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Telecommunications Update

December 21, 2015

Fourth Circuit Tower Decision

Last week, the Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit made a landmark decision that will impact how municipalities will review tower siting requests.

The Court’s decision upheld the FCC’s October 2014 Order which made it easier to deploy wireless infrastructure.  The FCC’s Order was part of the implementation of Section 6409(a) of the Spectrum Act, which famously created FirstNet.  In addition to creating FirstNet, Congress also sought to make tower deployments less contentious and quicker.

The FCC’s Order was appealed by Montgomery County, Maryland and other municipalities.  The FCC’s Order prevents intervention by local authorities in many types of tower issues.  Most significantly, the Court’s decision upholds the Commission’s adoption of a “shot clock”.

A copy of the Court’s decision can be found here.

Here is a copy of the FCC’s Order.

If you need assistance in interpreting the FCC or Court decisions, the wireless infrastructure professionals at Shulman Rogers would be happy to assist.


Alan S. Tilles

Georgina L.O. Feigen