Conference of Mayors touts local government efforts to spur broadband

December 2011, Vol. 66 No. 12

The U.S. Conference of Mayors with other national associations has filed joint Reply Comments with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), stating that local wireless citing and right-of-way management and compensation practices are not delaying broadband deployment.

The joint Reply Comments were filed in the FCC's broadband deployment proceeding. The national associations filed initial comments July 19, presenting technical information, an econometric study, and a catalogue of local experiences, all of which confirmed that local practices are enhancing, not restraining, broadband deployment at the local level.

In the filing, the Conference and the other organizations cited industry complaints about local zoning and management practices as inaccurate and misleading, calling attention to false anecdotes and unsubstantiated claims lacking statistical or economic analyses.

The filing also points to inconsistent positions taken by industry representatives, who argued to the Commission that local right-of-way and wireless facility citing practices are slowing deployment and hindering infrastructure investment, while often arguing in other forums that deployment is widespread, with investment at historic levels and competitive and vibrant markets throughout the U.S.

The Conference and its partner organizations offered that local governments stand ready to partner with the Commission in developing targeted and voluntary programs to facilitate further local government and other local efforts to encourage broadband adoption and deployment.

(1) The organizations are The National League of Cities, the National Association of Counties, the United States Conference of Mayors, the International Municipal Lawyers Association, the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors, the Government Finance Officers Association, the American Public Works Association, the International City/County Management Association and The American Planning Association.