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Townships concerned over bill usurping right of way control

GRAND BLANC TWP. — Senate Bill 637 has local officials concerned over the potential for state legislators to take away the right of townships to control what types of utilities or uses are place in the Right of Way—that section of property they now control between the road and private property. If the bill passes, according to Township Supervisor Scott Bennett, wireless infrastructure and service providers could have free rein to place large refrigerator sized boxes on utility poles without any local oversight on placement or the number of them in an area, nor any consideration whatsoever for aesthetics. The bill is also of concern to the Michigan Townships Association, who advocate for town

Highland wants governor to dial up veto on cellular antenna bill

Highland has joined a long list of other cities across the state urging Gov. Bruce Rauer to veto a bill that would give wireless companies the right to install small cellular antennas on publicly owned utility poles and streetlights. “Anyone can come in and jump on your (utility) poles for a small fee,” said Highland City Manager Mark Latham. “It’s not good for any community right now to have the governor sign this.” Senate Bill 1451, which would establish the Small Wireless Facilities Deployment Act, has already passed the General Assembly and is awaiting action by Rauner. Wireless companies have pushed the legislation as a way upgrade the state’s communications network. According to the Fe

U.S. Senate bill could boost wireless technology

Shutterstock A bipartisan effort to speed the development of advanced wireless networks nationwide is under way in the U.S. Senate. Draft legislation by Sens. John Thune, R-South Dakota, and Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, would require state and local government agencies to act on applications for multiple-company wireless applications within 60 days. The bill would also provide guidelines for fees that telecom companies would pay to access state and local sites for wireless relays and would give cable operators a “presumed right” to public rights of way. Frederick Hill, communications director for Thune, the chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, said the aim of

Mahtomedi braces for wireless installations

MAHTOMEDI — If you didn’t like wireless communications facilities barnacled all over water towers or hanging on free standing towers, a change is coming. Wireless cell boxes might also be draped around a street light near you. The City Council at its Dec. 19 regular meeting gave grudging approval to the first of three actions to permit wireless service providers to install small wireless facilities in public rights of way. The first of three tasks in the process completed Tuesday was to adopt a standard collocation agreement to install small wireless facilities on city-owned wireless support structures. Earlier this year, the Minnesota Legislature amended Statutes Chapter 237 to recognize wi

3GPP Backs First 5G Standards

Global broadband standards initiative 3GPP approved the first standard for 5G New Radio at a meeting in Portugal on Thursday. A coalition of tech and telecom giants said the 5G NR specifications clear the way for the wireless sector to begin "full-scale deployment" of 5G networks, including large-scale trials and commercial deployments as soon as 2019. The new specifications include flexible waveform numerologies, channel coding schemes, slot-based frame structure and support for Massive MIMO and mmWave spectrum. Sprint officials added that it incorporates bandwidths up to 100 MHz for an n41 — 2.5 GHz — single component carrier, up from the 20 MHz per component carrier for 4G LTE. The leadin

St. Pete Beach wireless ordinance needs more time

ST. PETE BEACH – City leaders are closing in on the final language of a proposed ordinance that would regulate wireless tower permits on city right-of-way. Commissioners voted unanimously Dec. 12 to extend a moratorium on issuing wireless permits that will give city leaders additional time to hammer out the details of the ordinance. A final version is expected sometime after the first of the year. The ordinance is necessary to protect the city’s interests following passage of the Advanced Wireless Infrastructure Deployment Act earlier this year by the Florida Legislature. The legislation prevents cities and counties from prohibiting or charging wireless companies for the co-location of small

Clark County exploring enhancements to increase cell coverage on Las Vegas Strip

People don’t always want what happens in Las Vegas to stay here. They want to livestream it on social media, and all that increased data usage is taking a toll on existing cell towers in the resort corridor. Clark County is currently working to revamp its policy on allowing wireless carriers to install small-cell nodes on its light poles and other property. The revamped policy could raise millions of dollars of additional revenue for the county and increase cell service in densely populated places like the Strip, convention centers or a future stadium. Mobile data usage has grown exponentially over the past decade and is expected to outpace existing network capabilities by 2020. County staff

5G and the End of Net Neutrality

Service providers have said for months that the end of net neutrality will make it easier for them to monetize 5G networks by offering enhanced service levels. Now that net neutrality is over, they may find that in some places, deployment of 5G infrastructure will be harder. Many 5G networks will rely on fiber-connected small cells to transmit large volumes of data over short distances using high-frequency spectrum. Service providers can’t deploy these small cells without the cooperation of city and state governments. The densely populated areas that need small cells are typically controlled by multiple zoning and permitting requirements, and often the ideal spot for a small cell is within t

Napa city stoplights may become Verizon transmitter platforms

Napa and Verizon Wireless may complete a trade – of more places to set up cellphone transmitters in exchange for what may become the backbone of a synchronized, traffic-smoothing network of stoplights. An agreement up for review Tuesday by the City Council would open up city-owned light poles and traffic signals for the telecommunications company to install so-called small cells, or shorter than higher cell towers, throwing a wider web of coverage for wireless Internet and voice calls. Combined with new fiber-optic cable lines, the transmitters also are expected to link to Napa’s traffic control hardware and allow the city to monitor its stoplights at all times – and eventually carry images

What’s Next After the Repeal of Net Neutrality

The Federal Communications Commission voted Thursday to discard so-called net neutrality rules that prevented broadband providers from slowing sites or demanding payments from them for fast delivery. The decision opens the door for very different consumer experiences on the internet. The rules will go into effect in the coming weeks. Here is a guide to what will happen next: Is my Netflix going to start sputtering? Will my internet service bill go up? Consumers will probably not encounter immediate changes to their internet service. The biggest broadband companies, like Comcast and AT&T, have promised that consumers will not see a change in how they experience the web. And with such a big sp

Towns, Counties urge Governor to Veto Wireless Antenna Proposal

Suburban officials are making a last-ditch effort to stop a proposal that would give wireless companies the ability to install small cell antennas on publicly owned utility poles, streetlights and rights of way. DuPage County this week joined Naperville and other municipalities in approving a resolution urging Gov. Bruce Rauner to veto the Small Wireless Facilities Deployment Act. Senate Bill 1451 was approved last month by the Illinois House and the state Senate. By getting dozens of towns and counties to approve resolutions, opponents hope Rauner will step in and prevent the measure from becoming law. "We're not alone in this resolution," county board member Sam Tornatore said. "This resol

There could soon be ugly and 'dangerous' cell towers everywhere

If the telecommunications industry gets its way, you may wake up one morning to find that a cell tower has been built just outside your bedroom window without notice to you and that there is nothing you can do about it. On Oct. 15, 2017, Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed legislation that would have deprived California cities of control over their streets and sidewalks. Similar bills have already become law in 12 states, and a bill is pending before Congress in Washington — Senate Bill 1988, the SPEED Act of 2017 — that would do the same thing nationwide. The purpose of these bills is to facilitate something that we are all told we need. It is called 5G. 5G, for those who don't yet know, is the two-let

Cuyahoga County judge strikes down law restricting cities' right to set minimum wage, limit cell

CLEVELAND -- A Cuyahoga County judge ruled Thursday in favor of Cleveland and other cities challenging a state law that restricted municipalities' ability to control the placement of wireless cell equipment in public spaces. Common Pleas Judge Steven E. Gall found amendments to Senate Bill 331, signed by Gov. John Kasich in December 2016, violated the Ohio Constitution's rule limiting bills to a single subject. Cleveland officials called the ruling a win, even though it struck down a provision city council members sought to block an effort to raise the city's minimum wage. The Ohio Attorney General's office has not yet decided whether it will appeal Gall's decision, a spokesman said Thursday

Pennsylvania bill regulating wireless facilities would strip away local authority, say Bucks municip

Several municipalities have come out against a state bill officials say would sap them of their ability to regulate wireless facilities, like “small cell” antennas, that carrier companies are preparing to roll out nationwide. At least four Bucks municipalities are making shows of resistance against a state bill they say would deprive local governments of authority over wireless infrastructure. Since August, officials in Doylestown Borough, Plumstead, Upper Southampton and Warrington have passed resolutions or written to state lawmakers opposing House Bill 1620, which creates a one-size-fits-all approach for the state’s 2,562 local governments regarding how they can regulate the wireless faci

Is the Road to 5G Paved with Federal and State Pre-emptions of Local Authority?

Many in the wireless industry are aware of the FCC rulemaking proceeding proposing regulatory changes to streamline the expansion of wireless infrastructure (WT Docket 17-79). A basic premise of this proceeding is the tremendous potential of 5G wireless technology and the increased capacity needs and vast expansion of infrastructure supporting wireless networks that will be needed to deploy 5G. The proceeding focuses on and identifies potential obstacles to rapid deployment of wireless infrastructure at the local level. For wireless carriers, small wireless cells are important because small cells support greater re-use of available spectrum and bring the wireless network closer to users and

FCC Releases Text of Wireless and Wireline Infrastructure Orders

The Commission has released the final text of the Wireline R&O and Wireline FNPRM as well as the final text of Replacement Utility Poles R&O. Please see our advisory discussing the items as they were presented and modified at the Commission’s November 16, 2017, meeting as well as our earlier advisory that analyzed the drafts circulated by the Commission in October in advance of the November meeting. The final text of the Replacement Utility Poles R&O, which was released the day after the meeting, changed from the draft in two material respects (in bold) that were anticipated in our post-meeting advisory. Replacement communications poles are still deemed exempt from historic preservation revi

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