D.C. Circuit Upholds FCC’s OTARD Order

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The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals released a decision upholding the FCC’s Over-the-Air Reception Device (OTARD) Report and Order, which expands the preemption of local zoning and other codes, as well as HOA, lease and similar restrictions, that impair installation, maintenance, or use of certain OTARDs on the antenna user’s property.  The Order extends the preemption to “hub and relay” antennas that are used for the distribution of broadband-only fixed wireless services to multiple customer locations, regardless of whether they are primarily used for this purpose, provided the antennas satisfy other conditions of the OTARD rule.  Children’s Health Defense and other petitioners challenged the Order based on, among other things, concerns about possible health effects from increased radiofrequency exposure.