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
This Notice of Inquiry concerns key challenges and best practices in expanding the reach and reducing the cost of broadband deployment by improving government policies for access to rights of way and wireless facilities siting. As such it is a leading element of the Commission’s Broadband Acceleration Initiative. Increasing broadband deployment throughout the nation is one of the great infrastructure challenges of our time. Communications technology and services—particularly broadband—are critical to our country’s economic success in the twenty-first century. Broadband can drive local and national economic growth, as well as improve education, healthcare, and energy efficiency.
Congress has directed this “Commission and each State commission with regulatory jurisdiction over telecommunications services [to] encourage the deployment on a reasonable and timely basis of [broadband] to all Americans” by working to “remove barriers to infrastructure investment” in a manner consistent with the public interest, convenience, and necessity. Accordingly, in this proceeding we seek to work with stakeholders including state and local governments, other federal agencies, Tribal governments, consumer advocates, and the private sector to identify means of improving rights of way policies and wireless facilities siting requirements. By working together on these issues, we can reduce the costs and time required for broadband deployment, both fixed and mobile, which will help unleash private investment in infrastructure, increase efficient use of scarce public resources (including spectrum), and increase broadband adoption.