The FCC Programmatic Agreement: What You Need to Know
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has recently entered into a Programmatic Agreement (PA) with the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) and the National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers (NCSHPO). The goal of this agreement is to streamline the process for deploying wireless communication infrastructure while also protecting historic and cultural resources.
Why is this agreement important?
As the demand for wireless communication infrastructure continues to grow, there is a need to provide adequate coverage and capacity to meet the needs of consumers. However, the deployment of this infrastructure can sometimes impact historic and cultural resources, such as historic landmarks, archaeological sites, and sacred sites. The FCC PA provides a framework for addressing these concerns while also expediting the deployment of wireless infrastructure.
What does the agreement include?
The FCC PA is a three-part agreement that outlines the roles and responsibilities of the FCC, ACHP, and NCSHPO in the review and approval process for wireless infrastructure deployments. It includes the following components:
1. Nationwide Programmatic Agreement: This portion of the agreement provides a standard review process for the placement of wireless infrastructure on tribal lands and on federal lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Forest Service, and the National Park Service.
2. Tribal Nation Consultation: This component of the agreement requires the FCC to consult with Tribal Nations and Native Hawaiian Organizations to identify areas of cultural sensitivity and work to avoid or minimize adverse effects on cultural or historic resources.
3. State Historic Preservation Officer Consultation: This portion of the agreement requires the FCC to consult with State Historic Preservation Officers to identify areas of cultural or historical significance and develop strategies to avoid or minimize impacts on these resources.
What are the benefits of the agreement?
The FCC PA provides a number of benefits, both for wireless providers and for communities. By streamlining the review process, the agreement can help to reduce delays and costs associated with deploying wireless infrastructure. At the same time, the agreement ensures that historic and cultural resources are protected, preserving the history and culture of communities across the country.
How can you get involved?
If you are interested in learning more about the FCC PA or getting involved in the review process, you can contact the FCC at PAComments@fcc.gov. You can also contact your State Historic Preservation Officer to learn more about how the agreement is being implemented in your state.
In conclusion, the FCC Programmatic Agreement is an important framework for balancing the need for wireless communication infrastructure with the need to protect historic and cultural resources. By streamlining the review process and involving key stakeholders, the agreement ensures that communities across the country can benefit from improved wireless coverage while also preserving their unique history and culture.