U.S. Senators Introduce Small Cell Wireless Bill


The bill would pre-empt local government and not provide for grandfathering of current state law.

A bill that would limit local authority over the use of public rights-of-way for small cell wireless facilities was recently introduced in the U.S. Senate.

The bill (S. 3157), known as the Streamlining The Rapid Evolution And Modernization of Leading-edge Infrastructure Necessary to Enhance (STREAMLINE) Small Cell Deployment Act, is authored by Sens. John Thune (R-SD) and Brian Schatz (D-HI). It is focused, much like the recent Federal Communications Commission rulemaking efforts, on limiting the actions local governments can take on small cell wireless facility siting in an effort to make deployments cheaper, faster, and more consistent across jurisdictions.

The bill does not include a provision to grandfather Minnesota’s law regarding small cell wireless that was enacted in 2017 after intense and lengthy negotiations between local governments and wireless providers. This would complicate implementation of the state’s new small cell law.

Despite urging from the National League of Cities and other local government advocates during the bill’s drafting phase, many pre-emptive provisions remain in the bill. City officials can send their members of Congress a letter today urging opposition to this harmful legislation.

The League of Minnesota Cities sent a letter to Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), asking her to oppose the “STREAMLINE” Small Cell Deployment Act, which is expected to be heard on July 25 in the Commerce Committee. Klobuchar serves on the committee. LMC staff are working closely with the National League of Cities on advocacy efforts and sent the letter to the entire Minnesota congressional delegation.

Read the League’s letter to Sen. Klobuchar (pdf)

Note: Some information in this story was provided by the National League of Cities.

This post originally ran on lmc.org.

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