Wireless Broadband Infrastructure Policy: Balancing National Priorities

Telecommunications & Electronic Media Practice Group Teleforum

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On April 20, 2017, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) initiated a proceeding to assess the regulatory barriers the wireless industry faces as it deploys the infrastructure necessary to provide broadband services to its customers.  The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NPRM”) examines how state and local regulatory processes impact the efficiency, timeliness and cost of infrastructure deployment.  Notably, the NPRM seeks comment on whether sitting applications that are not acted on by state or local governments within a reasonable period of time should be “deemed granted” by Commission rules. The FCC also seeks input on the costs and benefits inherent in the statutorily mandated historic preservation and environmental review processes and asks what changes could be made to minimize costs and delays.  In a separate Notice of Inquiry (“NOI” ) the FCC seeks comment on two provisions of the Communications Act, Sections 253 and 332, that acknowledge the importance of state and local regulation but also protect against regulations that impose barriers to entry or are otherwise unreasonable. A robust record has been developed in response to the NPRM and NOI and this Teleforum will examine the key arguments raised in the proceeding and offer perspectives from leading policy experts.  Former FCC Commissioner Jonathan Adlestein, now President & CEO, of The Wireless Infrastructure Association, Robert McDowell also a former FCC Commissioner and current partner at Cooley LLP, and Brad Ramsey, General Counsel of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC), will offer their insights on the FCC proceeding and the state and local regulatory regimes that may be impacted by the proposed changes to the FCC rules.  Gardner Foster, Senior Counsel of the Sprint Corporation, will moderate the discussion.



Jonathan Adelstein, President & CEO, The Wireless Infrastructure Association

Hon. Robert M. McDowell, Partner, Cooley LLP

James Bradford Ramsay, General Counsel, National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners

Moderator: Gardner H. Foster, Senior Counsel, Government Affairs, Sprint


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