news & events

5G Update: FCC Seeks Public Input on Utility Pole Replacement Cost-Sharing in Order to Streamline 5G Connectivity Upgrades

Posted March 28, 2022 at 11:57 AM

As reported by Inside Towers, the FCC wants to minimize disputes over utility pole attachments before the $65 billion in broadband infrastructure funding gets used from the Biden Administration’s Infrastructure Law. That’s why FCC Commissioners recently voted 4-0 to seek public input on establishing clear standards for how utilities and attachers must share in pole replacement costs. 

Specifically, the FCC seeks public input on what measures it could adopt to avoid disputes or expedite the resolution of utility pole replacement fights. The agency also wants to know whether requiring utilities to pay a portion of the costs of a pole replacement would positively or negatively affect negotiations of pole attachment agreements and broadband deployment.

Click here to read the full article by Inside Towers.

In July 2021, the Montgomery County Council enacted zoning changes to facilitate deployment of 5G wireless infrastructure. As noted in MM&C’s July article, the ever-increasing demand for mobile broadband services combined with the evolving technical needs of the wireless industry required legislative action for the County to maintain its competitive edge.

MM&C Telecommunications Attorney Sean Hughes noted, “Local governments need to follow Montgomery County’s lead and update zoning laws to comply with Federal telecommunications infrastructure law and perhaps even more importantly, provide clear direction to the wireless providers for enhanced 5G infrastructure installations. Avoiding cost sharing disputes between utility companies and wireless providers will propel enhanced broadband deployment, thus ensuring that all wireless consumers will have the best and fastest wireless connectivity on their phones, tablets and computers.”  

How MM&C Telecommunications Land Use Attorneys Can Help
The telecommunications land use attorneys at Miller, Miller & Canby are experienced in Maryland, D.C. and Virginia assisting cell tower companies, wireless carriers, and property owners in processing conditional use applications and other land use/zoning entitlement applications relating to the FCC order as well as State and local governments small cell legislation.

Sean P. Hughes
 is an attorney in Miller, Miller & Canby’s Land Use practice group. His career spans more than two decades of focus in zoning and wireless telecommunications and he has represented clients in land use and zoning matters throughout Metropolitan Washington, D.C. To learn more about the firm’s Telecommunications practice, click here.