Help us stop HR 3557 and other bad
telecom bills in Congress
HR 3557 SUMMARY
This bill represents an unprecedented pre-emption of local governments’ authority to manage public rights-of-way and land use; it strips local governments of rights and authority over telecom deployment. The bill also waives historic preservation (NHPA) and environmental (NEPA) rules.
In the 1996 Telecommunications Act, Congress wisely granted local authorities control over how wireless technology is deployed in their communities. HR 3557 takes that control away and gives it to the federal government instead. This is an unprecedented federal takeover of local control.
HR 3557 IS UNNECESSARY
Wireless companies and site developers don't like local zoning laws. They claim local authorities are getting in the way of progress. But In most communities, antenna applications are being routinely approved and antennas are being installed. Local authorities are only trying to prevent the reckless and uncontrolled deployment of wireless antennas in their communities.
HR 3557 FORCES QUICK DECISIONS
Antenna applications are complex documents, filled with propagation maps, engineering drawings, electrical diagrams, and other items required by local codes. Each application and antenna location is unique, and proper analysis requires time and expertise. HR 3557 forces local communities to quickly approve antenna applications; if time runs out, pending applications will be "deemed approved" and can be built, even without a permit.
HR 3557 GUTS ENVIRONMENTAL LAWS Critical environmental and historic protections currently in place to protect our natural environment and historic areas from reckless and unwarranted placement of antennas will be eliminated.
HR 3557 WILL NOT CLOSE THE DIGITAL DIVIDE
Transmitting data wirelessly is an inferior technology not capable of providing the speed, security, low-cost and reliability required for full participation in the digital economy. Wireless is no substitute for high-quality fiber-optic, wired broadband connections. We don't need a second digital divide between those with access to high-speed internet and those stuck with wireless.
Watch this one-minute video from ART's Doug Wood
OTHER BILLS WE STRONGLY OPPOSE
HR 3293 and related bills expedite the deployment of telecom equipment in national parks, national forests, national monuments and other natural places preserved for the public, degrading the natural environment for commercial exploitation by telecoms. HR 3293 calls for a "strike force" to ensure quick approvals of applications; other bills call for the development of online portals to speed up application processing, and removal of "barriers" to rapid deployment of wireless infrastructure on all federal lands. Taxpayer dollars should not be spent cutting costs for private telecom providers.
HR 1338 and related bills fast-track the deployment of thousands of additional telecom satellites in space, in violation of International Treaties and despite strong objections of astronomers and warnings from space experts regarding collisions. The FCC has admitted it lacks any legal authority to authorize transmission satellites in space; this legislation papers over that lack of legal authority and allows space - which belongs to all people on earth - to be used for exploitation for private gain.
We also strongly oppose legislation that purports to achieve "digital equity" by lowering speed requirements for broadband projects in minority communities.
HR 3565 (Title IX) and other bills define "broadband" as having speeds of 100 mbps down and 20 mbps up. Although the bills covers other things, this section condones the use of taxpayer dollars to provide inferior broadband connections for minority communities in violation of the rights of those citizens to have the information technology capacity needed for full participation in our society, democracy, and economy.