Mayors object to broadband deployment tactics


The companies striving to increase access to broadband have annoyed broadcasters with demands for spectrum in the television space. It turns out that broadcasters are not alone – a coalition of mayors and national associations are complaining about broadband demands to trample right of way management, saying cities have been working successfully with them.

According to a filing from the U.S. Conference of Mayors and its associates, complaints from broadband providers about restrictive zoning and siting issues are being overblown, and that local jurisdictions are working effectively to deploy broadband service.

The filing “cited industry complaints about local zoning and management practices as inaccurate and misleading, calling attention to false anecdotes and unsubstantiated claims lacking statistical or economic analyses.” Further, it “…points to inconsistent positions taken by industry representatives, who argued to the Commission that local right-of-way and wireless facility siting practices are slowing deployment and hindering infrastructure investment, while often arguing in other forums that deployment is widespread, with investment at historic levels and competitive and vibrant markets throughout the U.S.”

The mayors signaled their eagerness to work with the FCC and providers to keep the deployment project moving forward.

Joining with the USMC are The National League of Cities, the National Association of Counties, the United States Conference of Mayors, the International Municipal Lawyers Association, the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors, the Government Finance Officers Association, the American Public Works Association, the International City/County Management Association and The American Planning Association.

RBR-TVBR observation: We can’t blame broadband companies for trying to create the cushiest environment for themselves that they possibly can. But that doesn’t mean the FCC should simply cave in and give them whatever they want with no regard for the many other interests with a stake in the proceedings.

They want right of ways for wires; they want places to erect towers; they want television channel spectrum. Meanwhile, mayors say they are making these things available; meanwhile, we keep finding out that broadband companies are already sitting on spectrum.

Isn’t it a little crazy to ask cities and broadcasters to sacrifice before we are even completely sure there is a problem?

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