WASHINGTON, D.C.—House Republican Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) introduced the Reducing Antiquated Permitting for Infrastructure Deployment (RAPID) Act to modernize outdated and burdensome rules at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) preventing the timely approval of small cell 5G deployment nationwide.
“The United States is the global leader in wireless technology, and maintaining that dominance is more important than ever as the next generation of wireless technologies continues to deliver innovative services for families across America,” said Whip Scalise. “Federal red tape associated with broadband deployment must be simplified to reflect modern technology while also protecting consumers. Accomplishing this will ensure that America will remain the world’s leader in technology innovation and job creation. The RAPID Act will provide clarity and certainty for providers who comply with environmental and historical regulations by modernizing rules at the FCC and accelerating the deployment of innovative 5G wireless technology.”
“More than 21 million Americans could not access broadband before COVID-19, and the pandemic has made even more clear how vital these services are as Americans work, learn, and receive health care from home. I appreciate Whip Scalise’s leadership in introducing the RAPID Act. Republicans are leading the way to close the digital divide for all Americans,” said Energy and Commerce Committee Republican Leader Greg Walden.
- The bill would clarify that small cell deployments are subject to neither environmental review under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) nor historical review under the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA).
- The bill would also establish a court’s presumption that a wireless provider has completed a request for review if a Tribal nation or Native Hawaiian Organization has received certain completed FCC forms relating to deployment of new or collocated wireless facilities.