FCC passes the 5G Upgrade Order

You may have heard the great news that the FCC passed the 5G Upgrade Order yesterday by a 3-2 vote.  This order is a declaratory ruling that clarifies portions of the existing FCC rule on Section 6409 from 2014 as well as authorize a new rulemaking process to address compound expansion. This order is acting on petitions filed by WIA and CTIA last summer and the Crown Castle Legal team has been actively advocating on our behalf for these important clarifications for the past year.

The FCC issued a draft ruling on May 19, but we are still waiting for issuance of the final rule. We understand there may have been some language or other changes in the final ruling from the draft that was released.  We do know the ruling will provide guidance on the following:

  • When the 60-day shot clock for eligible facilities begins
  • How to measure height increases for purposes of calculating a substantial change
  • Definition of “equipment cabinets” for purposes of substantial change criteria
  • What it means to “defeat concealment”
  • Clarification of siting conditions as they related to substantial change


SCOTT HARRY, CROWN CASTLE, Manager, Government Affairs

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