On August 12, 2020, the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit released its decision in the case City of Portland v. FCC. This decision will have wide reaching effects not just on Next Century Cities’ (NCC) member municipalities, but on municipalities across the nation regardless of size or location. The case centered on Portland, Oregon’s, petition for review of the FCC’s 2018 Small Cell Order which limited local governments’ ability to regulate telecommunications providers and prevented owners and operators of utility poles from discriminatorily denying or delaying broadband service providers access to poles.
On September, 17th, 2020, NCC hosted a webinar with telecommunications attorney, Mark Del Bianco, to explain the local impact of the Ninth Circuit’s decision on local government authority. NCC also shared a summary memo for local officials which outlines the local impact. The discussion covered fees structures, tower spacing, equipment design, and concealment requirements. NCC’s Policy Counsel, Ryan Johnston, offered remarks on NCC’s work to support local initiatives and encouraged members to continue to use NCC as a resource.