Sprint says let a thousand poles bloom

26 January 2016 by Steve Blum
, , , ,

Smaller cells on poles in public right of ways and microwave backhaul are Sprint’s formula for future success, according to media reports (h/t to Omar Masry with the City and County of San Francisco for the pointer).

It’s all about operating costs. Right now, Sprint is paying for capacity on Crown Castle and American Tower-owned, full size macro cell sites. Instead, rumor has it, Sprint will opt for a multitude of cheaper small cells stuck on top of steel and/or wooden poles, planted along public roads and such, and leased from Mobilitie, a Newport Beach-based company.… More

California wireless shot clock might trump environmental reviews

16 October 2015 by Steve Blum
, , , ,

A pretty simple decision.

The California Environmental Quality Act – CEQA – has evolved into a powerful tool for Nimbys and others who want to say no to infrastructure projects or other construction work. The seemingly endless possibilities for reviews, questions and appeals can stall projects for years, with no discernible benefit to either the environment or communities. Except for people who simply want to delay the process, in the hopes of killing projects drip by drip.… More

Wireless broadband facilities get an express lane in California

12 October 2015 by Steve Blum
, ,

On Friday, California governor Jerry Brown signed assembly bill 57 into law, which puts a limit on the delays local agencies can throw up in front of wireless broadband facilities. A city or a county now has 150 days to either find a reason to say no to an application for new wireless infrastructure, such as a cell tower, or grant the permit. For collocation of new gear on existing towers, the deadline is 90 days.… More

Governor Brown approves shot clock for wireless facilities permits, vetoes CPUC reform bills

9 October 2015 by Steve Blum
, , , ,

Assembly bill 57 will become law. Governor Brown announced today that he signed the measure, which would give local governments five months to make a decision on permit applications for new wireless facilities, and three months to decide on additions to existing facilities. If the application is still pending when the clock runs out, it’ll be deemed approved.

Brown vetoed four bills that would have made various changes to the way the California Public Utilities Commission conducts its business, including senate bill 660, which would have put tighter limits on closed door conversations between commissioners (and key staffers) and people with business that’s in front of the commission.

Decisions coming soon on California broadband bills

7 October 2015 by Steve Blum
, , , ,

Not quite yet.

Sunday is the last day for California governor Jerry Brown to either veto bills passed by the legislature this summer, or allow them to become law. Amongst the measures in the big stack on his desk right now are several that will affect broadband service and infrastructure, particularly in regards to how it’s regulated.

The bill with the most potential impact is assembly bill 57, which would put teeth in the Federal Communications Commission shot clock for wireless permits.… More

Express lane bill for tower permits clears California legislature

1 September 2015 by Steve Blum
, , ,

Not much point if no one pays attention.

Permit applications for new cellular towers and other wireless telecoms facilities will be deemed granted in California, if local governments don’t make a decision within Federal Communications Commission deadlines. Assuming governor Jerry Brown agrees.

The California assembly waved assembly bill 57 through on a 66 to 8 vote last week, agreeing to amendments made in the state sentate. The measure puts teeth in the FCC’s shot clock: if an application for a new tower or other wireless facility isn’t approved or denied in 5 months or one for collocation of equipment on existing facilities isn’t acted upon within 3 months, then the permit is automatically granted.… More

California senate votes for quicker wireless permit decisions

27 August 2015 by Steve Blum
, , ,

A fast track for wireless facilities permits is one step closer to reality in California. Assembly bill 57 was approved by the state senate and sent back to the assembly, which needs to either agree with senate amendments or work out compromise language in order for it to be sent on to Governor Jerry Brown.

The senate vote was lopsided and bipartisan – 28 yes, 6 no and 6 abstentions. All of the noes and abstention were on the democratic side of the aisle

If approved, the bill would put teeth in the Federal Communications Commission’s shot clock rules, which essentially give local governments 90 days to approve or deny applications for co-location of additional equipment on existing cellular sites and other wireless facilities, and 150 days for new ones.… More

Local agencies would be able to challenge cell tower permits in court, under bill in California senate

13 July 2015 by Steve Blum
, , ,

Not so fast.

A bill to put teeth in the FCC’s shot clock rule for local review of permit applications for wireless towers and equipment has been watered down a bit in the California legislature. As it reads now – after being amended twice so far in the senate – it basically says that if a mobile carrier or other wireless telecoms company provides all the necessary information, a permit application for a new site has to be acted on by local agencies within five months and a collocation request within three.… More

Limits on local authority over cell towers advance to the California senate

2 June 2015 by Steve Blum
, , ,

Cell towers and other wireless facilities are a matter of “statewide concern” and “not a municipal affair” according to California state assembly members. By a vote of 66 to 4, they approved assembly bill 57, authored by East Bay democrat Bill Quirk and sent it on to the state senate.

The core concept of the bill is that local governments shouldn’t be able to delay permits for building new towers or adding equipment to existing ones, beyond the limits set by the Federal Communications Commission.… More

Local California governments would have little to say about cell sites, under bill proposed in Sacramento

10 April 2015 by Steve Blum
, , ,

Sometimes, the shot clock means what it says.

What started out as a wide-ranging attempt to rationalise broadband construction policy in California has turned into a narrowly focused effort to drastically limit, if not end completely, the ability of local government to tie up cell tower and site approvals for years on end.

Assembly bill 57, authored by assemblyman Bill Quirk, an East Bay democrat, now reads

The Legislature finds and declares that a wireless telecommunications facility has a significant economic impact in California and is not a municipal affair as that term is used in…the California Constitution, but is a matter of statewide concern.