Verizon renewed its call for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to adopt a “one-touch” approach meant to streamline new infrastructure deployments.
According to the operator, a “one-touch make-ready” strategy would provide faster access to utility poles and increase installation efficiency for new small cells and fiber by allowing a single contractor to do all the work. Under the current system of multiple-party involvement, Verizon said operators must wait for months for utility companies to complete “make-ready” installation work. The operator cited delays of nine months for pole attachments and up to a year for new fibre installations.
“We’ve found that the sequential nature of make-ready work means that one party’s delay in completing its make-ready work often delays other parties’ ability to begin their make-ready work. As a result, we have found that make-ready is often not completed until well beyond the deadlines specified in the Commission’s rules,” Verizon wrote in an ex parte filing. “Instead of multiple parties performing sequential make-ready work on the pole, a new attacher could use a single pole-owner-approved contractor to complete all of the work at one time.”
Verizon indicated reform is critical to its ability to rapidly execute the small cell and fibre deployments that will underpin next generation technologies.
The request goes hand-in-hand with Verizon’s previous appeals to the FCC to clear what it called a “minefield” of outdated municipal infrastructure regulations. According to the operator, siting requirements designed by local governments for macro towers are now hindering operators’ ability to secure permits for mass small cell deployments necessary for 5G.
Verizon’s latter point has been backed by the likes of AT&T, CTIA, and the Wireless Infrastructure Association. At Mobile World Congress Americas last week, Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure warned the US could lose its leadership position on 5G if US officials don’t “get their act together” on siting reform.
In April, the FCC launched an investigation into “how state and local processes affect the speed and cost of infrastructure deployment, and asks for comment on improving state and local infrastructure reviews, such as zoning requests.” However, no action has yet been taken to implement revised rules. The next FCC meeting will be held next week.