The Telecommunications Act of 1996 created requirements that local governments not hinder the US telecom industry’s progress by processing permit applications within a “reasonable time frame”.
However, the definition of a “reasonable time frame” remained vague until 2009 and the “Shot Clock” ruling that defined it as 90 days for collocations on preexisting structures and 150 days for new facilities.
Even still, issues arose in respect to when an application should be considered started and when an application could be paused if deemed incomplete. Those issues were dealt with in a 2014 order.
The latest FCC rule dated September 27, 2018 further refines the Shot Clock ruling and shortens the time frame for collocations to 60 days and for new facilities to 90 days.
California has extended the rule with Assembly Bill 57 to state that any application not processed within 60 days be deemed “approved” automatically.