Streamlined NEPA Reforms Can Promote Broadband Investment and Deployment and Enhance Safety
Washington, DC – February 2, 2018 – Today, Competitive Carriers Association (“CCA”) filed comments with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service (“Forest Service”) regarding environmental review procedures under the National Environmental Policy Act (“NEPA”). CCA supports efforts to streamline the Forest Service’s environmental analysis requirements and encouraged the Forest Service to adopt targeted NEPA reforms that can promote investment and expand access to telecommunications services, while reducing burdens on reviewing agencies.
In a statement, CCA President & CEO Steven K. Berry said, “CCA members are focused on providing mobile broadband services while respecting the environment, Tribal communities and areas of historic significance, but many current policies make it extremely challenging for all stakeholders to facilitate broadband deployment. I strongly support the Forest Service’s efforts to streamline its environmental analysis requirements, which can help remove unnecessary roadblocks and ensure unserved and underserved areas can get access to broadband services as quickly as possible.”
“Common sense, targeted NEPA reforms will improve the Forest Service application process and help to promote broadband expansion. Most importantly, this will provide better emergency service coverage to millions of visitors to our national parks. For example, reduced processing times and streamlined application procedures would increase efficiency and provide for a much smoother process for Forest Service personnel. Specifically, the Forest Service should consider adopting a reasonable ‘shot clock’ for wireless siting applications; adopting categorical exemptions for certain infrastructure deployments; and providing templates to facilitate agency review. Consumers stand to be the real winners from more efficient processes, and I encourage the Forest Service to consider CCA’s proposals.”
CCA is the nation’s leading association for competitive wireless providers and stakeholders across the United States. The licensed service area of CCA’s nearly 100 carrier members covers 95 percent of the nation. Visit www.ccamobile.org.
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