Not unexpectedly, the FCC’s November order establishing a “shot clock” under which state and local governments must review and act upon tower siting requests has been challenged by several government entities. (The FCC’s ruling provides that state and localities have 90 days to review collocation applications and 150 days to review other types of siting applications. If the state or locality has not acted by the deadline, an applicant can seek court relief within 30 days.)

Five municipal groups have requested that the FCC stay the effective date of the new shot clock rules. The municipal groups argue that the decision is contrary to Section 332(c)(7) of the 1996 Telecommunications Act. If the FCC does not stay the entire decision, however, the groups alternatively request that the FCC stay the requirement that state and local governments have 30 days to notify applicants that their filings are incomplete. The groups also filed a petition for reconsideration or clarification of the 30-day incompleteness deadline. The groups’ requests have been opposed by CTIA and PCIA.

The city of Arlington, Texas also has appealed the FCC’s decision to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit (New Orleans). According to the city, the FCC exceeded its authority when it adopted the shot clock requirements, and the FCC’s decision is arbitrary and capricious, an abuse of discretion, and otherwise contrary to law.