The Small Cell Forum has applauded a decision by the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to prevent city and town governments from charging wireless carriers up to $2 billion dollars’ worth of fees related to the deployment of wireless equipment, including small cells.
SCF said the announcement represents a huge step forward to removing bureaucratic barriers standing in the way of bringing the benefits of small cells to consumers all over the US, delivering better cellular coverage today and helping speed future 5G deployments.
Currently, small-cell deployments in the US are treated the same as large microcell towers, and are therefore subject to federal processes. Network operators and their agents are required to comply with extensive bureaucratic constraints when designing, building and deploying small cells. This represents significant municipal fees and delays in the development of the dense networks required to meet the growing demand for mobile data and to lay the foundations for 5G.
“SCF actively works to mitigate the challenges around small cell siting, with progress in the US having been achieved by building industry consensus around siting requirements in terms of size, power and backhaul, as well as a streamlined approval process,” said SCF chair David Orloff. “These have acted as benchmarks to facilitate discussions with municipalities and regulators such as the FCC.”