EJL Wireless Research Reports U.S. State Legislation Laws Classify Small/Micro Cells as Permitted Use

Legislation Preempts Local Government Control over Utility Poles

Potential Legal Battles Regarding Local Rights-of-Way



San Francisco, CA November 8, 2018: EJL Wireless Research is excited to announce the third report in its small cells research track. The “United States State Level Small Wireless Facilities Legislative Analysis, 2018 1st Edition.” The report analyzes small wireless facility (SWF) and micro wireless facility (MWF) laws in States that have passed or are in the process of passing laws allowing wireless service providers and neutral host tower companies to gain right-of-way (ROW) access to utility poles. The report compliments the recently published “U.S. Federal Communications Commission Small Wireless Facilities Legislative Analysis, 2018 1st Edition.

This report analyzes each individual state and their specific SWF/MWF specifications and laws including:

  • New/Replacement Utility Pole Requirements
  • Collocation Application Permit Fees and Shot Clocks
  • Micro Wireless Facility Right-of-Way

Currently, twenty states have passed SWF legislation with another six states potentially passing laws in 2019. The state laws preempt local government authority at the city and town levels by declaring small wireless facilities as a permitted use and not subject to zoning regulations. The laws also preempt local government authority on one time fees and annual rates they can charge to wireless service providers and neutral host tower companies by capping the total amount on a per SWF or a per pole basis.

“Access to utility poles is a critical step towards enabling network densification of current 4G and future 5G networks. The Small Wireless Facilities Deployment Acts that are being passed at the state level are based upon recommendations from the FCC regarding SWFs and MWFs. There is currently one state, Texas, experiencing a legal challenge from local governments that is the first battle to occur regarding these laws. The outcome of this key legal challenge will have a significant impact for other states who have passed or are in the process of adopting new small wireless facility laws,” says Lum. ■

For more information on our detailed reports, consulting services, and design analysis services, contact Earl J. Lum directly at (650) 430-2221 or elum@ejlwireless.com. We invite you to subscribe to our Email Updates, or meet with us at upcoming wireless conferences and events. Discover why EJL Wireless Research is the preferred choice for wireless market intelligence.



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