By Mark Huffman
08/12/2019 Consumer Affairs
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has encountered another roadblock in its effort to speed the rollout of 5G wireless service.
A federal court has ruled that the agency overstepped its bounds when it tried to exempt 5G cell sites from environmental impact and historic preservation reviews.
The FCC is concerned that the U.S. could fall behind in the deployment of the latest generation of wireless service and has been trying to aid providers in dealing with regulatory hurdles. But a U.S. appeals court ruled that cell sites using the new technology still must comply with existing regulations.
“We grant in part the petitions for review because the Order does not justify the Commission’s determination that it was not in the public interest to require review of small cell deployments,” the court ruled. “In particular, the Commission failed to justify its confidence that small cell deployments pose little to no cognizable religious, cultural, or environmental risk, particularly given the vast number of proposed deployments and the reality that the Order will principally affect small cells that require new construction.”
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Added note by EMFSA