Today is the second and final day of the Federal Communication Commission's fourth meeting of its Broadband Development Advisory Committee in Washington D.C.
FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn started the long day of discussions off with opening remarks reinstating the importance of the work that the BDAC is committed to.
"Additionally, while I appreciate the BDAC’s acknowledgement that public-private partnerships may provide solutions to bridge those divides, I noticed that there was an expressed preference for industry over municipalities in broadband deployment efforts. As I have said many, many times before, one size does not fit all, and private industry infrastructure investments do not always flow to communities that are most in need. Therefore, I will continue to ask for municipalities to be allowed to deploy a broadband network, if that best suits the needs of the people they are elected and appointed to serve."
On today's agenda, the committee will present and discuss the draft codes from the Model Code for States and Model Code for Municipalities working groups.
CNX Vice President of Marketing and Communications, Angela Stacy, is a member of the Model Code for Municipalities, and she is working alongside the working group's city representatives to be the voice for state and local governments on the committee and give local input a seat at the table.
The Model Code for Municipalities
The current version of this draft code nearly identical to small cell legislation that is currently sweeping through the country. As of now, 13 states have passed bills with similar language that focused on doing the following:
1. streamlining processing times for applications and permits;
2. capping collocation, application, and ROW fees;
3. limiting city/municipality's design aesthetics jurisdictions;
4. limiting city/municiaplity's control over denying applications for reasons outside of the bill's requirements.
The draft code does not currently include proposed application fees, annual ROW rates, or annual attachment fees.
However, there is a 10 day shot-clock for a city determining and notifying an applicant if their application is complete upon receiving the application. There is not a shot-clock for the city to make its final decision to approve or deny the application, but there is a comment by the working group in the draft stating, "[Comment: Should this be extended beyond current federal shot clock applicability??]"
As seen in other legislation, the draft reads, "(A) Each such new, modified or replacement Pole, Tower, or Support Structure installed in the Public ROW shall not exceed [the greater of]: 1. [Ten (10) feet above the tallest existing Pole, Tower or Support Structure in the Public ROW, in place as of the effective date of this Chapter, and located within 500 feet of the new proposed Pole, Support Structure or Tower; or],..."
The working group has yet to establish the other option of how many feet above ground level the Pole, Tower, or Support Structure can be.
In the draft code's Appendix B, a sample Right of What Utility Application for Wireline Only Installations is included for review.
Here at CNX, we are dedicated to following the progress of the BDAC's work and the movement of small cell legislation nationwide. For weekly updates, subscribe to the CNX Legislative Center at the tab above.