The FCC’s Shot Clock…Now a Game of Chicken

FCC Shot Clock

The FCC’s Shot Clock for siting decisions in wireless cases is turning out to be the bad idea that most governments expected it would be.   Right now we’re seeing the first round of “Chicken” …  The carriers are starting to demand siting decisions on cases because the Shot Clock rule entitles them to sue if they don’t get it.

“Okay… you want a decision?  DENIED for the following reasons based on evidence in the administrative record….”  is what some governments are starting to offer applicants who demand their ‘final’ decision on day 90 or 150.  At the last minute will one side or the other ‘blink’ in this high-stakes game of Chicken? 

In some cases, especially in California with its state law CEQA requirements and when looking at compliance with local siting ordinance requirements, the decisions simply can’t pop out on time like the output of an assembly line.

I suspect we’ll see a fair number of application denials in the next few months while all sides figure out how to live under the Shot Clock…at least until the rule is overturned or seriously limited by the courts.

It was a dumb idea for the wireless industry to push for this rule.  The only ones who will really benefit from strict and severe application of the rule will be the attorneys and experts.  As both, I still think this was a dumb idea becuase it will make siting a more rigid process.

Those are my opinions.  What are yours?


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