PCIA Urges U.S. Supreme Court to Reverse Eleventh Circuit and Remove Barriers to Wireless Infrastructure Investment

July 10, 2014 / Alexandria, VA – PCIA – The Wireless Infrastructure Association today urged the U.S. Supreme Court to facilitate broadband deployment to consumers and strengthen economic growth by clarifying federal lawthat seeks to remove unreasonable barriers to the siting of wireless facilities. 

In an amicus curiae brief submitted in support of T-Mobile in the case of T-Mobile South LLC v. City of Roswell, Georgia, PCIA petitioned the Court to reverse the Eleventh Circuit’s ruling and uphold the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) key mission under the Telecommunications Act of 1996:  “encourag[ing] the deployment on a reasonable and timely basis of advanced telecommunications capability to all Americans” by removing arbitrary obstacles to infrastructure investment.

PCIA called on the Court to adopt the approach used in a majority of Federal Circuit Courts in enforcing the Act’s provision requiring localities to issue a written explanation based on substantial evidence if they choose todeny a wireless siting application. Too often in those Circuits that do not follow the majority approach, PCIA noted, communications providers such as T-Mobile are not adequately informed as to why a locality turned down their siting application, thus frustrating expedited judicial review as required by the Telecommunications Act and undermining the national goal of delivering wireless broadband services to all Americans.

“PCIA and its members have an abiding interest in this case,” PCIA stated in its brief.  “The Eleventh Circuit’s incorrect interpretation of the statute. . . allows localities to issue siting denials without an accompanying explanation, thus preventing applicants from receiving a final decision on their wireless siting applications in the ‘expedited’ manner the statute commands. Without the ability to deploy infrastructure quickly and where needed, America’s wireless companies and infrastructure providers cannot effectively meet the nation’s broadband deployment goals and satisfy exploding consumer demand.”  

The Court is expected to issue a ruling in the Roswell case in early 2015.

Access the full brief

Contact:  Timothy M. Gay
(202) 863-4215; tim.gay@grayling.com

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