SMALL CELL UPDATES

Quick Snapshot
  • 30 states have passed small cell legislation that seek to limit local control

WHAT IS SMALL CELL?

According to the FCC, small cells are low-powered wireless base stations that function like cells in a mobile wireless network, typically covering targeted indoor or localized outdoor areas ranging in size from homes and offices to stadiums, hospitals, and metropolitan outdoor spaces. The use of small cells are ideal in these types of areas because of the challenges that come with bringing coverage to metro areas.

 

As new infrastructure fills the skyline and the lack of open space in cities leaves less room for traditional cell towers, attaching small cell wireless facilities to street poles on city streets and in the right-of-way has become the new wave of bringing more accessible broadband to constituents. 

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AND WHY DOES IT MATTER?

As of now, 30 states have passed bills that focus on doing the following:

 

1. streamlining processing times for applications and permits;

2. capping collocation, application, and ROW fees;

3. limiting city/municipality's design aesthetics jurisdictions;

4. limiting city/municipality's control over denying applications for reasons outside of the bill's requirements. 

 

This type of legislation is not going away. If anything, it is picking up steam and traction in legislative sessions throughout the U.S., and it does not just affect cities and municipalities, but also everyday people. With these new laws, a small wireless facility can be located within hundreds of feet of homes. Historic districts can be tainted with unsightly and bulky technology without the city's approval. Without more local control, network providers can also tack these facilities on an unlimited number of poles throughout the right-of-way causing an eyesore for the city's layout and its design aesthetics. The list of issues continue. 

 

Our stance on the ongoing small cell legislation is a unique one compared to other telecom companies. Our client base is solely government entities. We track legislation and provide accessible insights, so others can be informed on the issue at hand. This expansion of new technology should be welcomed, but it should not give wireless providers the right to overrule cities and municipalities' local control.

Have additional questions? Please reach out!

FEDERAL LEGISLATION

Circuit Nine Ruling

Sponsored by Senator Arthur Orr (R)

3/12/2020 - SB 172 - Passed Senate with vote of 30 - 0  and pending House 3rd reading

(2020 session is now closed - new session begins 2/2/21)

STATE LEGISLATION

                 Skip directly a state:                 Alabama | Alaska | Arizona | Arkansas | California | ColoradoConnecticut 

                                                                  Delaware | Florida | GeorgiaHawaii | Idaho | Illinois | IndianaIowa 

                                                                  Kansas | Kentucky | Louisiana | Maine | MarylandMassachusettsMichigan |

                                                                  Minnesota | Mississippi | Missouri | Montana | Nebraska | Nevada | New Hampshire |                                                                          New Jersey | New Mexico | New York | North Carolina | North Dakota | Ohio | 

                                                                  Oklahoma | Oregon | Pennsylvania | Rhode Island | South Carolina | South Dakota |

                                                                  Tennessee | Texas | Utah | Vermont | Virginia | Washington | West Virginia | Wisconsin |                                                                        Wyoming

                                       

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Alabama

Sponsored by Senator Arthur Orr (R)

3/12/2020 - SB 172 - Passed Senate with vote of 30 - 0  and pending House 3rd reading

(2020 session is now closed - new session begins 2/2/21)

Alaska

No legislation to report.

Arizona

Sponsored by Senator Jeff Weninger (R)

3/31/2017 - HB 2365 was signed by Governor Ducey.

 
 
 
 
 

Arkansas

Sponsored by Senator Dismang (R)

4/17/2019 - SB 602 was signed by Governor Hutchinson.

California

Sponsored by Senator Huseo (D)

10/15/2017 - SB 649 - Vetoed by Governor Brown

Colorado

Sponsored by Representative Kraft-Tharp (D) and Representative Becker (R)

4/18/2017 - HB 1193 was signed by Governor Hickenlooper.

 

Connecticut

Sponsored by Representative Aresimowicz (D), Representative Ritter (D), Senator Looney (D), and Senator Duff (D)

7/9/2019 - HB 7152 was signed by Governor Lamont.

Delaware

Sponsored by Representative Mitchell (D)

8/31/2017 - HB 189 was signed by Governor Carney.

Florida

Sponsored by Representative La Rosa (R)

6/23/2017 - HB 687 was signed by Governor Scott.

Georgia

Sponsored by Senator Gooch (R)

4/26/2019 - SB 66 was signed by Governor Kemp.

Hawaii

Sponsored by Representative Ohno (D) and Senator Wakai (D)

6/21/2018 - HB 2651 was signed by Governor Ige.

Idaho

No legislation to report.

Illinois

Sponsored by Senator Link (D)

4/12/2018 - SB 1451 was signed by Governor Rauner.

Indiana

Sponsored by Senator Hershman (R) and Senator Merritt (R)

5/2/2017 - SB 213 was signed by Governor Holcomb.

Iowa

Sponsored by Senator Anderson (R)

5/9/2017 - SB 431 was signed by Governor Branstad. 

 
 
 
 
 

Kansas

Sponsored by Senator Masterson (R)

5/1/2019 - SB 68 was signed by Governor Kelly.

Kentucky

No legislation to report.

Louisiana

No legislation to report.

 

Maine

Sponsored by Senator Masterson (R)

5/1/2019 - SB 68 was signed by Governor Kelly.

Maryland

No legislation to report.

Massachusetts

No legislation to report.

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