HR 3557 IS THE LARGEST AND MOST DANGEROUS POWER GRAB BIG TELECOM HAS EVER MADE
While we’ve been fighting harmful telecom legislation at the California state level, Big Telecom money has “encouraged” members of the U.S. Congress to introduce a measure that will massively expand federal authority and effectively eliminate local authority over wireless installations.
- Please call your Mayor and your County Supervisor. Ask if they know about HR 3557. Tell them that the National Conference of Mayors, National League of Cities, and National Association of Counties are all opposing HR 3557, but so far the bill keeps moving forward. Ask them to call their contacts to stop this massive government takeover of local authority!
- Please contact your members of Congress and Senators in both parties to oppose HR 3557.
Check out Doug Wood’s one minute video on HR 3557 at Americans for Responsible Technology.org and the sample Municipal Resolution opposing HR 3557 that anyone can send to your local City or County officials.
You can also use CHD’s quick-action link to send a message to your member of Congress NOW. STOP HR 3557 …..But please consider also making those phone calls! They have the biggest impact.
About the bill:
Introduced in May by Representative Earl L. “Buddy” Carter (GA-R), HR 3557 has 10 co-sponsors and is already moving through Congressional committees. HR 3557 will have unprecedented negative impacts on localities and residents. Among those are:
- Installation of wireless equipment will be allowed on any structure that could support an antenna—utility poles, light poles, overhead wires, apartment buildings, schools and more.
- The FCC will be obligated to cancel local laws or regulations it deems inconsistent with HR 3557.
- Various requirements will make it almost impossible for local governments to deny applications.
- Fee structure changes will eliminate local governments’ ability to recover costs for ongoing monitoring and inspection.
- The FCC will have the authority to exempt environmental review (NEPA) and historical preservation review (NHPA).
- HR 3557 interferes with U.S. Constitutional law.
Six companion bills are in the pipeline, but HR 3557 is the worst.
- HR 3565: authorizes the FCC to resume wireless spectrum auctions; paves the way to make additional spectrum available in 2025 (around 4.5 GHz and 8 GHz); creates a slower federal definition of broadband of 100 Mb downstream/20 Mb upstream (see section 901). The bill would allow broadband funding to be used for slower networks, overriding the existing regulation that defines broadband as a faster 100 Mb downstream and 100 Mb upstream. Fiber-optic networks easily meet the faster standard. The slower standard would make it easier for federal broadband grants to be used for wireless networks (instead of fiber). E&C Committee approved 50-0.
- HR 3309: Establishes uniform fees for wireless applications on government land and buildings. E&C Committee approved 50-0.
- HR 3293: Establish a “strikeforce” to ensure that communications facilities authorizations are expedited on federal land and in national forests, for wireline and wireless (both licensed and unlicensed). E&C Committee approved 51-0.
- HR 3299: Requires the Department of Interior and the Department of Agriculture to establish online portals to accept, process, and dispose of certain forms to deploy facilities on federal property. E&C Committee approved 51-0.
- HR 3283: requires Department of Commerce to report to Congress on the barriers to processing online forms for deployment on federal property. E&C Committee approved 51-0.
- HR 3343: requires Department of Commerce to create a plan for accepting, processing, and disposing of certain forms. E&C Committee approved 51-0.
Another important point: HR 3557 is touted as a solution to the digital divide, but here’s the thing…
Wireless won’t solve the Digital Divide.
The truth is, wireless broadband, especially the basic services offered to low-income families, is notoriously slow, unreliable, and unable to meet the demands of present and future digital communications.
Even the NTIA (National Telecommunications and Information Administration) and CPUC (CA Public Utilities Commission) regulators have determined that fiber connections are technologically superior to wireless and will provide much better access for the unserved and underserved communities. In addition to the cost savings, fiber offers greater capacity, performance, lower maintenance costs, and a MUCH longer technological lifetime than wireless.
In spite of the opposition from these organizations listed below, HR 3557 continues to progress. That’s why we’re asking for your action. We’ve been hearing that some mayors (and supervisors) don’t even know about this terrible bill and what it will do. You can simply email or snail mail them a copy of the position papers below or send the Municipal Resolution opposing HR 3557 from Americans for Responsible Technology. Please consider making that call, or giving comment at one of their meetings during comment time for non-agenda items.
o United States Conference of Mayors- Adopted resolution to Oppose HR:3557: https://www.usmayors.org/the-conference/adopted-policies/
o National League of Cities- Opposition article re: HR 3557 and call to action: https://www.nlc.org/article/2023/06/08/house-committee-advances-communications-infrastructure-preemption-bill/
o National Association of Counties- Opposition article regarding HR 3557 and call to action: https://www.naco.org/blog/house-committee-advances-local-authority-preemption-bill-broadband-deployment-projects?page=1
Excerpt From 5-26-23: letter:
The National Association of Counties (NACo), alongside local government organization partners the National League of Cities (NLC), the U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM), and the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors (NATOA) urged the House Subcommittee on Communications and Technology to reject legislation that would infringe upon local authorities prior to an April 19 markup of the component bills to H.R. 3557. A link to the letter can be found here.
Counties strongly urge Congress to preserve all local land use and zoning authorities throughout the stages of deployment of broadband infrastructure projects. Counties stand ready to serve as partners in the deployment of broadband infrastructure projects, and a preemption of local decision-making authority would only subvert the intentions of historic federally-funded broadband programs by reducing the ability of counties to ensure deployment projects will meet all community needs.
** Read more Position articles here:
Thank you, everyone!