Multiple appeals filed in various circuits of the FCC’s small cell order were consolidated today in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit (Denver).
The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation released an order consolidating the cases. The order mentions six appeals filed in four circuits – the First, Second, Ninth, and Tenth – but a seventh appeal was submitted by AT&T, Inc., in the D.C. Circuit. However, the FCC omitted mention of that case when it filed paperwork on the various appeals.
The small cell order was adopted in September (TR Daily, Sept. 26).
The declaratory ruling and third report and order bars states and localities from adopting rules that prohibit the deployment of wireless infrastructure, imposes limits on the fees that municipalities can charge for reviewing small cell deployments, sets shot clocks for acting on small cell applications, and provides guidance on when non-fee requirements such as aesthetic and undergrounding requirements may amount to an effective prohibition on service.
Although the wireless industry generally supported the item, AT&T, Sprint Corp., which filed in the Tenth Circuit, and Puerto Rico Telephone Company challenged it because the FCC did not adopt a deemed granted remedy. Verizon Communications, Inc., did not specify a reason for its appeal.
More than two dozen Western localities and municipal groups have also filed petitions for review more broadly challenging the FCC item.- Paul Kirby, [email protected]
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