Industry was way ahead of local government and government response for deployment of small cell wireless. They started coming to the City [Brookhaven, GA] with applications to deploy their devices and their facilities before we knew what was going on. And when we finally caught on to what was going on, we were like, “Wait you’re digging up our right of way, and you’re not paying us? That’s not right.” I think it is important to vindicate the rights of local government to govern, and what the FCC’s order does is censor that conversation and say, “This is the end. This is your answer. Deal with it.“ And that fundamentally is an attack on governance and on local government particularly. 

Chris Balch via Axios
Axios’ coverage of the issue featuring Brian Johnson, City Manager, Peachtree Corners, GA, Brendan Carr, FCC Commissioner, Chris Balch, Balch Law Group, and Jessica Rosenworcel, FCC Commissioner

From Axios:

The fate of the national race to build 5G wireless service depends on how effectively the guts of the network — namely, hundreds of thousands of bulky antennas — are placed in cities.

Why it matters: While global tensions mount over pressure to build 5G networks as fast as possible, U.S. cities are in a fight of their own with telecom carriers and federal regulators over how new 5G antennas — or small cells — will be scattered throughout downtowns and neighborhoods.

Driving the news: Next month, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in Pasadena, Calif., will hear the case between cities and the Federal Communications Commission over the placement of 5G antennas.

Dozens of cities have sued the FCC over its 2018 order requiring faster permitting and limiting the fees communities can charge wireless companies to install backpack-sized antennas on city property.


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