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Home > News > News Articles > 2020 > June > FCC Action Limits Local Authority Over Modifications to Existing Wireless Facilities
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FCC Action Limits Local Authority Over Modifications to Existing Wireless Facilities

June 10, 2020
At a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) meeting June 9, the commission voted to adopt a Ruling and Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to “clarify” and change FCC rules pertaining to modifications of existing wireless facilities. 
 
The changes limit local control in various ways, including by increasing the height of additional antenna permitted to be added to existing towers by right, and by undoing protections used by local governments to preserve concealment elements or enforce prior conditions of approval.

Cities who have questions about how this Ruling and Notice of Proposed Rulemaking may impact their city should consult with their city attorney.

The changes in the Ruling became effective immediately upon release, while the changes in the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking are subject to further stakeholder comments over the next 30 days.

The FCC’s action was prompted by petitions filed in late 2019 by wireless industry advocates. The League is a part of a coalition of local governments and local government associations — the Western Communities’ Coalition — that has been actively engaged in opposing these petitions and advocating on behalf of local governments, including, most recently, by filing comments amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. The League will continue to advocate against these efforts by the industry to limit local control.


 
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