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Calif. Assembly Appropriators Back Broadband Permit Bill

A California bill aimed at streamlining broadband permitting at the local level advanced to the Assembly floor Wednesday. The Assembly Appropriations Committee voted unanimously at a livestreamed meeting for AB-965, which would allow simultaneous processing of multiple broadband permit applications…

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for similar project sites under a single permit, and require local governments to decide applications within a “presumptively reasonable time." Assemblymember Juan Carillo (D), the bill’s sponsor, said localities “will still maintain full control.” The bill would force localities to make a decision, said Dan Schweizer, Crown Castle director-external affairs. "Many local jurisdictions continue to process broadband permits one at a time, limit permit batching or have the permits go through several different departments at various times, which unnecessarily delays an already bureaucratic process." The bill means Californians will get coverage in “months instead of years,” he said. Other supporters include CTIA, USTelecom, Frontier Communications, Consolidated Communications and the California Broadband and Video Association. California city and county groups oppose the bill, which they say will make it more profitable to build in dense markets but won’t spur deployment in unserved areas, noted a committee analysis released Monday.