House Republicans Urge Vote on Wireless Infrastructure Item

Almost two dozen House Republicans have written the FCC in support of its 5G upgrade Order, calling it " the next major step that the Commission can take to promote broadband buildout across our great country." 

That is in stark contrast to the two dozen House Democrats that wrote the FCC calling for delaying the vote, invoking COVID-19 saying proceeding with the item could jeopardize health and safety. 

The FCC plans to vote on a "5G Upgrade" order next week (June 9) to clarify some of the steps the FCC has taken, championed by commissioner Brendan Carr, to speed tower citing, upgrades, and other elements of wireless network buildouts.  

1. "Clarify when the FCC's 60-day shot clock on localities reviews of a wireless builder's documents.  

2. "Clarify what equipment can go on existing structures.  

3. "Spell out distinctions between concealment elements--having to make a tower look like a tree or a flagpole--and other conditions related to aesthetics, and clarifying that aesthetic conditions can't be enforced "in a way that negates our other rules that promote streamlined approval."  

The Republicans also invoked COVID-19, at least by reference to the times, saying the upgrade "will allow companies to improve their services in our communities now, when they need it the most." 

Signing on to the letter were 23 Republicans, led by Energy & Commerce ranking member Greg Walden (R-Ore.) and Communications Subcommittee ranking member Robert Latta (R-Ohio).

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.