On Monday, August 26, 2019, the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau (“Bureau”) released a Public Notice seeking comment on Verizon’s August 8, 2019 Petition for Declaratory Ruling (“Petition”), which asks the Commission to declare that the recurring fees charged by Clark County, Nevada (the “County”) for small wireless facilities in public rights-of-way are unlawful under the Communications Act as interpreted in the FCC’s 2018 Small Cell Ruling and Order (WT Docket No. 19-230).
The County enacted an Ordinance imposing three recurring fee categories that apply when a wireless provider deploys small wireless facilities in the County rights-of-way, effective as of last month (the specific fees are discussed in detail in Section II(c) of the Petition). In its Petition, Verizon claims that these fees materially inhibit the provision of telecommunications services because: (1) they do not reasonably approximate the County’s actual and direct costs associated with a provider’s use of the public rights-of-way and other assets; (2) they consequently are not limited to the County’s objectively reasonable costs; and (3) they are inherently discriminatory.
Accordingly, Verizon requests the Commission to: (a) find that such fees violate Sections 253(a) and (c) of the Communications Act; and (b) preempt the fees under Section 253(d) and declare that the County may not charge recurring fees to Verizon that exceed the presumptively reasonable annual rate of $270 pursuant to the Small Cell Ruling and Order.
Comments on the Petition are due September 25, 2019.
Reply comments are due October 10, 2019.
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