The FCC voted unanimously to approve new rules for tower siting that will speed up the application process for new and existing cell towers, fulfilling a pledge FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski made to the wireless industry at the CTIA Wireless IT show in October.
The commission voted, 5-0, to give states and localities a so-called "shot clock" for tower siting applications. The new rules mean there will be a deadline of 90 days to process applications for co-located facilities, where two or more providers share the tower, and 150 days for new towers. However, if the applications are not approved, operators must still take the issue into court.
Genachowski noted last month that delays in tower-siting applications threatened to slow the deployment of mobile broadband networks. CTIA has told the FCC that some 760 applications for new tower sites have been waiting for responses from state and local governments for more than a year, according to The Hill. The group said 180 applications have been waiting for more than three years.
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