FCC's Carr: Streamlining Tower Siting Is Already Paying Off

FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr says the infrastructure streamlining efforts he motormanned are already bearing fruit according to some anecdotal evidence he offered up to a World Mobile Congress (MWC) audience in Barcelona Monday (Feb. 25).

That, in turn, is according to a copy of his speech for the MWC Transatlantic Policy Dialogue, in this case the dialog was about 5G.

"One American provider reports that they’re clearing new small cells for construction at six times the pace as before the FCC’s decisions," Carr told the audience. "Another says they’re doubling the number of cells sites they’re building. And another projects that the decisions will increase capital spending this year by around $1 billion to accelerate investment in 5G."

Related: FCC Approves 5g-Related Rollout Reforms

Carr was deputized by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai to 1) oversee revisions to historic and environmental reviews on broadband infrastructure buildouts to update rules made for the days of 200 ft. cell towers but being applied in a backpack-sized small cell world and 2) goosing stat and local governments with shot clocks for approving applications and fee limits for tower citing in rights-of-way. Both got big shout-outs from industry.

The changes were approved last September, over the objections of local government officials and the reservations of Democratic commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel.

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.