The FCC is asking for public input on streamlining its rules governing deployment of small cell infrastructure to support 5G services by improving the agency’s wireless facilities siting policies. The effort by the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau stems in part from a petition for Declaratory Ruling filed by Mobilitie, LLC titled: “Promoting Broadband for All Americans by prohibiting Excessive Charges for Access to Public Rights of Way.”

In the petition, Mobilitie tells the Commission that “high and discriminatory fees” are impeding infrastructure deployment necessary to support wireless broadband and wireless technologies that “need affordable access to rights-of-way.” Mobilitie states that “just and reasonable compensation” is appropriately limited to a locality’s cost of managing its rights-of-way and “localities should disclose their charges on other carriers which were given rights-of-way access.”

In 2009, the commission decided that a reasonable amount of time for state or local governments to process collocation applications is 90 days and 150 days to process other siting applications, including DAS and small cells. If the local authorities haven’t acted by then the provider may seek relief in the courts.

Now, the FCC seeks public input on how often local land-use authorities deny siting applications and why. The Commission is also looking for facts to establish a basis to assess the reasonableness of fees charged by municipalities for processing site applications, and also whether the time frame for action on small cell or DAS site applications submitted in batches should be either reduced or increased.

Comments to WT Docket 16-421 are due by February 6.