auction Can Proceed
A federal appeals court today denied broadcasters' bid to derail the FCC's forthcoming reverse auction. The incentive auction, set to take place in mid 2016, will see wireless companies bid for spectrum owned by television broadcasters.
Court Says Samsung Phones Should Have Been Banned
An appeals court today said a lower court was wrong to deny Apple's request of an injunction against select Samsung smartphones. In May 2014, a jury awarded Apple $120 million in a case against Samsung concerning patents.