Wireless Regulations

Wireless regulations refers to the various provisions of the Telecommunications Act 1996 including prohibiting local governments from banning cell towers and discriminating between service providers.

Parameters of wireless telecommunications facilities, including towers and antennae, is, to some extent is governed by the Federal Telecommunications Act of 1996, pertaining to mobile services and, with limitations, may be controlled by local zoning, if it exists.

In spirit, the Act provides certain exceptions to the authority of a state or local government, or an instrumentality thereof, to control wireless telecommunications amenities. Case law offers that a wireless telecommunications facility is subject matter to suitable local zoning regulations and, in certain cases, may make up a section or land expansion question to other suitable regulations.

Five limitations on state or local authority as cited in the Act are as follows:

  • The guideline of the placement, creation, and alteration of individual wireless service facilities by any State or local government or instrumentality thereof shall not irrationally differentiate among providers of functionally alike services.
  • The rule of the position, creation, and alteration of private wireless service amenities by any State or local regime or instrumentality thereof shall not bar or have the consequence of barring the provision of private wireless services.
  • A State or local government or instrumentality thereof shall act on any call for approval to place, construct, or alter individual wireless service amenities within a rational period of time after the request is suitably filed with such government or instrumentality, taking into account the character and range of such request.
  • Any conclusion by a local administration or an authority thereof, to decline an appeal regarding establishment and altering personal wireless service amenities must be on paper and should be backed up by significant testimony enclosed in a written record.
  • No local administration or an authority thereof may control establishment and altering personal wireless service amenities on the grounds of the ecological impacts of radio frequency discharge to the scope that such amenities comply with the Commission's policy about such discharge.

Competition Regulation in Telecommunication Sector

Competition regulation in US refers to the maintenance of a healthy competition among operators for the development of industry as a whole.

There are three features of U.S. competition strategy in regards with telecommunications.

  • First, there is no single policy, created and implemented at a single point in time. Competition policy has developed incessantly over some 100 years of legislation and common law jurisprudence.
  • Second, there is no particular agency or institution in command of competition policy. Rather, it is the consequence of a steady interaction between numerous agencies and industry players, at various levels of authority, both horizontally (within the federal government) and vertically (between state, local and federal governments).
  • Third, the U.S. system combines both wide competition laws, which applies to any monetary activity, with sector-specific instruction. Broad competition guiding principle evolved first in the form of "antitrust" laws planned to put off big corporations or trusts from using market concentration to expand and abuse market control. The key federal antitrust laws were in place for more than two decades before Congress enacted the sector-specific 1934 Communications Act, making the FCC to control telecommunications in the civic concern.

Acts under which competitions are controlled in U.S. market are:

The Sherman and Clayton Antitrust Acts

The Sherman and Clayton Acts present the fundamental antitrust legal framework in the United States. They avoid two or more entities from engaging in complicity to control trade, they ban the formation or maintenance of monopolies, and they enable Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission to evaluate and file suit to block mergers that may damage competition.

The Telecommunications Act of 1996

While passing the Telecommunications Act, U.S. Congress had following intentions behind it:

  • The promotion of competition in all markets, including local exchange markets,
  • The use of advanced communications networks; and
  • The rationalization and enhancement of universal service programs.

In the 1996 Telecom Act, Congress stressed on creating the following definitions:

Telecommunications: The communication, between or among points specified by the consumer, of information of the consumer's selection, without altering the structure or substance of the facts as sent and acknowledged.

Telecommunications services: Poviding of telecommunications for a charge to the public or to such sections of consumers as to be efficiently available directly to the public.

Information services: Providing ability for making, obtaining, accumulating, converting, processing, recouping, using or making available information using telecommunications.