FCC Extends Some Wireless Buildout Deadlines

The FCC is giving some licensees a break on build-out deadlines citing COVID-19-related disruption. 

In response to a petition from the Enterprise Wireless Alliance, the FCC said it would provide all site-based and mobile only wireless licensees with construction deadlines that fell between March 15 and May 15 an extra 60 days. EWA had sought an extension until Aug. 31. 

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The chief of the FCC's Wireless Bureau said that temporary relief was in the public interest given supply chain delays and other construction and equipment delivery issues that COVID-19 has engendered, particularly given that the country is in a state of emergency. 

The FCC said it may have to extend the deadlines even further, as is the case with a number of waiver extensions it set early in the pandemic. 

"Because information related to the pandemic is changing quickly, the Commission is continuing to monitor the situation and may consider further extensions," wrote Bureau chief Donald Stockdale.  

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.