Baller Stokes & Lide has just released a help sheet for communities that may have to deal with changes to how public rights-of-way are handled in the near future. Small cell equipment collocation is being discussed in the Minnesota legislature. As they note, it’s a hot topic in many places. Their work will help local government prepare for any changes. Here’s a snippet…
As you probably are aware, wireless facility owners and providers of various types are seeking to install wireless equipment within the public rights of way (PROW) in many communities nationwide. 1 These facilities may be attached to electric utility poles, streetlight poles, traffic signal poles, bus shelters and other miscellaneous structures, and possibly to new structures. Many cities, counties, and towns have already received a substantial number of siting requests during the past 18 months or so, and the further development of “5G” services and standards is likely to result in a dramatic increase in such requests over the next two years.
In an effort to further “streamline” the deployment of 5G infrastructure, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently proposed new rules that could significantly impact the role of local governments in managing wireless facility installations in their PROW. In addition to the FCC’s proposed rules, at least 23 states are considering – and at least three have enacted – various forms of legislation affecting the authority and rights of local governments in this context.
In light of these prospective new rules, we recommend that local governments act quickly, but thoughtfully, to establish a workable process for the management of wireless facility installations in the PROW. This paper outlines a few key steps and policy issues that local governments may wish to consider in doing so.