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Welcome to AWC’s online library of Legislative Bulletin and CityVoice news articles and other updates.

Published on Monday, August 14, 2017

Small cell facilities were a hot topic this session

The wireless and broadband industries advanced legislation (SB 5711 and HB 1921) that contained sweeping preemption of cities’ authority to manage the public rights-of-way, site and permit small cell networks in city neighborhoods, set appropriate timelines and fees, and would have imposed a cost formula for charging for pole attachments. Small cell networks will be used to deploy the 5th generation of mobile phone and data communication standards, otherwise known as 5G. It will also be used to upgrade current 3G and 4G networks and will be used for a dedicated public safety network under development.

Cities worked with other stakeholders to stop preemption, and instead offered an alternative that would have required cities over 5,000 in population to update their policies relating to permitting and costs, would have created a rural broadband program, and would have studied pole attachment policies and fees (SB 5935). Neither the original proposal nor the alternative passed this legislative session. However, we expect the issue to come back in 2018.

We are encouraging cities to update policies and ordinances to prepare for applications relating to small cell facilities and networks. In this way, we can make it clear that state preemption of local authority is not needed or helpful. If you want more information on how to get started please see our recorded webinar available here.

Bill #

Descriptive title

Final status

HB 1921

Pre-empting city authority over fees and permitting for small cell telecommunication facilities

Did not pass

SB 5711

Pre-empting city authority over fees and permitting for small cell telecommunication facilities

Did not pass

SB 5935

Enhancing consumer access, affordability, and quality of broadband and advanced telecommunications services

Did not pass

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