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FCC-14-117A5

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STATEMENT OF

COMMISSIONER AJIT PAI

Re:

2004 and 2006 Biennial Regulatory Reviews - Streamlining and Other Revisions of Parts 1 and

17 of the Commission’s Rules Governing Construction, Marking and Lighting of Antenna

Structures, WT Docket No. 10-88, Amendments to Modernize and Clarify Part 17 of the

Commission’s Rules Concerning Construction, Marking and Lighting of Antenna Structures,

RM 11349

When the Commission eliminates a rule specifying that tower owners must notify the FAA about

lighting outages “by telephone or telegraph,”1 you know our modernization effort is long overdue. I’m

glad we’re updating our rules today, especially by streamlining some of those governing towers, antennas,

and other infrastructure. Spectrum policy grabs the headlines, but wireless infrastructure is no less

important. No matter how much spectrum we make available, consumers won’t have superior or even

adequate wireless service if companies can’t deploy infrastructure in a timely manner.

And for far too long, the FCC’s infrastructure rules have not kept pace with changes in

technology. They have impeded innovation and imposed costs with few—if any—offsetting public

benefits. Today’s Order makes some progress on this front.

For example, we eliminate an unnecessary mandate by determining that tower owners that use

advanced monitoring systems in network operations centers need not conduct quarterly, in-person tower

inspections. This is a needless requirement that has cost one company alone $9.8 million since 2007. By

getting rid of outdated regulations like this, we enable infrastructure providers to focus less on jumping

through pointless regulatory hoops and more on meeting consumers’ growing demand for wireless

services.

But there is much more work to be done. In 2012, I called on the Commission to streamline and

reform our rules governing the deployment of wireless infrastructure.2 Then, in a unanimous vote last

year, we announced a comprehensive review of all our wireless infrastructure rules. We teed up issues

like small-cell deployments, Distributed Antenna Systems, the use of local moratoria, and improvements

to our shot clock rules—reforms that are beyond the scope of today’s narrower Order.3

Now is the time to complete that review and update our rules in a comprehensive manner. We

need to remove barriers to infrastructure deployment so that America can continue to lead the world in

wireless.4 I look forward to working with my colleagues to make that happen.

1 47 C.F.R. § 17.48(a) (emphasis added).

2 Remarks of Commissioner Ajit Pai at CTIA’s MobileCon, San Diego, California (Oct. 10, 2012),

http://go.usa.gov/Dd6k.

3 See Acceleration of Broadband Deployment by Improving Wireless Facilities Siting Policies; Acceleration of

Broadband Deployment: Expanding the Reach and Reducing the Cost of Broadband Deployment by Improving

Policies Regarding Public Rights of Way and Wireless Facilities Siting; 2012 Biennial Review of

Telecommunications Regulations, WT Docket Nos. 13-238, 13-32, WC Docket No. 11-59, Notice of Proposed

Rulemaking, 28 FCC Rcd 14238 (2013).

4 Remarks of Commissioner Ajit Pai at PCIA’s 2014 Wireless Infrastructure Show (May 20, 2014),

http://go.usa.gov/NXNQ.

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