Title 47: Code of Federal Regulations for Telecommunications
Link to e-CFR, updated as of today
PART 1—PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE
Subpart S — Preemption of Restrictions That “Impair” the Ability To Receive Television Broadcast Signals, Direct Broadcast Satellite Services, or Multichannel Multipoint Distribution Services or the Ability To Receive or Transmit Fixed Wireless Communications Signals
§1.4000 Restrictions impairing reception of television broadcast signals, direct broadcast satellite services or multichannel multipoint distribution services.
- (1) Any restriction, including but not limited to any state or local law or regulation, including zoning, land-use, or building regulations, or any private covenant, contract provision, lease provision, homeowners’ association rule or similar restriction, on property within the exclusive use or control of the antenna user where the user has a direct or indirect ownership or leasehold interest in the property that impairs the installation, maintenance, or use of:
- (i) An antenna that is:
- (A) Used to receive direct broadcast satellite service, including direct-to-home satellite service, or to receive or transmit fixed wireless signals via satellite, including a hub or relay antenna used to receive or transmit fixed wireless services that are not classified as telecommunications services, and
- (B) One meter or less in diameter or is located in Alaska;
- (ii) An antenna that is:
- (A) Used to receive video programming services via multipoint distribution services, including multichannel multipoint distribution services, instructional television fixed services, and local multipoint distribution services, or to receive or or transmit fixed wireless signals other than via satellite, including a hub or relay antenna **used to receive or transmit fixed wireless services that not classified as telecommunications services, and
- (B) That is one meter or less in diameter or diagonal measurement;
- (iii) An antenna that is used to receive television broadcast signals; or
- (iv) A mast supporting an antenna described in paragraphs (a)(1)(i), (a)(1)(ii), or (a)(1)(iii) of this section;
- . . . is prohibited to the extent it so impairs, subject to paragraph (b) of this section.
- (i) An antenna that is:
- (2) For purposes of this section, “fixed wireless signals” means any commercial non-broadcast communications signals transmitted via wireless technology to and/or from a fixed customer location. Fixed wireless signals do not include, among other things, AM radio, FM radio, amateur (“HAM”) radio, CB radio, and Digital Audio Radio Service (DARS) signals.
- (3) For purposes of this section, a law, regulation, or restriction impairs installation, maintenance, or use of an antenna if it:
- (i) Unreasonably delays or prevents installation, maintenance, or use;
- (ii) Unreasonably increases the cost of installation, maintenance, or use; or
- (iii) Precludes reception or transmission of an acceptable quality signal.
- (4) Any fee or cost imposed on a user by a rule, law, regulation or restriction must be reasonable in light of the cost of the equipment or services and the rule, law, regulation or restriction’s treatment of comparable devices. No civil, criminal, administrative, or other legal action of any kind shall be taken to enforce any restriction or regulation prohibited by this section except pursuant to paragraph (d) or (e) of this section. In addition, except with respect to restrictions pertaining to safety and historic preservation as described in paragraph (b) of this section, if a proceeding is initiated pursuant to paragraph (d) or (e) of this section, the entity seeking to enforce the antenna restrictions in question must suspend all enforcement efforts pending completion of review. No attorney’s fees shall be collected or assessed and no fine or other penalties shall accrue against an antenna user while a proceeding is pending to determine the validity of any restriction. If a ruling is issued adverse to a user, the user shall be granted at least a 21-day grace period in which to comply with the adverse ruling; and neither a fine nor a penalty may be collected from the user if the user complies with the adverse ruling during this grace period, unless the proponent of the restriction demonstrates, in the same proceeding which resulted in the adverse ruling, that the user’s claim in the proceeding was frivolous.
- (5) For purposes of this section, “hub or relay antenna” means any antenna that is used to receive or transmit fixed wireless signals for the distribution of fixed wireless services to multiple customer locations as long as the antenna serves a customer on whose premises it is located, but excludes any hub or relay antenna that is used to provide any telecommunications services or services that are provided on a commingled basis with telecommunications services.
(b) Any restriction otherwise prohibited by paragraph (a) of this section is permitted if:
- (1) It is necessary to accomplish a clearly defined, legitimate safety objective that is either stated in the text, preamble, or legislative history of the restriction or described as applying to that restriction in a document that is readily available to antenna users, and would be applied to the extent practicable in a non-discriminatory manner to other appurtenances, devices, or fixtures that are comparable in size and weight and pose a similar or greater safety risk as these antennas and to which local regulation would normally apply; or
- (2) It is necessary to preserve a prehistoric or historic district, site, building, structure or object included in, or eligible for inclusion on, the National Register of Historic Places, as set forth in the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, as amended, 16 U.S.C. 470, and imposes no greater restrictions on antennas covered by this rule than are imposed on the installation, maintenance, or use of other modern appurtenances, devices, or fixtures that are comparable in size, weight, and appearance to these antennas; and
- (3) It is no more burdensome to affected antenna users than is necessary to achieve the objectives described in paragraphs (b)(1) or (b)(2) of this section.
(d) Local governments or associations may apply to the Commission for a waiver of this section under §1.3 of this chapter. Waiver requests must comply with the procedures in paragraphs (f) and (h) of this section and will be put on public notice. The Commission may grant a waiver upon a showing by the applicant of local concerns of a highly specialized or unusual nature. No petition for waiver shall be considered unless it specifies the restriction at issue. Waivers granted in accordance with this section shall not apply to restrictions amended or enacted after the waiver is granted. Any responsive pleadings must be served on all parties and filed within 30 days after release of a public notice that such petition has been filed. Any replies must be filed within 15 days thereafter.
(e) Parties may petition the Commission for a declaratory ruling under §1.2 of this chapter, or a court of competent jurisdiction, to determine whether a particular restriction is permissible or prohibited under this section. Petitions to the Commission must comply with the procedures in paragraphs (f) and (h) of this section and will be put on public notice. Any responsive pleadings in a Commission proceeding must be served on all parties and filed within 30 days after release of a public notice that such petition has been filed. Any replies in a Commission proceeding must be served on all parties and filed within 15 days thereafter.
(f) Copies of petitions for declaratory rulings and waivers must be served on interested parties, including parties against whom the petitioner seeks to enforce the restriction or parties whose restrictions the petitioner seeks to prohibit. A certificate of service stating on whom the petition was served must be filed with the petition. In addition, in a Commission proceeding brought by an association or a local government, constructive notice of the proceeding must be given to members of the association or to the citizens under the local government’s jurisdiction. In a court proceeding brought by an association, an association must give constructive notice of the proceeding to its members. Where constructive notice is required, the petitioner or plaintiff must file with the Commission or the court overseeing the proceeding a copy of the constructive notice with a statement explaining where the notice was placed and why such placement was reasonable.
(g) In any proceeding regarding the scope or interpretation of any provision of this section, the burden of demonstrating that a particular governmental or nongovernmental restriction complies with this section and does not impair the installation, maintenance, or use of devices used for over-the-air reception of video programming services or devices used to receive or transmit fixed wireless signals shall be on the party that seeks to impose or maintain the restriction.
(h) All allegations of fact contained in petitions and related pleadings before the Commission must be supported by affidavit of a person or persons with actual knowledge thereof. An original and two copies of all petitions and pleadings should be addressed to the Secretary at the FCC’s main office, located at the address indicated in 47 CFR 0.401(a). Copies of the petitions and related pleadings will be available for public inspection in the Reference Information Center, Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, located at the address of the FCC’s main office indicated in 47 CFR 0.401(a).
[66 FR 2333, Jan. 11, 2001, as amended at 67 FR 13224, Mar. 21, 2002; 82 FR 41103, Aug. 29, 2017; 85 FR 18146, Apr. 1, 2020; 85 FR 64405, Oct. 13, 2020; 86 FR 11442, Feb. 25, 2021]