Washington Journal of Law, Technology & Arts


As the United States becomes increasingly dependent on universal, high-speed wireless services, infrastructural limitations are producing tension. The interests of consumers, telecommunications companies, state and local authorities, and businesses, as well as national security, are all at stake. Yet legal uncertainty stemming from a split among federal circuit courts hampers the development of solutions. The courts diverge on the interpretation of a key provision of the Telecommunications Act (TCA), 47 U.S.C. § 332(c)(7)(B), that regulates wireless service providers’ ability to erect new towers. There is great need for a national standard to give mobile providers a uniform means of accommodating growing demand. Without such a standard, courts apply the TCA incongruently, affecting consumers and providers alike and ultimately impacting critical infrastructure. The Federal Communications Commission or Congress should set a uniform standard, rather than relying on the courts to confront the issue unevenly on a case-by-case basis.

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