BB&K In the News Nov 14, 2014

Local Government, Industry Reps Mull Challenges to Section 6409(a)

BB&K Partner Gerard Lederer Quoted by Telecommunications Reports Daily in Coverage of Webinar on Wireless Towers and the New FCC Rules

Local government officials and those in the wireless industry are closely examining challenges to implementing section 6409(a) of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012, reports Telecommunications Reports Daily. In its coverage of a Nov. 14, 2014 Law Seminars International webinar, in which Best Best & Krieger LLP Partner Gerard Lederer participated, TRD noted that the FCC has ordered that states and localities must act on applications to modify existing wireless tower or base stations within 60 days. If no action is taken during that time, the application is “deemed granted.” The new law takes effect in less than 90 days.

It might be difficult for local governments to comply with the new rules by the given deadline because of the need for new procedures and forms, plus holidays and new officials taking office on Jan. 1.

“He also said that while the new rules could make ‘things more efficient,’ he noted that localities are facing reduced resources due to tighter budgets that could make it harder to meet the 90-day timeframe,” TRD reported.

“Mr. Lederer also said it is difficult to educate larger, more sophisticated localities about the new rules as well as smaller jurisdictions that might not even have their own attorneys. ‘One size can never really fit all,’ he said,” TRD said.

Local agencies dislike that the wireless industry received what it wanted from the FCC, but still want state legislatures to change laws, Gerard said, according to TRD. “People get put off a bit,” he said. “That will cause difficulty.”

He also counseled those in the industry to not cite anonymous jurisdictions in their comments. “There’s nothing that makes us crazier than the anonymous allegation,” Gerry said. “Name the community. … Typically on each of these stories, there is another side.”

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