2017 SPEED Act, S.1988

S.1988: Streamlining Permitting to Enable Efficient Deployment of Broadband Infrastructure Act of 2017, the "SPEED Act".

Emphases, emphases and [comments], below, by Scientists For Wired Technology (‘S4WT’)

Bill Summary: S.1988

This bill states the following:

  • Defines “wireless service” as “the transmission by radio communication of voice, video, or data communications services”
  • Defines “communications facility installation” “as infrastructure and antennas “added to a tower, building, support pole, or other structure”
  • Allows the FCC to define the size of a “small Wireless facility”.
  • Exempts from NEPA review “permitting the placement and installation of a small wireless facility” in public rights of way or on public buildings.
  • Allows utility poles and other structures to expand to "50 feet tall or 10 feet higher than any existing structure in the public right-of-way, whichever is higher.&quot

Scientists For Wired Technology Bill Analysis: S.1988

S.1988 is the Federal equivalent of the recently vetoed SB.649 and similar state Bills written by lawyers and lobbyists from the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC, funded by the Koch Brothers), and by the Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association (CTIA). Bills like this appeared in 20+ states all over the country, at the same time earlier in 2017. The words are almost identical in the Bills in Illinois, Texas, Minnesota, North Carolina and many other states. Cities in Ohio and Texas have already sued their states over their unconstitutional equivalents of SB.649. Ohio has already vacated its bill because it was unconstitutional. California Governor Jerry Brown vetoed SB.649 on 10/15/17 . . . four days later, S.1988 emerges.

This is the Wireless industry’s attempts to use the Federal Government to shove these unconstitutional actions down the throats of local communities, leaving much of the "dirty work" to the FCC to define what is "substantial" and "reasonable" — which means to the benefits of AT&T, Verizon, Crown Castle et. al.

Oppose the following in S.1988:

  • Oppose the need for Bill at all and its stealing of public rights of way for Wireless deployments which are much slower, much less energy-efficient, much less secure, much less dependable in a disaster than Wireline fiber-optic deployments: Fiber to the Premises (‘FTTP’).

  • Oppose the industry-captured FCC being able to continue to "evaluate radiofrequency exposure under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.)". Such authority is not justified as the FCC has no health expertise.

  • Oppose the height of the proposed poles: "50 feet tall or 10 feet higher than any existing structure in the public right-of-way, whichever is higher". Current utility poles are between 20-24 feet high.

  • Oppose the ridiculously-short time frame for the FCC’s Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee (‘BDAC’) reports to the "appropriate Senate and House Committees": 60 days and 120 days. Guess what folks . . . these reports have already been written by ALEC, the CTIA, AT&T and Verizon. This is just democracy theater. We need substantial public input into whether or not S.1988 should pass at all in its current form. We will also need significant amendments to this Bill to protect our constitutional rights to privacy, health and safety.

S.1988 Bill Text

115th CONGRESS, 1st Session

To streamline broadband infrastructure permitting on established public rights-of-way, and for other purposes.

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
October 19, 2017
Mr. Wicker (for himself and Ms. Cortez Masto) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Environment and Public Works

A BILL
To streamline broadband infrastructure permitting on established public rights-of-way, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be cited as the “Streamlining Permitting to Enable Efficient Deployment of Broadband Infrastructure Act of 2017” or the “SPEED Act”.

SEC. 2. DEFINITIONS.

In this Act—

(1) the term “antenna” means communications equipment that transmits or receives electromagnetic radio frequency signals used in the provision of wireless services;

(2) the term “appropriate committees of Congress” means—

   (A) the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate;

   (B) the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources of the Senate;

   (C) the Committee on Energy and Commerce of the House of Representatives; and

   (D) the Committee on Natural Resources of the House of Representatives;

(3) the term “Commission” means the Federal Communications Commission;

(4) the term “communications facility installation” includes—

   (A) any infrastructure, including any transmitting device, tower, or support structure, and any equipment, switches, wiring, cabling, power sources, shelters, or cabinets, associated with the licensed or permitted unlicensed wireless or wireline transmission of writings, signs, signals, data, images, pictures, and sounds of all kinds; and

   (B) any antenna or apparatus that—

      (i) is designed for the purpose of emitting or receiving radio frequency;

      (ii)

         (I) is designed to be operated, or is operating, from a fixed location pursuant to authorization by the Commission; or

         (II) is using duly authorized devices that do not require individual licenses; and

      (iii) is added to a tower, building, support pole, or other structure;

(5) the term “covered easement” means an easement, right-of-way, or lease to, in, over, or on a building or other property owned by the Federal Government, excluding tribal land held in trust by the Federal Government (unless the tribal government of such land requests that the Commission not exclude the land for purposes of this definition), for the right to install, construct, modify, or maintain a communications facility installation;

(6) the term “public right-of-way”—

   (A) means—

      (i) the area on, below, or above a public roadway, highway, street, sidewalk, alley, or similar property; and

      (ii) any land immediately adjacent to and contiguous with property described in clause (i) that is within the right-of-way grant; and

   (B) does not include a Federal interstate highway;

(7) the term “small wireless facility” means a wireless service facility that meets the size limitation, and any other applicable requirement, established by the Commission;

(8) the term “Streamlining Federal Siting Working Group” or “Working Group” means the Streamlining Federal Siting Working Group of the Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee;

[S4WT Comment: Go here to see the list of the FCC’s Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee (‘BDAC’), which includes San Jose Mayor, Sam Liccardo]

(9) the term “support pole” means an upright pole or structure used or capable of being used to support a wireless service facility;

(10) the term “utility facility” means any privately, publicly, or cooperatively owned line, facility, or system for producing, transmitting, or distributing power, electricity, light, heat, gas, oil, crude products, water, steam, waste, storm water not connected with highway drainage, or any other similar commodity, including any fire or police signal system or street lighting system, that directly or indirectly serves the public;

(11) the term “wireless service” means the transmission by radio communication of voice, video, or data communications services, including Internet Protocol or any successor protocol-enabled services, or any combination of those services, whether provided on a licensed or permitted unlicensed basis; and

(12) the term “wireless service facility” means a facility for the provision of wireless service.

SEC. 3. EXEMPTION FROM REVIEW FOR CERTAIN COMMUNICATIONS FACILITY INSTALLATIONS.

No review shall be required under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) or division A of subtitle III of title 54, United States Code, as a condition of granting a covered easement for a communications facility installation if a covered easement has been granted for another communications facility installation or a utility facility with respect to the same building or other property owned by the Federal Government.

SEC. 4. REGULATORY TREATMENT OF CERTAIN WIRELESS FACILITIES.

(a) Exclusion Of Small Cells From Review.
Notwithstanding any provision of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) or division A of subtitle III of title 54, United States Code, the Commission shall not be required to perform, and may not require any entity regulated by the Commission to perform, any review under that Act or division as a condition of permitting the placement and installation of a small wireless facility if the new small wireless facility—

   (1)

      (A) will be located within a public right-of-way; and

      (B) is not higher than, or not substantially higher than (as that term is defined by the Commission), any existing structure in the public right of way; or

   (2) is—

      (A) a replacement for an existing small wireless facility; and

      (B) the same as, or substantially similar to (as that term is defined by the Commission), the small wireless facility that the new small wireless facility is replacing.

(b) Exclusion Of Wireless Service Facilities In Public Rights-Of-Way From Review.
Notwithstanding any provision of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) or division A of subtitle III of title 54, United States Code, the Commission shall not be required to perform, no Federal, State, or local authority shall be required to perform, and no Federal, State, or local authority may require any entity to perform, any review under that Act or division as a condition of permitting the placement and installation of a wireless service facility if

   (1)

      (A) the wireless service facility will be located in an existing public right-of-way; and

      (B) any new ground disturbance from the installation of the wireless service facility is limited to the existing public right-of-way; and

   (2) the antenna tower or support pole—

      (A) is not more than 50 feet tall or 10 feet higher than any existing structure in the public right-of-way, whichever is higher; and

      (B) does not have guy wires.

(c) Savings Clause.
Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect—

   (1) the obligation of the Commission to evaluate radiofrequency exposure under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.);

   (2) except as explicitly provided in this section, the obligation of any provider of wireless service to comply with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) or division A of subtitle III of title 54, United States Code; or

   (3) the authority of a State or local government to apply and enforce the zoning and other land use regulations of the State or local government to the extent consistent with this section and sections 253, 332(c)(7), and 621 of the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 253, 332(c)(7), and 541).

SEC. 5. GAO REPORT ON FEDERAL DELAYS IN SITING TELECOMMUNICATIONS EQUIPMENT ON FEDERAL LAND.

Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, the Comptroller General of the United States shall conduct a study, and submit a report to the appropriate committees of Congress, that includes —

(1) an analysis of the challenges to and administrative delays in efficiently siting communications facility installations on Federal land, including whether, in order to increase the efficiency of such siting, it is necessary to develop—

   (A) standard procedures for communications facility installation siting, including a standard duration of leases and easements;

   (B) methods that Federal agencies may use to identify and report on coverage gaps and deficiencies in communications facility installation siting; and

   (C) procedures for creating and maintaining a publicly accessible inventory of space that can be used to attach or install communications facility installations; and

(2) recommendations, if any, for how Congress and the Commission can address the challenges and reduce the administrative delays identified under paragraph (1).

SEC. 6. STREAMLINING FEDERAL SITING WORKING GROUP REPORT.

(a) In General.
Not later than 60 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Streamlining Federal Siting Working Group shall submit a report to the appropriate committees of Congress that contains an analysis of the challenges to and administrative delays in efficiently siting communications facility installations on Federal land, including whether, in order to increase the efficiency of such siting, it is necessary to develop —

   (1) standard procedures for communications facility installation siting, including a standard duration of leases and easements;

   (2) methods that Federal agencies may use to identify and report on coverage gaps and deficiencies in communications facility installation siting; and

   (3) procedures for creating and maintaining a publicly accessible inventory of space that can be used to attach or install communications facility installations.

(b) Final Report.
Not later than 120 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Working Group shall submit a report to the appropriate committees of Congress on the final findings and recommendations of the Working Group described in subsection (a).