The Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Wireless Telecommunications Bureau (WTB) issued a Public Notice on May 12, 2016 seeking comments related to their proposed “Amended Collocation Agreement”. The proposed Amended Collocation Agreement would offer additional exclusions from Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA), given the limited potential for adverse impacts to historic resources from small cell and Distributed Antenna Systems (DAS) facilities. The FCC’s goal in providing the additional exclusions to the existing Collocation Agreement is to “enable swift and responsible deployment of wireless broadband services.”
The Amended Collocation Agreement would address streamlining deployment of small cells by providing new exclusions related to the following scenarios:
- The collocation of small cell facilities on buildings and non-tower structures over 45 years old not in historic districts
- The collocation of minimally visible small cell facilities on buildings and non-tower structures within historic districts or on historic properties (subject to certain visibility limitations)
- The collocation of visible small cell facilities within historic districts or on historic properties (on utility poles/transmission towers, for in-kind replacements of existing equipment, and on a case-by-case basis for public lighting structures)
The proposed new exclusions for small cell facilities are subject to limitations related to volumetric size limits of the antennas and associated equipment, as well as, limitations on associated ground disturbance, and safeguards on the physical preservation of historic materials. The comment period with the FCC for the proposed Amended Collocation Agreement expires on June 13, 2016 and issuance of the Amended Collocation Agreement is expected later this year.
Please contact G2 to discuss how we can assist in determining how the existing or proposed FCC guidelines may impact your small cell/DAS projects. Our staff can help in the planning of your projects to apply exclusions where applicable to limit the overall regulatory requirements associated with your small cell projects. Given our experience with regulatory oversight by the carriers, we can help set cost parameters and timelines based on the services that will be required related to any Section 106 review involving SHPO and/or tribal entities.
Below is a link to the FCC’s Public Notice page, which contains a copy of the proposed Amended Collocation Agreement: