PCIA President and CEO Jonathan Adelstein underscored the need to remove barriers to wireless broadband deployment before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation.
"When it comes to meeting the growing wireless data demands of Americans and consumers throughout the world, the wireless infrastructure industry plays an indispensable role," Adelstein noted. "Put simply, our industry enables wireless communication and applications. Similar to roads and bridges, which carry physical traffic, wireless infrastructure is the essential platform for digital traffic that carries innovative applications like Uber, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube, as well as lifealtering broadband services like telemedicine, distance learning, improved public safety response, mobile banking, and a host of industrial and manufacturing functions. Efficient wireless infrastructure buildout will promote innovation and solidify America’s historical competitiveness in the technology sector, and virtually every other sector of the economy."
Adelstein suggested that Congress could consider that would alleviate roadblocks to wireless siting at the local level would be removing requirements that a provider demonstrate “proof-of-need” or show a “gap-in-service” when siting a wireless facility. Proof-of-need is used as a barrier to building new facilities because it is simple to reject an application based on a local government’s subjective evaluation that the applicant failed to sufficiently demonstrate that a facility serves a purpose. Moreover, varied judicial interpretations of Sections 332 and 253 of the Telecom Act allow a jurisdiction to deny an application on the basis that “sufficient” wireless coverage already exists in the area.
The complete testimony can be found here.