FCC to Update Rule for Over-the-Air Reception Devices to Help Spur 5G Deployments

The Federal Communications Commission has proposed to update its rule for over-the-air reception devices to help spur 5G deployment.

As it stands, the Commission prohibits certain state and local restrictions that unreasonably impair the ability of users to deploy small, next-generation networking devices on their own property. However, the current rule does not reflect the shifts in the wireless infrastructure landscape for the development of 5G networks and technologies.

Therefore, the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) adopted proposes to eliminate the restriction that currently excludes hub and relay antennas from the scope of this rule. This proposal could help spur infrastructure deployment, including in underserved rural and urban areas. The NPRM also seeks comment on how best to implement the proposed rule. Finally, the NPRM proposes to retain an exception to the rule for safety or historic preservation purposes.

Revising the regulatory framework for over-the-air reception devices would allow fixed wireless providers to deploy hub and relay antennas more quickly and efficiently and help spur investment in and deployment of needed infrastructure in a manner that is consistent with the public interest.

The Commission is committed to facilitating the deployment of the infrastructure needed to support modern wireless networks. Proposing to update the over-the-air reception devices rule is another important step in the Commission’s efforts to modernize outdated regulatory requirements to reflect today’s technology.