New FCC Telecommunication Regulations & the Oakland Community

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently issued new regulations around the aesthetics of Small Wireless Facilities located in the public right-of-way. The City’s Planning & Building department will issue the new set of design standards in the coming weeks and seeks community feedback on design and location.

Telecommunications signal graphic

Small Wireless Facilities (SWF) are antennas that provide cellular and data coverage, helping to form the overall wireless network in the City of Oakland. Effective January 2019, the FCC issued a Declaratory Ruling around telecommunication SWFs. In the Declaratory Ruling, the FCC allowed local entities to review and apply design and siting standards that are objective and encompassing of community aesthetics.

The City of Oakland is creating design and siting standards for these SWFs that are located in the public right-of-way and mounted on telephone and light poles on sidewalks. The forthcoming standards will be applied to new applications for SWFs, giving the City the ability to review these installations for compliance.

Getting Involved:
The City of Oakland wants to make you aware of these new regulations and get your feedback. Once issued, the Planning & Building department will share the standards and encourage open comments from the community for a one-month period. Both community members and telecommunication providers will have the ability to provide feedback.

Staff is preparing these guidelines in accordance with FCC regulations with a 30 day comment period ending close of business Friday June 28, 2019. Click here to view the draft document. Please note, the guidelines will be preliminarily discussed in a Director's Report at the Planning Commission hearing of Wednesday June 19, 2019, at 6:00pm in City Hall. You may submit comments to be considered by the Planning Commission and staff to

At the June 19, 2019 Planning Commission, the Commission agreed to form an Ad-Hoc working committee to gather Community comments related to changes the City plans to enact to the way they process Small-Cell Telecommunication Facilities in the Public Right-of-Way and then reviewing these comments with staff to determine what can be done under the limitations of the FCC order. This Ad-Hoc Committee is interested in hearing your comments related to these proposed changes and encourages any interested parties to reach out via EMAIL by July 19, 2019.

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Posted: April 15th, 2019 5:41 PM

Last Updated: July 7th, 2020 4:57 PM

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