Jenner & Block

Client Alert: Federal Communications Commission to Consider Infrastructure Measures at August Open Meeting

As Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) Chairman Ajit Pai recently noted, when it comes to telecommunications, “[p]hysical infrastructure isn’t an option.  It’s a necessity.”[1]  That necessity has prompted the Commission, at the direction of its new infrastructure leader, Commissioner Brendan Carr[2], to take steps to try to ensure that regulation encourages—and does not inhibit—private-sector investment.  As part of its push to expedite infrastructure deployment, the FCC will use its upcoming August Open Meeting to address pole attachments and state and local barriers to deployment.[3]  In particular, a draft Report and Order released earlier this month shows that the Commission plans to “fundamentally” transform the way in which the federal government regulates pole attachments.[4]  The Commission also proposes to issue a Declaratory Ruling to invalidate state and local moratoria that stand in the way of infrastructure projects.[5]   The Commission’s proposals have sparked considerable interest from a wide variety of industry and government stakeholders,[6] ensuring that the August Open Meeting will be watched closely.

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