US court upholds FCC cap on 5G small cell fees

FCC - Federal Communications Commission

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco largely upheld the three orders that the FCC adopted in 2018 to speed 5G deployments, despite objections from dozens of US cities.

The decision is a win for wireless carriers such as AT&T, Verizon Communications and T-Mobile US. AT&T said in 2018 that excess fees sought by Portland, Oregon, were preventing it from deploying 5G small cells in the city.

FCC commissioners have said the United States over a decade will need to set up as many 800,000 small cells for its 5G networks. The FCC has stated some 5G services will provide data speeds 100 times faster than current service and almost instantaneous response time. 5G networks could eventually lead to capabilities such as remote surgical procedures.

The 2018 FCC orders restricted local governments’ ability to regulate telecommunications providers and prevented owners and operators of utility poles from discriminatorily denying or delaying 5G and broadband service providers access to poles.

The appeals court upheld the orders, except in reference to a provision dealing with local governments’ authority on aesthetic regulations.

The three judges on the panel agreed on almost all facets of the opinion, but Judge Daniel Bress dissented in part, saying the FCC failed to adequately explain its rationale on fee limitations, which it capped unless fees “reasonably approximate a locality’s costs.”

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The team at Platform Executive hope you have enjoyed the ‘US court upholds FCC cap on 5G small cell fees‘ article. Initial reporting via our content partners at Thomson Reuters. Reporting by David Shepardson. Editing by Jonathan Oatis.

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