On August 2nd, on a party line vote, the Federal Trade Commission (FCC) approved the Third Report and Order and Declaratory Ruling
which creates a One-Touch Make-Ready (“OTMR”) plan for pole attachments and declares that state or local moratoria, when applied to the deployments of wired and wireless telecommunications equipment, are violations of federal law.
Under this change, providers who believe that a jurisdiction has an express or de facto moratoria in violation of the order can petition the FCC's Wireline Competition Bureau and Wireless Telecommunications Bureaus, which have been directed to expedite these kinds of challenges.
De facto moratoria are actions that “that effectively halt or suspend the acceptance, processing, or approval of applications or permits for telecommunications services or facilities” in the same way an express moratorium does. The FCC did not give concrete examples of de facto moratoria, and left uncertainties for local and state governments regarding what is or what is not allowed for both express and de facto moratoria.
NLC has weighed in on the ruling. For more information on the ruling and how cities should respond, please read the legal alert produced by Best Best & Krieger.