While we in the country insist on lots of local control over public matters, what it usually boils down to is politics and self-interest on a microscopic scale. It also means very little gets done. Slowly.
When siting communications towers or wind farms, the best and worst of our civic commitment is on display. Higher authority is not to be despised in such cases.
The unanimous “declaratory ruling” made good on a promise FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski made in an otherwise coolly received speech at an industry conference in early October. Under the new rules, state and local governments must act within 90 days of receiving an application for a co-location, that is, a tower site to be shared with other operators, and 150 days for other applications. Carriers have complained that governments are frustrating their efforts to improve coverage by sitting on tower applications indefinitely.
The FCC also ruled that state or local governments may not use the fact that wireless service is available from another carrier as ground for rejecting an application. And they may not require a zoning variance for every cell site. [More]
One small step for better broadband and phone coverage.