Today’s Regulatory Mix: Pennsylvania Passes Small Wireless Facilities Deployment Act, USDA Commits $21 Million for Broadband in Rural New York, WISPA, Charter and Others Urge FCC Against Higher Power CBRS Rules
Pennsylvania Passes Small Wireless Facilities Deployment Act
Governor Tom Wolf (D.) signed the Small Wireless Facilities Deployment Act into law. House Bill 1621 is intended to improve connectivity across the commonwealth by increasing access to 5G technology, attaching small wireless facilities to existing utility poles. “If the past year has shown us anything, it’s that access to fast, reliable broadband is a necessity in practically every aspect of life,” said Representative Robert Matzie, Democratic chairman of the House Consumer Affairs Committee in a press release. “The technology is out there, but we needed a seamless plan to harness it. Our legislation provides that plan by laying the groundwork for municipalities to obtain this technology while also protecting the workers who install it.”
USDA Commits $21 Million for Broadband in Rural New York
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that $21 million in second round funding was being committed under the ReConnect Program to help bring high-speed broadband to rural New York. The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2019 provided $550 million in second-round funding. Empire Long Distance Corp. will receive an $11.3 million grant to deploy a fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) network in Livingston County that will reach 11,341 people, 96 farms, 42 businesses, and a school. Madison County will receive a $10.1 million grant to deploy an FTTP network that will connect 2,170 people, 50 farms, and 30 businesses in the county.
WISPA, Charter and Others Urge FCC Against Higher Power CBRS Rules
A coalition including Charter Communications, WISPA and public interest groups are urging the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to reject proposals to increase power limits in the shared CBRS band, saying it would favor macro cell deployments only and jeopardize existing deployments.
Other signatories on the July 1 letter (PDF) voicing strong opposition to changes in the band include the Open Technology Institute, Public Knowledge, the Consortium for School Networking, and the Schools, Health & Libraries (SHLB) Coalition.
The Regulatory Mix, Inteserra’s blog of telecom related regulatory activities, is a snapshot of PUC, FCC, legislative, and occasionally court issues that our regulatory monitoring team uncovers each day. Depending on their significance, some items may be the subject of an Inteserra Briefing.