Wireless infrastructure is the backbone of all wireless voice and data communications. PCIA strives to ensure that the wireless marketplace remains competitive through sound regulations and policy at the local, state and federal levels.
Wireless broadband is a critical piece of America’s innovation economy and as important to our nation’s future as the build out of our energy grid and landline phones. Connecting America with high-speed data connections is a stated goal of the FCC and current Administration. PCIA is working to ensure that wireless infrastructure is a constant part of the conversation.
As wireless data usage continues to escalate, finding new and innovative ways to deploy network the necessary infrastructure to keep up with demand becomes a necessity. One way to address the capacity crunch is through the utilization of existing infrastructure including utility poles. The FCC has taken significant action to facilitate the use of this infrastructure, include ensuring pole top access, regulated rates, and reasonable make-ready timelines. PCIA continues to work at all levels to ensure that wireless providers have access to these existing resources.
Wireless backhaul is an essential component to the rapid deployment of next generation wireless services including mobile broadband. Wireless backhaul services are similar to wireless subscription services in that the vital infrastructure component is highly impacted by state and local regulatory policies. PCIA is working to facilitate the coordinated use of wireless backhaul systems including allocating additional spectrum for backhaul use and fostering innovative designs of backhaul antennas in the build out of wireless networks and their supporting infrastructure.
Wireless signal boosters are an important part of the wireless ecosystem providing increased coverage and capacity with a minimal footprint. PCIA is working to ensure that booster technology is deployed in a responsible manner so as to minimize interference and optimize coverage and capacity of wireless services.
Environmental and historic preservation reviews are an important part of safe and responsible wireless siting and infrastructure buildout. PCIA works with authorities at all levels to ensure that the regulations and policies regarding environmental and historic preservation reviews are well informed and properly balance vital interests.
America’s wireless networks are increasingly relied on in times of emergency and national crisis, it is therefore extremely important that these systems be available. Our nation’s wireless infrastructure is composed of a wide variety of site types operating in diverse environments, all with specific regulatory rules and frameworks. The variety within this infrastructure ecosystem has proven to be resilient in times of crisis. PCIA supports best practices which ensure that the vibrancy and variety of systems within our national network continue.
Wireless services play a vital role in public safety. Citizens rely on wireless services to connect to first responders as over 70% of all 911 calls are placed from wireless devices. Wireless networks provide first responders and public safety agencies with voice communications and advance mobile broadband technologies that enhance their ability to respond to emergencies. To ensure public safety, both citizens and public safety officials need access to wireless services anywhere and at all times. PCIA works with federal, state and local agencies to ensure the timely and efficient deployment of wireless networks that act as our safety nets.
The FCC’s “Shot Clock” order was an important step to encourage the expansion of wireless networks. However, while the Shot Clock Ruling provides that a local jurisdiction must act on an application for the collocation of additional antennas to existing infrastructure within 90 days and an application for the construction of new infrastructure within 150 days, new barriers have tempered the ruling's effectiveness. PCIA is working to identify these barriers and assist the FCC in meeting its goal of “promot[ing] the deployment of broadband and other wireless services by reducing delays in the construction and improvement of wireless networks.” PCIA also works with state and local governments to identify methods to streamline the review of wireless siting applications to further comply with the federal shot clock and implement shorter state and local shot clocks.
PCIA worked with the federal government to streamline the redundant zoning re-review related to attaching, swapping or removing antennas on existing wireless infrastructure that has already passed an extensive local zoning and permitting process. The streamlined process under federal law enables wireless providers to expand and enhance their networks and services, and in turn, will significantly increase the pace of broadband deployment and related economic, social, and general welfare benefits. PCIA advises states and localities on implementing recent federal legislation to this effect and assists in drafting similar streamlining policies that expand upon the federal law at the state and local level. Without the timely availability of the necessary infrastructure, the U.S. cannot achieve critical wireless and broadband goals.
Competition in the wireless industry fosters innovation and lowers prices. PCIA encourages policies and regulations that lower barriers to entry and allow the infrastructure industry to focus on delivering the highest level of service to consumers.