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//5G: Leading Senators Feintein, Schumer, Harris & Blumenthal Submitted Bill Restoring Local Control, Abolishing FCC Regulations
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July 11, 2019

5G: Leading Senators Feintein, Schumer, Harris & Blumenthal Submitted Bill Restoring Local Control, Abolishing FCC Regulations

On June 27, 2019, some of the leading Senators in Congress submitted a Bill – S. 2012 to restore local control over the deployment of 5G and abolish FCC regulations. 

The Bill S. 2012 – Restoring Local Control Over Public Infrastructure Act of 2019 was submitted by Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and is cosponsored by some of the leading Democrat Senators in Congress: Senator Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.).

The Bill aims to abolish 3 the following regulatory actions adopted by the Federal Communication Commission and declares then as having “no force or effect”. Following a

  1. The –  “Accelerating Wireline Broadband Deployment by Removing Barriers to Infrastructure Investment and Accelerating Wireless Broadband Deployment by Removing Barriers to Infrastructure Investment’’ adopted by the Commission on August 2, 2018 (FCC 18–111). 
  2. The ‘‘Declaratory Ruling and Third Report and Order in the matter of Accelerating Wireless Broadband Deployment by Removing Barriers to Infrastructure Investment and Accelerating Wireline Broadband Deployment by Removing Barriers to Infrastructure Investment’’ adopted by the Commission on September 26, 2018 (FCC 18–133).
  3. The rule adopted by the Commission titled ‘‘Accelerating Wireless and Wireline Broadband Deployment by Removing Barriers to Infrastructure Investment’’ (83 Fed. Reg. 51867 (October 15, 2018)).

The Bill is The bill is supported by the U.S. Conference of Mayors, National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors, American Public Power Association, Communications Workers of America, National Association of Counties, League of California Cities and American Public Works Association.

Rep. Eshoo (D-CA) submitted on January 14, 2019 a House Bill – H.R.  530 Accelerating Broadband Development by Empowering Local Communities Act of 2019 which overturns the FCC’s ruling FCC 18–111 & 83 Fed. Reg. 51867 . Hence, the Senate Bill is wider and overturns also the Sept. 26 ruling FCC 18–133

While these bills are very much welcomed they still do not address the most important issue – the health effects of this technology. When will a Congressman will introduce a bill to overturn Section 704 of the Telecommunication Act of 1996 and or to amend it to clarify that ‘Environmental Considerations’ do not include ‘Health’ considerations. 

IMPORTANT – TO ANYONE WHO WORKS WITH MUNICIPALITIES ON ORDINANCES

Please be aware that according to Next Century Cities analysis of compliance with the Sept. 26 FCC Regulations, titled Summary of Final FCC Small Cell Order municipalities should insert a clause into their agreement with a carrier or infrastructure provider that voids the agreement or requiring  its modification, in the event of a regulatory change (including the overturning of the Order). 

Following is the exact text from the document: 

If a city enters into an agreement with a carrier and then the Order is overturned, is the city stuck with the agreement?
The answer in general is yes. No city is required to enter into any agreement with a
carrier or infrastructure provider. If a city does so voluntarily, it will almost certainly be
held to the terms of the agreement by a court. However, a city might be able to resolve
this problem by including in the agreement a clause voiding the agreement or requiring
its modification, in the event of a regulatory change (including the overturning of the
Order). Many types of telecommunications agreements contain such regulatory change
clauses because parties recognize that the wording or scope of specific provisions in the
agreement has been dictated by the then-existing telecommunications regulatory
scheme, and should be changed if the regulations change.