Tennessee Taxpayers Need To Know The Truth About Proposed Small Cell Legislation According To CNX
CNX, a leader in providing broadband master planning and program management services to municipalities across the country, wants Tennessee residents to understand the impact that the recent House Bill 2279, if passed will have on their communities.
On February 2, 2018 House Bill 2279 and its companion SB 2504 were introduced. The bill has been presented by AT&T and if passed, will impact municipalities' ability to manage their public right-of-way and generate on-going revenue from city-owned assets, like light poles located in the public rights-of way.
In order to meet growing demand for wireless services, it is estimated carriers, like AT&T, will seek to deploy hundreds of thousands of small cells in densely populated areas like Nashville. These small cells can be installed on existing city owned infrastructure like light poles. The bill would require that carriers be allowed access to all municipal owned infrastructure in the right-of-way while at the same time removing the city's right to develop and enforce design guidelines or aesthetic standards. The proposed legislation would permit a carrier to place a 28 cubic feet equipment cabinet on the ground next to a pole or up to within 50' of a pole.
Angela Stacy, Vice President of Marketing and Communications at CNX is also a member of the Federal Communications Commission's Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee and a resident of Tennessee has expressed grave concern with the proposed legislation. "As recently as today, I have seen an email campaign sent by AT&T to its customers in Tennessee claiming they need to support small cell legislation because it will make it 'easier and more efficient' for them to enhance their networks. AT&T isn't giving them the whole truth. This bill, if passed, will not only diminish a city's ability to manage their public rights-of-way, it will also drastically reduce the revenues cities earn today by leasing their assets to carriers. To the tune of billions of dollars."
The bill moved this week from the House Business and Utilities Subcommittee at the Tennessee General Assembly and is scheduled to be discussed at the February 28th Tennessee House Business and Utilities Committee meeting.
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