Small cell wireless equipment collocation agreement in MN

The Job Growth and Energy Affordability Policy and Finance met late Sunday night The conference committee report for SF 1456 is available online. (I posted info on the broadband grant recommendation earlier.)

The wireless equipment collocation legislation has been a hard fought negotiation between wireless providers and local government (League of MN Cities). It looks like a lot of compromise. I don’t see a number listed for application fees – only restrictions on what the cost can (and cannot) cover. This must address concerns of local government that each location is different – and therefore costs are different. There are specific costs listed for recurring fee; I assume that provides some certainty to the providers, which makes it easier for them to plan.

I see provisions for buffering homes from unwanted equipment in the front yard. I see room for some advance warning of maintenance. I see parameters on response to applications and re-applications. I wish there was an archive of the meeting last night. I would have liked to see this presented – but midnight is too late for me for a meeting originally scheduled for noon. That’s tough work for all involved.

Here’s the info on small cell wireless equipment collocation

154.4ARTICLE 9

154.5TELECOMMUNICATIONS

154.6    Section 1. Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 237.162, subdivision 2, is amended to read: 154.7    Subd. 2. Local government unit. “Local government unit” means a county, home rule 154.8charter or statutory city, or town, or the Metropolitan Council. 154.9EFFECTIVE DATE.This section is effective the day following final enactment. 154.10    Sec. 2. Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 237.162, subdivision 4, is amended to read: 154.11    Subd. 4. Telecommunications right-of-way user.(a) “Telecommunications right-of-way 154.12user” means a person owning or controlling a facility in the public right-of-way, or seeking 154.13to own or control a facility in the public right-of-way, that is used or is intended to be used 154.14for providing wireless service, or transporting telecommunications or other voice or data 154.15information. 154.16(b) A cable communication system defined and regulated under chapter 238, and 154.17telecommunications activities related to providing natural gas or electric energy services 154.18whether provided by, a public utility as defined in section 216B.02, a municipality, a 154.19municipal gas or power agency organized under chapter 453 or 453A, or a cooperative 154.20electric association organized under chapter 308A, are not telecommunications right-of-way 154.21users for the purposes of this section and section 237.163, except to the extent these entities 154.22are offering wireless services. 154.23EFFECTIVE DATE.This section is effective the day following final enactment. 154.24    Sec. 3. Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 237.162, subdivision 9, is amended to read: 154.25    Subd. 9. Management costs or rights-of-way management costs.(a) “Management 154.26costs” or “rights-of-way management costs” means the actual costs a local government unit 154.27incurs in managing its public rights-of-way, and includes such costs, if incurred, as those 154.28associated with registering applicants; issuing, processing, and verifying right-of-way or 154.29small wireless facility permit applications; inspecting job sites and restoration projects; 154.30maintaining, supporting, protecting, or moving user equipment during public right-of-way 155.1work; determining the adequacy of right-of-way restoration; restoring work inadequately 155.2performed after providing notice and the opportunity to correct the work; and revoking 155.3right-of-way or small wireless facility permits. 155.4(b) Management costs do not include: 155.5(1) payment by a telecommunications right-of-way user for the use of the public 155.6right-of-way,; 155.7(2) unreasonable fees of a third-party contractor used by a local government unit as part 155.8of managing its public rights-of-way, including but not limited to any third-party contractor 155.9fee tied to or based upon customer counts, access lines, revenue generated by the 155.10telecommunications right-of-way user, or revenue generated for a local government unit; 155.11or 155.12(3) the fees and cost of litigation relating to the interpretation of this section or section 155.13237.163 or any ordinance enacted under those sections, or the local unit of government’s 155.14fees and costs related to appeals taken pursuant to section 237.163, subdivision 5. 155.15EFFECTIVE DATE.This section is effective the day following final enactment. 155.16    Sec. 4. Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 237.162, is amended by adding a subdivision to 155.17read: 155.18    Subd. 10.Collocate.“Collocate” or “collocation” means to install, mount, maintain, 155.19modify, operate, or replace a small wireless facility on, under, within, or adjacent to an 155.20existing wireless support structure that is owned privately or by a local government unit. 155.21EFFECTIVE DATE.This section is effective the day following final enactment. 155.22    Sec. 5. Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 237.162, is amended by adding a subdivision to 155.23read: 155.24    Subd. 11.Small wireless facility.“Small wireless facility” means: 155.25(1) a wireless facility that meets both of the following qualifications: 155.26(i) each antenna is located inside an enclosure of no more than six cubic feet in volume 155.27or, in the case of an antenna that has exposed elements, the antenna and all its exposed 155.28elements could fit within an enclosure of no more than six cubic feet; and 155.29(ii) all other wireless equipment associated with the small wireless facility, excluding 155.30electric meters, concealment elements, telecommunications demarcation boxes, battery 155.31backup power systems, grounding equipment, power transfer switches, cutoff switches, 156.1cable, conduit, vertical cable runs for the connection of power and other services, and any 156.2equipment concealed from public view within or behind an existing structure or concealment, 156.3is in aggregate no more than 28 cubic feet in volume; or 156.4(2) a micro wireless facility. 156.5EFFECTIVE DATE.This section is effective the day following final enactment. 156.6    Sec. 6. Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 237.162, is amended by adding a subdivision to 156.7read: 156.8    Subd. 12.Utility pole.“Utility pole” means a pole that is used in whole or in part to 156.9facilitate telecommunications or electric service. 156.10EFFECTIVE DATE.This section is effective the day following final enactment. 156.11    Sec. 7. Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 237.162, is amended by adding a subdivision to 156.12read: 156.13    Subd. 13.Wireless facility.(a) “Wireless facility” means equipment at a fixed location 156.14that enables the provision of wireless services between user equipment and a wireless service 156.15network, including: 156.16(1) equipment associated with wireless service; 156.17(2) a radio transceiver, antenna, coaxial or fiber-optic cable, regular and backup power 156.18supplies, and comparable equipment, regardless of technological configuration; and 156.19(3) a small wireless facility. 156.20(b) “Wireless facility” does not include: 156.21(1) wireless support structures; 156.22(2) wireline backhaul facilities; or 156.23(3) coaxial or fiber-optic cables (i) between utility poles or wireless support structures, 156.24or (ii) that are not otherwise immediately adjacent to or directly associated with a specific 156.25antenna. 156.26EFFECTIVE DATE.This section is effective the day following final enactment. 157.1    Sec. 8. Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 237.162, is amended by adding a subdivision to 157.2read: 157.3    Subd. 14.Micro wireless facility.“Micro wireless facility” means a small wireless 157.4facility that is no larger than 24 inches long, 15 inches wide, and 12 inches high, and whose 157.5exterior antenna, if any, is no longer than 11 inches. 157.6EFFECTIVE DATE.This section is effective the day following final enactment. 157.7    Sec. 9. Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 237.162, is amended by adding a subdivision to 157.8read: 157.9    Subd. 15.Wireless service.“Wireless service” means any service using licensed or 157.10unlicensed wireless spectrum, including the use of Wi-Fi, whether at a fixed location or by 157.11means of a mobile device, that is provided using wireless facilities. Wireless service does 157.12not include services regulated under Title VI of the Communications Act of 1934, as 157.13amended, including a cable service under United States Code, title 47, section 522, clause 157.14(6). 157.15EFFECTIVE DATE.This section is effective the day following final enactment. 157.16    Sec. 10. Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 237.162, is amended by adding a subdivision 157.17to read: 157.18    Subd. 16.Wireless support structure.“Wireless support structure” means a new or 157.19existing structure in a public right-of-way designed to support or capable of supporting 157.20small wireless facilities, as reasonably determined by a local government unit. 157.21EFFECTIVE DATE.This section is effective the day following final enactment. 157.22    Sec. 11. Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 237.162, is amended by adding a subdivision 157.23to read: 157.24    Subd. 17.Wireline backhaul facility.“Wireline backhaul facility” means a facility 157.25used to transport communications data by wire from a wireless facility to a communications 157.26network. 157.27EFFECTIVE DATE.This section is effective the day following final enactment. 157.28    Sec. 12. Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 237.163, subdivision 2, is amended to read: 157.29    Subd. 2. Generally. (a) Subject to this section, a telecommunications right-of-way user 157.30authorized to do business under the laws of this state or by license of the Federal 158.1Communications Commission may construct, maintain, and operate small wireless facilities, 158.2conduit, cable, switches, and related appurtenances and facilities along, across, upon, above, 158.3and under any public right-of-way. 158.4(b) Subject to this section, a local government unit has the authority to manage its public 158.5rights-of-way and to recover its rights-of-way management costs. Except as provided in 158.6subdivisions 3a, 3b, and 3c, the authority defined in this section may be exercised at the 158.7option of the local government unit. The exercise of this authority and is not mandated under 158.8this section. A local government unit may, by ordinance: 158.9(1) require a telecommunications right-of-way user seeking to excavate or obstruct a 158.10public right-of-way for the purpose of providing telecommunications services to obtain a 158.11right-of-way permit to do so and to impose permit conditions consistent with the local 158.12government unit’s management of the right-of-way; 158.13(2) require a telecommunications right-of-way user using, occupying, or seeking to use 158.14or occupy a public right-of-way for the purpose of providing telecommunications services 158.15to register with the local government unit by providing the local government unit with the 158.16following information: 158.17(i) the applicant’s name, gopher state one-call registration number under section 216D.03, 158.18address, and telephone and facsimile numbers; 158.19(ii) the name, address, and telephone and facsimile numbers of the applicant’s local 158.20representative; 158.21(iii) proof of adequate insurance; and 158.22(iv) other information deemed reasonably necessary by the local government unit for 158.23the efficient administration of the public right-of-way; and 158.24(3) require telecommunications right-of-way users to submit to the local government 158.25unit plans for construction and major maintenance that provide reasonable notice to the 158.26local government unit of projects that the telecommunications right-of-way user expects to 158.27undertake that may require excavation and obstruction of public rights-of-way. 158.28(c) A local government unit may also require a telecommunications right-of-way user 158.29that is registered with the local government unit pursuant to paragraph (b), clause (2), to 158.30periodically update the information in its registration application. 158.31(d) Notwithstanding sections 394.34 and 462.355, or any other law, a local government 158.32unit must not establish a moratorium with respect to: 159.1(1) filing, receiving, or processing applications for right-of-way or small wireless facility 159.2permits; or 159.3(2) issuing or approving right-of-way or small wireless facility permits. 159.4(e) A telecommunications right-of-way user may place a new wireless support structure 159.5or collocate small wireless facilities on wireless support structures located within a public 159.6right-of-way, subject to the approval procedures under this section and, for collocation on 159.7wireless support structures owned by a local government unit, the reasonable terms, 159.8conditions, and rates set forth under this section. A local government unit may prohibit, 159.9regulate, or charge a fee to install wireless support structures or to collocate small wireless 159.10facilities only as provided in this section. 159.11(f) The placement of small wireless facilities and wireless support structures to 159.12accommodate small wireless facilities are a permitted use in a public right-of-way, except 159.13that a local government unit may require a person to obtain a special or conditional land 159.14use permit to install a new wireless support structure for the siting of a small wireless facility 159.15in a right-of-way in a district or area zoned for single-family residential use or within a 159.16historic district established by federal or state law or city ordinance as of the date of 159.17application for a small wireless facility permit. This paragraph does not apply to areas 159.18outside a public right-of-way that are zoned and used exclusively for single-family residential 159.19use. 159.20EFFECTIVE DATE.This section is effective the day following final enactment, except 159.21that paragraph (d) is effective January 1, 2018, for a local government unit that has not 159.22enacted an ordinance regulating public rights-of-way as of May 18, 2017. 159.23    Sec. 13. Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 237.163, is amended by adding a subdivision 159.24to read: 159.25    Subd. 3a.Small wireless facility permits; general.(a) A local government unit: 159.26(1) may require a telecommunications right-of-way user to obtain a permit or permits 159.27under this section to place a new wireless support structure or collocate a small wireless 159.28facility in a public right-of-way managed by the local government unit; 159.29(2) must not require an applicant for a small wireless facility permit to provide any 159.30information that: 159.31(i) has previously been provided to the local government unit by the applicant in an 159.32application for a small wireless permit, which specific reference shall be provided to the 159.33local government unit by the applicant; and 160.1(ii) is not reasonably necessary to review a permit application for compliance with 160.2generally applicable and reasonable health, safety, and welfare regulations, and to 160.3demonstrate compliance with applicable Federal Communications Commission regulations 160.4governing radio frequency exposure, or other information required by this section; 160.5(3) must ensure that any application for a small wireless facility permit is processed on 160.6a nondiscriminatory basis; and 160.7(4) must specify that the term of a small wireless facility permit is equal to the length 160.8of time that the small wireless facility is in use, unless the permit is revoked under this 160.9section. 160.10(b) An applicant may file a consolidated permit application to collocate up to 15 small 160.11wireless facilities, or a greater number if agreed to by a local government unit, provided 160.12that all the small wireless facilities in the application: 160.13(1) are located within a two-mile radius; 160.14(2) consist of substantially similar equipment; and 160.15(3) are to be placed on similar types of wireless support structures. 160.16In rendering a decision on a consolidated permit application, a local government unit may 160.17approve a permit for some small wireless facilities and deny a permit for others, but may 160.18not use denial of one or more permits as a basis to deny all the small wireless facilities in 160.19the application. 160.20(c) If a local government unit receives applications within a single seven-day period 160.21from one or more applicants seeking approval of permits for more than 30 small wireless 160.22facilities, the local government unit may extend the 90-day deadline imposed in subdivision 160.233c by an additional 30 days. If a local government unit elects to invoke this extension, it 160.24must inform in writing any applicant to whom the extension will be applied. 160.25(d) A local government unit is prohibited from requiring a person to pay a small wireless 160.26facility permit fee, obtain a small wireless facility permit, or enter into a small wireless 160.27facility collocation agreement solely in order to conduct any of the following activities: 160.28(1) routine maintenance of a small wireless facility; 160.29(2) replacement of a small wireless facility with a new facility that is substantially similar 160.30or smaller in size, weight, height, and wind or structural loading than the small wireless 160.31facility being replaced; or 161.1(3) installation, placement, maintenance, operation, or replacement of micro wireless 161.2facilities that are suspended on cables strung between existing utility poles in compliance 161.3with national safety codes. 161.4A local government unit may require advance notification of these activities if the work 161.5will obstruct a public right-of-way. 161.6(e) Nothing in this subdivision affects the need for an entity seeking to place a small 161.7wireless facility on a wireless support structure that is not owned by a local government 161.8unit to obtain from the owner of the wireless support structure any necessary authority to 161.9place the small wireless facility, nor shall any provision of this chapter be deemed to affect 161.10the rates, terms, and conditions for access to or placement of a small wireless facility or a 161.11wireless support structure not owned by a local government unit. This subdivision does not 161.12affect any existing agreement between a local government unit and an entity concerning 161.13the placement of small wireless facilities on local government unit-owned wireless support 161.14structures. 161.15(f) No later than six months after the effective date of this act or three months after 161.16receiving a small wireless facility permit application from a wireless service provider, a 161.17local government unit that has elected to set forth terms and conditions of collocation in a 161.18standard small wireless facility collocation agreement shall develop and make available an 161.19agreement that complies with the requirements of this section and section 237.162. A 161.20standard small wireless facility collocation agreement shall be substantially complete. 161.21Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, the parties to a small wireless facility collocation 161.22agreement may incorporate additional terms and conditions mutually agreed upon into a 161.23small wireless facility collocation agreement. A small wireless facility collocation agreement 161.24between a local government unit and a wireless service provider is considered public data 161.25not on individuals and is accessible to the public under section 13.03. 161.26(g) An approval of a small wireless facility permit under this section authorizes the 161.27installation, placement, maintenance, or operation of a small wireless facility to provide 161.28wireless service and shall not be construed to confer authorization to (1) provide any service 161.29other than a wireless service, or (2) install, place, maintain, or operate a wireline backhaul 161.30facility in the right-of-way. 161.31(h) The terms and conditions of collocation under this subdivision: 161.32(1) may be set forth in a small wireless facility collocation agreement, if a local 161.33government unit elects to utilize such an agreement; 161.34(2) must be nondiscriminatory, competitively neutral, and commercially reasonable; and 162.1(3) must comply with this section and section 237.162. 162.2EFFECTIVE DATE.This section is effective the day following final enactment. 162.3    Sec. 14. Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 237.163, is amended by adding a subdivision 162.4to read: 162.5    Subd. 3b.Small wireless facility permits; placement.(a) A local government unit may 162.6not require the placement of small wireless facilities on any specific wireless support structure 162.7other than the wireless support structure proposed in the permit application. 162.8(b) A local government unit must not limit the placement of small wireless facilities, 162.9either by minimum separation distances between small wireless facilities or maximum 162.10height limitations, except that each wireless support structure installed in the right-of-way 162.11after the effective date of this act shall not exceed 50 feet above ground level, unless the 162.12local government unit agrees to a greater height, subject to local zoning regulations, and 162.13may be subject to separation requirements in relation to other wireless support structures. 162.14(c) Notwithstanding paragraph (b), a wireless support structure that replaces an existing 162.15wireless support structure that is higher than 50 feet above ground level may be placed at 162.16the height of the existing wireless support structure, unless the local government unit agrees 162.17to a greater height, subject to local zoning regulations. 162.18(d) Wireless facilities constructed in the right-of-way after the effective date of this act 162.19may not extend more than ten feet above an existing wireless support structure in place as 162.20of the effective date of this act. 162.21EFFECTIVE DATE.This section is effective the day following final enactment. 162.22    Sec. 15. Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 237.163, is amended by adding a subdivision 162.23to read: 162.24    Subd. 3c.Small wireless facility permits; approval.(a) Except as provided in 162.25subdivision 4, a local government unit shall issue a small wireless facility permit to a 162.26telecommunications right-of-way user seeking to install a new or replacement wireless 162.27support structure for a small wireless facility, or to collocate a small wireless facility on a 162.28wireless support structure in a public right-of-way. In processing and approving a small 162.29wireless facility permit, a local government unit may condition its approval on compliance 162.30with: 162.31(1) generally applicable and reasonable health, safety, and welfare regulations consistent 162.32with the local government unit’s public right-of-way management; 163.1(2) reasonable accommodations for decorative wireless support structures or signs; and 163.2(3) any reasonable restocking, replacement, or relocation requirements when a new 163.3wireless support structure is placed in a public right-of-way. 163.4(b) A local government unit has 90 days after the date a small wireless facility permit 163.5application is filed to issue or deny the permit, or the permit is automatically issued. To toll 163.6the 90-day clock, the local government unit must provide a written notice of incompleteness 163.7to the applicant within 30 days of receipt of the application, clearly and specifically 163.8delineating all missing documents or information. Information delineated in the notice is 163.9limited to documents or information publicly required as of the date of application and 163.10reasonably related to a local government unit’s determination whether the proposed equipment 163.11falls within the definition of a small wireless facility and whether the proposed deployment 163.12satisfies all health, safety, and welfare regulations applicable to the small wireless facility 163.13permit request. Upon an applicant’s submittal of additional documents or information in 163.14response to a notice of incompleteness, the local government unit has ten days to notify the 163.15applicant in writing of any information requested in the initial notice of incompleteness that 163.16is still missing. Second or subsequent notices of incompleteness may not specify documents 163.17or information that were not delineated in the original notice of incompleteness. Requests 163.18for information not requested in the initial notice of incompleteness do not toll the 90-day 163.19clock. Parties can mutually agree in writing to toll the 90-day clock at any time. Section 163.2015.99 does not apply to this paragraph or paragraph (c). 163.21For the purposes of this subdivision, “toll the 90-day clock” means to halt the progression 163.22of days that count towards the 90-day deadline. 163.23(c) Except as provided in subdivision 3a, paragraph (c), a small wireless facility permit 163.24and any associated encroachment or building permit required by a local government unit, 163.25are deemed approved if the local government unit fails to approve or deny the application 163.26within 90 days after the permit application has been filed, unless the applicant and the local 163.27government unit have mutually agreed in writing to extend the 90-day deadline. 163.28(d) Nothing in this subdivision precludes a local government unit from applying generally 163.29applicable and reasonable health, safety, and welfare regulations when evaluating and 163.30deciding to approve or deny a small wireless facility permit. 163.31EFFECTIVE DATE.This section is effective the day following final enactment. 164.1    Sec. 16. Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 237.163, subdivision 4, is amended to read: 164.2    Subd. 4. Permit denial or revocation. (a) A local government unit may deny any 164.3application for a right-of-way or small wireless facility permit if the telecommunications 164.4right-of-way user does not comply with a provision of this section. 164.5(b) A local government unit may deny an application for a right-of-way permit if the 164.6local government unit determines that the denial is necessary to protect the health, safety, 164.7and welfare or when necessary to protect the public right-of-way and its current use. 164.8(c) A local government unit may revoke a right-of-way or small wireless facility permit 164.9granted to a telecommunications right-of-way user, with or without fee refund, in the event 164.10of a substantial breach of the terms and conditions of statute, ordinance, rule, or regulation 164.11or any material condition of the permit. A substantial breach by a permittee includes, but 164.12is not limited to, the following: 164.13(1) a material violation of a provision of the right-of-way or small wireless facility 164.14permit; 164.15(2) an evasion or attempt to evade any material provision of the right-of-way or small 164.16wireless facility permit, or the perpetration or attempt to perpetrate any fraud or deceit upon 164.17the local government unit or its citizens; 164.18(3) a material misrepresentation of fact in the right-of-way or small wireless facility 164.19permit application; 164.20(4) a failure to complete work in a timely manner, unless a permit extension is obtained 164.21or unless the failure to complete work is due to reasons beyond the permittee’s control; and 164.22(5) a failure to correct, in a timely manner, work that does not conform to applicable 164.23standards, conditions, or codes, upon inspection and notification by the local government 164.24unit of the faulty condition. 164.25(d) Subject to this subdivision, a local government unit may not deny an application for 164.26a right-of-way or small wireless facility permit for failure to include a project in a plan 164.27submitted to the local government unit under subdivision 2, paragraph (b), clause (3), when 164.28the telecommunications right-of-way user has used commercially reasonable efforts to 164.29anticipate and plan for the project. 164.30(e) In no event may a local government unit unreasonably withhold approval of an 164.31application for a right-of-way or small wireless facility permit, or unreasonably revoke a 164.32permit. 165.1(f) Any denial or revocation of a right-of-way or small wireless facility permit must be 165.2made in writing and must document the basis for the denial. The local government unit must 165.3notify the telecommunications right-of-way user in writing within three business days of 165.4the decision to deny or revoke a permit. If a permit application is denied, the 165.5telecommunications right-of-way user may cure the deficiencies identified by the local 165.6government unit and resubmit its application. If the telecommunications right-of-way user 165.7resubmits the application within 30 days of receiving written notice of the denial, it may 165.8not be charged an additional filing or processing fee. The local government unit must approve 165.9or deny the revised application within 30 days after the revised application is submitted. 165.10EFFECTIVE DATE.This section is effective the day following final enactment. 165.11    Sec. 17. Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 237.163, subdivision 6, is amended to read: 165.12    Subd. 6. Fees. (a) A local government unit may recover its right-of-way management 165.13costs by imposing a fee for registration, a fee for each right-of-way or small wireless facility 165.14permit, or, when appropriate, a fee applicable to a particular telecommunications right-of-way 165.15user when that user causes the local government unit to incur costs as a result of actions or 165.16inactions of that user. A local government unit may not recover costs from a 165.17telecommunications right-of-way user costs or an owner of a cable communications system 165.18awarded a franchise under chapter 238 caused by another entity’s activity in the right-of-way. 165.19(b) Fees, or other right-of-way obligations, imposed by a local government unit on 165.20telecommunications right-of-way users under this section must be: 165.21(1) based on the actual costs incurred by the local government unit in managing the 165.22public right-of-way; 165.23(2) based on an allocation among all users of the public right-of-way, including the local 165.24government unit itself, which shall reflect the proportionate costs imposed on the local 165.25government unit by each of the various types of uses of the public rights-of-way; 165.26(3) imposed on a competitively neutral basis; and 165.27(4) imposed in a manner so that aboveground uses of public rights-of-way do not bear 165.28costs incurred by the local government unit to regulate underground uses of public 165.29rights-of-way. 165.30(c) The rights, duties, and obligations regarding the use of the public right-of-way 165.31imposed under this section must be applied to all users of the public right-of-way, including 165.32the local government unit while recognizing regulation must reflect the distinct engineering, 165.33construction, operation, maintenance and public and worker safety requirements, and 166.1standards applicable to various users of the public rights-of-way. For users subject to the 166.2franchising authority of a local government unit, to the extent those rights, duties, and 166.3obligations are addressed in the terms of an applicable franchise agreement, the terms of 166.4the franchise shall prevail over any conflicting provision in an ordinance. 166.5(d) A wireless service provider may collocate small wireless facilities on wireless support 166.6structures owned or controlled by a local government unit and located within the public 166.7roads or rights-of-way without being required to apply for or enter into any individual 166.8license, franchise, or other agreement with the local government unit or any other entity, 166.9other than a standard small wireless facility collocation agreement under subdivision 3a, 166.10paragraph (f), if the local unit of government elects to utilize such an agreement. 166.11(e) Any initial engineering survey and preparatory construction work associated with 166.12collocation must be paid by the cost causer in the form of a onetime, nonrecurring, 166.13commercially reasonable, nondiscriminatory, and competitively neutral charge to recover 166.14the costs associated with a proposed attachment. 166.15(f) Total application fees for a small wireless facility permit must comply with this 166.16subdivision with respect to costs related to the permit. 166.17(g) A local government unit may elect to charge each small wireless facility attached to 166.18a wireless support structure owned by the local government unit a fee, in addition to other 166.19fees or charges allowed under this subdivision, consisting of: 166.20(1) up to $150 per year for rent to occupy space on a wireless support structure; 166.21(2) up to $25 per year for maintenance associated with the space occupied on a wireless 166.22support structure; and 166.23(3) a monthly fee for electricity used to operate a small wireless facility, if not purchased 166.24directly from a utility, at the rate of: 166.25(i) $73 per radio node less than or equal to 100 max watts; 166.26(ii) $182 per radio node over 100 max watts; or 166.27(iii) the actual costs of electricity, if the actual costs exceed the amount in item (i) or 166.28(ii). 166.29EFFECTIVE DATE.This section is effective the day following final enactment. 167.1    Sec. 18. Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 237.163, subdivision 7, is amended to read: 167.2    Subd. 7. Additional right-of-way provisions. (a) In managing the public rights-of-way 167.3and in imposing fees under this section, no local government unit may: 167.4(1) unlawfully discriminate among telecommunications right-of-way users; 167.5(2) grant a preference to any telecommunications right-of-way user; 167.6(3) create or erect any unreasonable requirement for entry to the public rights-of-way 167.7by telecommunications right-of-way users; or 167.8(4) require a telecommunications right-of-way user to obtain a franchise or pay for the 167.9use of the right-of-way. 167.10(b) A telecommunications right-of-way user need not apply for or obtain right-of-way 167.11permits for facilities that are located in public rights-of-way on May 10, 1997, for which 167.12the user has obtained the required consent of the local government unit, or that are otherwise 167.13lawfully occupying the public right-of-way. However, the telecommunications right-of-way 167.14user may be required to register and to obtain a right-of-way permit for an excavation or 167.15obstruction of existing facilities within the public right-of-way after May 10, 1997. 167.16(c) Data and documents exchanged between a local government unit and a 167.17telecommunications right-of-way user are subject to the terms of chapter 13. A local 167.18government unit not complying with this paragraph is subject to the penalties set forth in 167.19section 13.08. 167.20(d) A local government unit may not collect a fee imposed under this section through 167.21the provision of in-kind services by a telecommunications right-of-way user, nor may a 167.22local government unit require the provision of in-kind services as a condition of consent to 167.23use the local government unit’s public right-of-way or to obtain a small wireless facility 167.24permit. 167.25(e) Except as provided in this chapter or required by federal law, a local government 167.26unit shall not adopt or enforce any regulation on the placement or operation of 167.27communications facilities in the right-of-way where the entity is already authorized to 167.28operate in the right-of-way, and shall not regulate or impose or collect fees on 167.29communications services except to the extent specifically provided for in the existing 167.30authorization, and unless expressly required by state or federal statute. 168.1    Sec. 19. Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 237.163, is amended by adding a subdivision 168.2to read: 168.3    Subd. 9.Authorized contractors.(a) Nothing in this section precludes a 168.4telecommunications right-of-way user from authorizing another entity or individual to act 168.5on its behalf to install, construct, maintain, or repair a facility or facilities owned or controlled 168.6by the telecommunications right-of-way user. 168.7(b) A local government unit is prohibited from imposing fees or requirements on an 168.8authorized entity or individual for actions on behalf of a telecommunications right-of-way 168.9user that are in addition to or different from the fees and requirements it is authorized to 168.10impose on the telecommunications right-of-way user under this section. 168.11EFFECTIVE DATE.This section is effective the day following final enactment. 168.12    Sec. 20. Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 237.163, is amended by adding a subdivision 168.13to read: 168.14    Subd. 10.Exemptions.(a) Notwithstanding any other provision in this chapter, this 168.15section does not apply to a wireless support structure owned, operated, maintained, or served 168.16by a municipal electric utility. 168.17(b) Subdivisions 3a, 3b, 3c, and subdivision 6, paragraphs (d) through (g), and subdivision 168.187, paragraph (e), do not apply to the collocation or regulation of small wireless facilities 168.19issued a permit by a local government unit before the effective date of this act under an 168.20ordinance enacted before May 18, 2017, that regulates the collocation of small wireless 168.21facilities. 168.22EFFECTIVE DATE.This section is effective the day following final enactment.

Continue reading

Mediacom upgrades to a Gig Northern Minnesota

The Hibbing Daily Tribune reports

The company [Mediacom] rolled-out its new technology of 1 Gig internet speeds in conjunction with a tour of its master headend facility in Hibbing Tuesday.

They describe the upgrade…

The company rolled-out its new technology of 1 Gig internet speeds in conjunction with a tour of its master headend facility in Hibbing Tuesday.

And a little bit about the technology…

Mediacom has offered the 1 Gig speed to business customers in recent years by extending fiber optic through an optical connection, but Tuesday’s launch now allows all customers — including residential — to receive the speed without fiber.
“It’s available over a regular cable television modem,” explained Jensen. “This will get them 1 gigabit per second download speeds and 50 megabit per second upload speeds.”
In other words, one could download an entire 2-hour HD movie in under a minute.

Mediacom also has a headend in Cloquet.
“But this Hibbing master headend is our largest facility on the Iron Range,” said Jensen, while explaining how the racks of digital network equipment provides the company’s video, internet and telephone service technologies.
He equated the facility to a wagon wheel.
“In the middle of the wheel is the hub, and that’s master headend. The spokes are the fiber optic lines and eventually the coaxial cable lines that to our customers,” he continued. “In this facility today we have high-tech fiber optic transmitters, receivers and lasers, which is probably a little more than $1.5 million in equipment here.”

A telecom deregulation warning from Sen Simonson and Sen Johnson

The Post Bulletin posted a letter to the editor from Senators Erik Simonson and Sheldon Johnson

AT&T, Comcast, and the Minnesota Cable Communications Association are coming for your consumer rights as local phone customers.

Be afraid. Be very afraid — especially if you live in Greater Minnesota.

These companies are asking the Minnesota Legislature to completely deregulate local phone service if it’s provided by a new technology — Voice-over-Internet Protocol (or VoIP). They claim they shouldn’t have to follow any rules at all because they’re providing phone service using this more modern technology.

But don’t let them fool you. You don’t even need an Internet connection for calls to travel over VoIP technology. Basically, VoIP is just a method of getting calls from one place to another. To the consumer, the phone call is the same if it travels by VoIP, copper, fiber, carrier pigeon, or two tin cans and a string.

And if you’re a consumer, you couldn’t care less how the call gets to its destination, but you do care that calls to 911, your doctor, your families, your friends are reliably completed. You care if the company drags its feet on installing your new phone or if you have service problems and the company doesn’t fix them. You care if you go on vacation and perhaps the bill is late, you’ll still have a phone when you get home. And you care if you get bogus charges on your bill, you have recourse if the company refuses to refund them.

If AT&T, Comcast and the other cable companies get their way this year at the Legislature, all those basic protections will vanish in a heartbeat. Immediately, consumers whose telephone company sends your calls in whole or in part using VoIP technology will lose those protections.

It would be disastrous for consumers if this bill became law, especially for those who live in Greater Minnesota, where the local phone company is the only reliable provider they have.

First, under the bill there will no longer be a right to have phone service. It is expensive and unprofitable to serve rural customers and maintain infrastructure. Companies will invest their money in densely populated, more profitable urban areas and disinvest in maintenance of the network in rural, more expensive-to-serve, less profitable areas. Rural consumers will experience decreasing service quality and more outages as the system is allowed to deteriorate and resources are moved elsewhere.

Second, existing protections against charging exorbitant connection or reconnection charges would be gone. If the bill becomes law, phone companies can shut you off for no reason even if you always pay their bill on time or without notice if you are late. Companies can shut off customers simply because they are too expensive to serve and not sufficiently profitable. Who are these customers? They are older Minnesotans, people with disabilities, people on fixed incomes, and people who live in Greater Minnesota.

Third, AT&T and Comcast tell legislators that deregulation will produce more competition, lower prices, better service, more jobs, and broadband for everyone. Beware of would-be deregulated telecommunications companies bearing “gifts.”

Broadband is already deregulated – and there has been no investment. The Legislature has ponied up $50 million over the last two years (and more is proposed this session) to give to our cities to bring broadband to Greater Minnesota. If there was money to be made private sector money would be flowing.

Every part of their rationale is wrong. There isn’t a single legislator who represents rural Minnesota communities and citizens who should be supporting this bill.

 

2017 MHTA Spring Conference: May 9

Always a good conference. Some topics are pretty industry specific but the policy stuff is interesting to a wider audience and the trade show is great…

Be sure to save the date for our 2017 MHTA Spring Conference, coming up on May 9!

Each year MHTA hosts a gathering of 700 science and technology leaders and professionals that highlights local companies, their breakthroughs and the people behind them.

We’re holding the conference at a new venue this year: the Minneapolis Depot Renaissance. We will be featuring more than 15 breakout sessions in addition to our keynote speakers. Conference tracks will focus on digital transformation, cybersecurity and Minnesota’s leadership in the next wave of innovation.

Exhibit space is also returning to the conference for the first time in a few years! If you are interested in speaking, submitting an idea, sponsoring, or exhibiting at Spring Conference let us know by contacting organizers at news@mhta.org.

We’re also excited to announce that Neel Kashkari, President of Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank, will be one of our keynote speakers! Kashkari is the 13th president of the Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank. He was born and raised Ohio and first worked as an aerospace engineer. Later he attended the Wharton School of Business and covered the technology security sector for Goldman Sachs. Ten years ago the Secretary of the Treasury tapped Kashkari to administer the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) during the financial crisis. Kashkari is currently a voting member of the Federal Reserve’s policy-setting panel.

REGISTER HERE

EVENT DETAILS
Tuesday, May 9, 2016
7:00 am – 5:30 pm

Minneapolis Depot Renaissance Hotel
225 3rd Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55401

Frontier Communications Expands Broadband to 8,000 Additional Minnesota Households

Frontier announces expansion of service. I had emailed them about the speeds available – but I didn’t hear back. CAF requires a provider to offer at least 10 Mbps down and 1 up.

Frontier Communications Expands Broadband to 8,000 Additional Minnesota Households

Residents Gain Access to Leading-Edge Services

BURNSVILLE, Minn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Frontier Communications (NASDAQ: FTR) announced that it has made enhanced broadband service available to an additional 8,000 households in Minnesota. Frontier is leveraging the FCC’s Connect America Fund (CAF) program to bring broadband to approximately 3,900 households in CAF-eligible census blocks while expanding its overall service and reach to approximately 4,100 more households throughout Minnesota.

“Through ongoing network investments, Frontier is providing broadband and faster speeds to residents in our Minnesota service areas,” George Meskowski, Frontier Director of Operations said. “We have been aggressively deploying and upgrading our broadband service and look forward to serving more residents.”

The deployments are made possible through a combination of Frontier’s capital investment and the CAF. The FCC established the CAF in 2011 to facilitate broadband deployment to the millions of Americans living in rural areas without access to broadband infrastructure. As of 2016, Frontier began receiving approximately $27 million a year from the CAF to expand and upgrade the company’s network to 47,000 locations in Minnesota by the end of 2020.

The CAF program and investments by Frontier are enabling broadband access to previously unserved households, as well as improvements in speeds and services. Frontier offers simplified broadband offerings and bundled service packages that provide customers with choice and affordable options.

Broadband availability allows businesses and consumers to stay connected and take full advantage of online education, healthcare, and entertainment options. “Broadband connectivity is critical today, especially in more rural areas,” said Meskowski. “Through investment and ongoing enhancements, Frontier is helping to close America’s digital divide.”

About Frontier Communications

Frontier Communications Corporation (NASDAQ: FTR) is a leader in providing communications services to urban, suburban, and rural communities in 29 states. Frontier offers a variety of services to residential customers over its fiber-optic and copper networks, including video, high-speed internet, advanced voice, and Frontier Secure® digital protection solutions. Business Edge™ offers communications solutions to small, medium, and enterprise businesses. More information about Frontier is available at www.frontier.com.

House to discuss broadband; also satellite demo at the Capitol April 6

Tomorrow (April 6) the House is scheduled to talk about the Omnibus Job Growth and Energy Affordability Finance bill. (Same bill (SF1937) I posted about yesterday – where they budgeted $7 million (for one year only) for broadband grant funding. Here are the details from the MN Legislative website:

THURSDAY: House Floor Session *
Thursday, Apr. 6, 2017 10:00 AM
Watch HTV 1
* The start time of Thursday’s House Floor Session has not been set.
CALENDAR FOR THE DAY.
SF605 (Anderson, S.) Omnibus State Government Finance bill.
SF1937 (Garofalo) Omnibus Job Growth and Energy Affordability Finance bill.

It will be live-streamed – so easy to watch from home. The timing can be tricky – you’ll need to keep an eye on the schedule.

Also at the Capitol- The Satellite Broadcasting & Communications Association will be demonstrating their satellite connectivity on Thursday. From SBCA

Join us to experience High-Speed Satellite Broadband

Bring laptops and personal devices to log on to the internet using our new high-speed satellite broadband!

Thursday April 6, 2017
10 am to 2 pm
Upper Capitol Mall

Learn more about high-speed satellite broadband and the opportunities it provides Minnesotans throughout the state – particularly for communities with limited internet access.

 

Mediacom’s Minnesota 1-Gig upgrade schedule is out

Mediacom announced their plan to upgrade all of the Minnesota customers last December (2016). Well they’re making good on that announcement and have kindly send more info on cities and schedules.

They sent me two helpful fliers (1 Gig Map and Launch date for cities)– which I’m going to turn into a searchable blog post here.

Mediacom is spending $1 billion of private capital Mediacom is investing over three years (2016-18) to upgrade its fiber-based network and deliver 1Gig broadband internet to nearly all service areas. The resulting high-capacity network will bring digital services to more communities; deliver fiber-based communication services to more commercial interests; and deploy community Wi-Fi access points in high-traffic public areas.

They will pass 225,885 Minnesota homes with Mediacom’s fiber-rich digital network – border–to–border.

They will launch 1Gig broadband service in 181 communities in the spring and early summer of 2017, making new-generation internet service widely available in non-metro areas.

Here are details on communities and when they will launch:

1-Gig Launches in April 2017

  • Blue Earth County: Lake Crystal, Pemberton
  • Brown County: Sleepy Eye, Springfield
  • Carlton County: Carlton, Cloquet, Moose Lake, Moose Lake Twp., Thomson, Windemere
  • Carver County: Hamburg, Norwood – Young America, Victoria, Waconia      Cottonwood County: Mountain Lake, Faribault County, Wells, Winnebago
  • Hennepin County: Chanhassen, Deephaven, Excelsior, Greenwood, Independence, Long Lake, Loretto, Maple Plain, Medina, Minnetonka Beach, Minnetrista, Mound, Orono, Shorewood, Spring Park, St. Bonifacius, Tonka Bay, Wayzata, Woodland
  • Itasca County: Calumet, Cohasset, Coleraine, Grand Rapids, Harris Twp., Keewatin, La Prairie, Marble, Nashwauk, Taconite, Lake County, Beaver Bay, Silver Bay, Two Harbors
  • Le Sueur County: Cleveland, Kasota, Lake Jefferson, Le Sueur, Montgomery
  • Lincoln County: Ivanhoe, Lake Benton, Tyler
  • McLeod County: Brownton, Hassan Valley, Hutchinson, Lester Prairie, Silver Lake, Stewart, Winsted
  • Meeker County: Collinwood Twp., Cosmos, Darwin, Dassell Twp., Grove City, Litchfield, Litchfield Twp.
  • Murray County: Fulda, Hadley, Slayton, Nicollet County, Lafayette, Saint Peter
  • Nobles County: Worthington
  • Pine County: Sturgeon Lake Twp., Windemere Twp.
  • Pipestone County: Pipestone, Trosky
  • Redwood County: North Redwood, Redwood Falls
  • Renville County: Bird Island, Buffalo Lake, Danube, Fairfax, Franklin, Hector, Lower, Sioux, Morton, Olivia
  • Rice County: Lonsdale, Veseli, Webster
  • Rock County: Luverne
  • Scott County: Belle Plaine, Credit River Twp., Elko – New Market, Prior Lake, Savage,  Spring Lake Twp.
  • Sibley County: Arlington, Gaylord, Gibbon, Henderson, Winthrop
  • St. Louis County: Aurora, Biwabik, Buhl, Chisholm, Eveleth, Fayal Twp., Gilbert, Hermantown, Hibbing, Hoyt Lakes, Kinney, McKinley, Midway Twp., Mountain Iron, Proctor, Virginia
  • Waseca County: Janesville, Waldorf, Waseca
  • Watonwan County     Butterfield   St. James
  • Wright County: Howard Lake

1-Gig Launches, June 2017

  • Big Stone County: Clinton, Graceville
  • Chippewa County: Clara City, Maynard
  • Kandiyohi County: Atwater, Sunburg
  • Lac Qui Parle County: Dawson, Madison
  • Pope County: Starbuck
  • Stearns County: Belgrade, Brooten, Paynesville, Paynesville Twp.
  • Stevens County: Chokio, Hancock, Morris, Morris Twp.
  • Swift County: Appleton, Clontarf
  • Traverse County: Wheaton
  • Yellow Medicine County: Granite Falls

1-Gig Launches, July 2017

  • Dodge County: Dodge Center, Hayfield, Mantorville, West Concord
  • Fillmore County: Canton, Lanesboro, Mabel, Peterson, Preston, Rushford, Spring Valley, Spring Valley Twp.
  • Goodhue County: Cannon Falls, Kenyon
  • Houston County: Brownsville, Caledonia, Caledonia Twp., Hokah   Houston, Spring Grove
  • Mower County: Adams, Brownsdale, Le Roy, Lyle, Waltham
  • Olmsted County: Chatfield, Dover Twp.
  • Steele County: Blooming Prairie
  • Winona County: Dakota, St. Charles City