San Francisco, CA, October 25, 2018: Since the beginning of 2017, the Federal Communications Commission has issued five Report & Orders and three Declaratory Rulings relating to the streamlining of small wireless facilities (small cells) as part of its 5G FAST plan to speed up the Federal, State, and local government review process. This has been hampered by local moratoria, National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA)/ National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) reviews, excessive non-recurring and recurring fees, in-kind services, and lengthy permit application review periods.
This report analyzes each of the Report & Orders and Declaratory Rulings that are focused on three main areas as they relate to small wireless facilities:
The culmination of which resulted in the addition of Title 47 Part 1 Subpart U which defines state and local government regulations with regard to personal wireless service facilities per FCC 18-133.
Additionally, we analyze the current revision of Senate Bill S.3157 titled the STREAMLINE Small Cell Deployment Act that was introduced in June 2018 and its potential impact on small personal wireless facilities.
As the U.S. mobile operators launch 5G wireless services and continue to deploy 4G networks for capacity, coverage and densification, the ability to collocate on street lights, signal lights, and utility poles within the metro markets as well as in smaller communities remains one of the biggest bottlenecks for small cell deployment. Additionally, the FCC’s 18-149 Report & Order paves the way for CBRS PAL licenses to be auctioned off in the future along with the launch of GAA-based CBRS networks in 2019 which also drives deployment of 4G small cells. The FCC’s upcoming Spectrum Frontiers Auction 101 and 102 adds additional microwave spectrum at 28GHz and 24GHz, respectively, for 5G small cell use across the United States that ultimately will be deployed on small wireless facilities.
“The need for a non-discriminatory process and a fair and reasonable fee structure is important for both the wireless industry as well as the State/local governments with regard to the rights-of-way for small personal wireless facilities. Are the proposed solutions from the FCC the perfect answer and balance the needs of both sides? No, and we believe the impact of current and future Federal and State legislation regarding small cells may ultimately lead to lengthy legal battles over State/local government rights,” says Lum.
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EJL Wireless Research provides proprietary, accurate and cutting-edge market analysis and consulting services on the wireless technology ecosystem. The firm’s wireless infrastructure research focuses on vertical elements of the wireless ecosystem including telecommunication standards evolution, global and regional regulatory issues, spectrum availability, mobile operators, and mobile infrastructure equipment vendors. In addition, the firm provides analysis across horizontal technology suppliers including RF semiconductor materials, RF semiconductor/components, and RF subsystems. Our goal is to provide our clients with critical market analysis and information.
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