Mobile 5G and Small Cell 2019 Legislation

Heather Morton 7/17/2019

Mobile fifth-generation (5G) wireless systems are the next upgrade of wireless technology, offering faster speeds, greater capacity and better reliability.

Image of cell phone with 5G superimposed on the phoneTo deploy this technology, new infrastructure, called small cells, must be used. Small cells generate less power, collect and transmit signals in a short range from one another and require collocating the cells on other infrastructure. Small cell wireless facility deployment requires streamlined federal, state and local permitting, rights of way, application timelines and other siting and application fees, and application review timelines and appeals processes to make it economically feasible for wireless companies to deploy the technology across communities.

Prior to 2019, 21 state legislatures—Arizona, Colorado, Delaware, FloridaHawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and Virginia—have enacted small cell legislation that streamlines regulations to facilitate the deployment of 5G small cells.

These laws take into consideration the unique circumstances of their state and local environment, but baseline principles can be established and are consistent with wireless industry standards, including:

  • Streamlined applications to access public rights of way.
  • Caps on costs and fees.
  • Streamlined timelines for the consideration and processing of cell siting applications.

Twenty-three states have introduced mobile 5G and small cell-related legislation in the 2019 legislative session. Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Nebraska, North Carolina, West Virginia and Wisconsin enacted legislation or adopted resolutions in 2019.

The box allows you to conduct a full text search or type the state name.

Mobile 5G and Small Cell 2019 Legislation
State Bill Number Bill Summary
Alabama SB 264

Authorizes the installation and deployment of small wireless facilities and poles on public rights of way; establishes a permitting process; provides exemptions; provides indemnification, insurance, and bonding requirements.

Alabama

SJR 32
Signed by governor 6/4/19, Act 353

Establishes an advanced small wireless facilities deployment task force.
Alaska None  
Arizona None  
Arkansas

HB 1874
Signed by governor 4/8/19, Act 797

Establishes the Small Wireless Facility Deployment Act in order to develop strong wireless and broadband communications networks through the state.

Arkansas

SB 602
Signed by governor 4/15/19, Act 999

Establishes the Small Wireless Facility Deployment Act.

California None  
Colorado None  
Connecticut

HB 6424
Failed Joint Favorable deadline 3/21/19

Requires the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority to develop standards for the process for attaching equipment to utility poles for owners of utility poles and people who occupy and use utility poles.

Connecticut

HB 7152
Signed by governor 7/9/19, Public Act 19-163

This bill establishes a Council on 5G Technology and tasks it with (1) reviewing wireless carriers’ requests to place personal wireless service facilities and small wireless facilities, as defined in federal law, on state-owned real property and (2) determining which state-owned properties may be made available to the wireless carriers for these facilities. Among other things, the bill requires the council to (1) adopt guidelines for safely placing personal wireless service facilities and protecting open space land and (2) perform due diligence and review comments from any entities that own property within a 500-foot radius of any state-owned real property under the council’s review. The bill requires the Office of Policy and Management (OPM) to jointly develop, with certain other state agencies, licensing agreements, forms, and fee structures for placing the wireless facilities on state-owned property. The bill also specifies that it does not supersede existing rules and requirements requiring the review and approval of permits for proposed personal wireless service facilities under the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority’s (PURA) and the Connecticut Siting Council’s jurisdiction. Lastly, the bill requires OPM, in consultation with PURA and the Siting Council, to work with municipalities to establish a process for siting small wireless facilities on municipal property and, when using utility or light poles is insufficient, private property with the property owner’s permission.

Delaware None  
District of Columbia None  
Florida

HB 693
Laid on table 5/1/19

Revises provisions related to registrations and renewals of communications service providers; specifies limitations on municipal and county authority to regulate and manage municipal and county roads or rights-of-way; prohibits certain municipalities and counties from electing to impose permit fees; prohibits municipalities and counties from actions relating to aerial or underground communications facilities; adds prohibited acts by authorities relating to small wireless facilities; prohibits authorities from actions relating to registrations, applications, permits, and approvals in small wireless facilities; authorizes civil action for violations.

Florida

SB 1000
Signed by governor 6/25/19, Chapter 131

Relates to communications services taxes; reduces the communications services tax rate levied on sales of communications services; revises the authority for municipalities and counties to impose permit fees on providers of communications services that use or occupy municipal or county roads or rights-of-way; deletes the procedures, requirements, and limitations with respect to such fees; conforms provisions to changes made by the act; provides applicability.

Georgia

HB 184
Passed House 2/14/19

Enacts the Streamlining Wireless Facilities and Antennas Act; streamlines the deployment of wireless broadband in the public rights of way; addresses any perceived conflicts between this act and Chapter 66B of Title 36; provides that nothing in this act relieves any person of any duties provided for in Chapter 9 of Title 25.

Georgia HB 556

Amends Title 46 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to public utilities and public transportation, so as to provide limitations on fees that may be charged for installation of telephone facilities; to provide for the due compensation to be paid to municipal authorities by telephone companies; to revise terminology for purposes of conformity.

Georgia

SB 66
Signed by governor 4/26/19, Act 53

 

Enacts the Streamlining Wireless Facilities and Antennas Act; streamlines the deployment of wireless broadband in the public rights of way; addresses any perceived conflicts between this act and Chapter 66B of Title 36; provides that nothing in this act relieves any person of any duties provided for in Chapter 9 of Title 25.

Guam Not available  
Hawaii

HCR 197

HR 178

Requests a study that summarizes the published reports and studies on the effects of 5G wireless technology on biological life.

Idaho None  
Illinois None  
Indiana None  
Iowa None  
Kansas

SB 68
Signed by governor 4/11/19, Chapter 32

Amends law relating to valid contract franchise ordinances and their application to wireless service providers and wireless infrastructure providers. The bill allows a city to govern wireless services providers’ or wireless infrastructure providers’ use of the public right-of-way by requiring a small cell facility deployment agreement or a master license agreement, or through permitting requirements, municipal ordinances or codes, or any combination of such mechanisms in a manner consistent with federal and state law. The bill allows a city to assess a wireless services provider or a wireless infrastructure provider a fixed right-of-way access fee for each small cell facility a provider deploys that requires the use of the city’s right-of-way. The fee cannot be based on such a provider’s gross receipts derived from services provided within a city’s corporate limits. The bill specifies the above provisions apply only to a wireless infrastructure provider in its deployment of small cell facilities in a city’s right-of-way, used for the provision of wireless services. The bill further clarifies nothing is construed to apply to such a provider’s other operations and services as a utility or have any effect on any franchise related to other operations and services.

Kentucky None  
Louisiana

HR 145
Adopted 5/29/19

Requests the Department of Environmental Quality in conjunction with the Louisiana Department of Health to study the effects of evolving 5G technology.

Maine

LD 1517
Signed by governor 6/6/19, Chapter 223

This bill provides that a small wireless facility must be a permitted use within the public right-of-way, subject to any duly adopted, nondiscriminatory conditions otherwise applicable to permitted uses within the municipality and consistent with state and federal law, including, without limitation, any permitting requirements in the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 35-A, chapter 25.

Maryland

HB 654

SB 937

Establishes procedures and requirements for the deployment, installation and regulation of certain wireless telecommunications facilities in the state; prohibits an authority from entering into an exclusive agreement for the use of certain rights of way for certain purposes; authorizes an authority to impose certain rates and fees for use of certain rights of way in a certain manner and subject to certain limitations; authorizes a wireless provider to collocate certain facilities and use certain rights of way; etc.

Massachusetts HB 383

Requests formation of a task force (including members of the General Court) relative to the economic and regulatory impacts of fifth generation (5G) cellular mobile communications.

Massachusetts HB 2885

Establishes a special commission to study the environmental and health effects of evolving 5G technology.

Massachusetts HB 1272

Registers wireless facilities to allow for monitoring and to ease access to contact information.

Massachusetts HB 1273

Bans especially dangerous wireless facilities, emissions, and products.

Michigan None  
Minnesota None  
Mississippi

SB 2003
Died in committee 2/5/19

Creates the Wireless Facilities Deployment Act to allow a wireless provider to deploy a small wireless facility and any associated utility pole within a right of way under certain conditions; defines certain terms used in the act; provides for the scope of the act; provides that the act only applies to a wireless provider deploying, within a right of way, a small wireless facility or a utility pole associated with a small wireless facility.

Missouri None  
Montana

HB 496
Missed deadline for general bill transmittal 3/2/19

Revises telecommunications siting law; restricts the siting of small cell network equipment near schools.

Montana

HJR 13
Passed House 2/25/19

Urges Congress to amend the federal Telecommunications Act to account for health effects of siting small cell network equipment in residential areas.

Nebraska

LB 184
Signed by governor 5/17/19

Adopts the Small Wireless Facilities Deployment Act.

Nevada None  
New Hampshire

HB 393
Conference committee report adopted 6/27/19

This bill: I. Establishes a committee to study child care costs, affordability, and accessibility in the state of New Hampshire. II. Increases the number of tuition waivers for persons who are or were in state foster care or under guardianship. III. Clarifies the penalties for violations related to obtaining public assistance. IV. Amends RSA 417-F:4, relative to reimbursement for emergency room boarding. V. Revises the membership of the commission to study the environmental and health effects of 5G technology established in HB 522. VI. Clarifies that the moratorium on health facilities licensure does not apply to certain continuing care facilities.

New Hampshire

HB 52
Enrolled 6/27/19

Establishes a commission to study the environmental and health effects of evolving 5G technology.

New Jersey

AB 4422

SB 3752

Enacts the Small Wireless Facilities Deployment Act; provides for uniform regulation of small wireless facility deployment in New Jersey.

New Jersey AB 4888

Clarifies that application to collocate wireless communications equipment be reviewed by administrative officer.

New Jersey AB 5260

Requires the Office of Information Technology to conduct study on deployment and impact of fifth generation wireless telecommunications technology in state.

New Jersey AB 5431

Establishes “5G Network and Development Task Force.”

New Jersey

AB 5560
SB 3953

Provides for uniform regulation of small wireless facility deployment in this state.

New Jersey AR 144

Urges federal government and telecommunications service providers to collaborate in the development of 5G wireless network.

New Mexico None  
New York

AB 1459

SB 1949

Enacts the Wireless Broadband Eligible Facility Permitting Act to provide for uniform regulation of certain wireless facilities.

New York

AB 1503
Passed Senate 6/19/19

SB 1607
Substituted 6/19/19

Requires the office of information technology services to study and evaluate the future implementation and possible impact of 5G technology in the state.

New York

AB 4066

SB 3046

Relates to notice requirements and municipal cooperation in wireless facility siting; requires notification be provided to municipalities in which wireless facilities are to be sited and to residents within2,500 feet of proposed wireless facilities.

New York SB 6071

Relates to small wireless facility development.

North Carolina

HB 448

SB 442

Reorganizes, consolidates, modernizes, and clarifies statutes regarding local planning and development regulation, including micro and small wireless facilities.

North Carolina

SB 355
Signed by governor 7/11/19, Chapter 111

Clarifies, consolidates, and reorganizes the land-use regulatory laws of the state, including micro and small wireless facilities.

North Dakota None  
Northern Mariana Islands Not available  
Ohio None  
Oklahoma None  
Oregon HB 3375

Requires the Oregon Business Development Department to conduct a study on proposals and options for facilitating the deployment of small wireless facilities in this state. Requires the department to submit a report on the study to interim committees of the Legislative Assembly related to economic development no later than Sept. 15, 2021. Sunsets Jan. 2, 2022.

Pennsylvania HB 1400

Provides for small wireless facilities deployment.

Puerto Rico None  
Rhode Island None  
South Carolina HB 4262
Passed House 4/4/19

 

Adds article 5 to chapter 11, title 58 so as to enact the "South Carolina Small Wireless Facilities Deployment Act"; makes legislative findings; defines relevant terms; provides, among other things, that certain agreements or enactments pertaining to the deployment of small wireless facilities that do not comply with certain provisions of this act must be deemed invalid and unenforceable beginning Oct. 1, 2019; provides that certain units of local government "authorities" with control over rights of way may not prohibit, regulate, or charge for the collocation of certain small wireless facilities; provides that small wireless facilities must be classified as permitted uses and not subject to zoning review and approval under specified circumstances; provides requirements for applications, fees, application review, and issuance of permits for collocation of small wireless facilities; requires authorities to allow the collocation of small wireless facilities on authority utility poles under specified circumstances; prohibits authorities from regulating the design, engineering, construction, installation, or operation of any small wireless facility in specified circumstances; provides that the administrative law court has jurisdiction to resolve all disputes arising under the act; and prohibits an authority from requiring a wireless provider to indemnify the authority or its officers or employees and from naming the authority as an additional insured on a wireless provider's insurance policy.

South Carolina SB 638

Adds article 5 to chapter 11, title 58 so as to enact the "South Carolina Small Wireless Facilities Deployment Act"; makes legislative findings; defines relevant terms; provides, among other things, that units of state or local government "authorities" with control over rights of way may not prohibit, regulate, or charge for the collocation of certain small wireless facilities; provides that small wireless facilities must be classified as permitted uses and not subject to zoning review and approval under specified circumstances; provides requirements for applications, fees, application review, and issuance of permits for collocation of small wireless facilities; requires authorities to allow the collocation of small wireless facilities on authority utility poles under specified circumstances; prohibits authorities from regulating the design, engineering, construction, installation, or operation of any small wireless facility in specified circumstances; provides that the administrative law court has jurisdiction to resolve all disputes arising under the act; and prohibits an authority from requiring a wireless provider to indemnify the authority or its officers or employees and from naming the authority as an additional insured on a wireless provider's insurance policy.

South Dakota None  
Tennessee None  
Texas None  
Utah None  
Vermont None  
Virginia None  
Virgin Islands None  
Washington None  
West Virginia

HB 2005
Passed House 1/29/19

Adds a new article, designated §11-6L-1, §11-6L-2, §11-6L-3, §11-6L-4, and §11-6L-5, adds three new sections, designated §31G-4-4, §31G-4-5, and §31G-4-6, 3, and adds thereto a new chapter, designated §31H-1-1, §31H-1-4 2, §31H-2-1, §31H-2-2, §31H-2-3, and §31H-2-4, all relating to wireless telecommunication technology facilities generally. Provides a special method for valuation of certain wireless technology property for property taxes; defines terms; provides mandated salvage valuation of certain wireless businesses’ property; specifies method for valuation of certain property; requires initial determination and specifies procedure for protest and appeal of determination. Establishes Public Service Commission jurisdiction over make-ready pole access within the state; relates to the determination of the feasibility of electric utilities constructing and operating middle-mile broadband internet projects to serve certain unserved and underserved areas; defines certain terms; delineates the factors that must be contained in certain feasibility studiesl and requires the Broadband Enhancement Council and the Public Service Commission to assist electric utilities in the determination of the feasibility of certain proposed middle-mile broadband development projects. Requires that the Broadband Enhancement Council render a judgment as to the feasibility of middle-mile broadband internet projects within a certain period of time; requires certain reports be submitted to certain officials and committees; and provides for severability. The establishment of the West Virginia Small Wireless Facilities Deployment Act; makes legislative findings; defines terms; provides for access to public rights of way for the collocation of small wireless facilities; provides for certain permit requirements; authorizes and limits access to collocation sites, structures and equipment; requires permits to be issued on a nondiscriminatory basis; provides for the collection of fees and sets the amount of fees; and provides for certain zoning, indemnification, insurance and bonding requirements.

West Virginia

SB 3
Signed by governor 3/27/19, Act 42

Provides a special method for valuation of certain wireless technology property for property taxes; defines terms; provides mandated salvage valuation of certain wireless businesses’ property; specifies method for valuation of certain property; requires initial determination and specifies procedure for protest and appeal of determination; establishes and delineates Public Service Commission jurisdiction over make-ready pole access within the state; determines the feasibility of electric utilities constructing and operating middle-mile broadband internet projects to serve certain unserved and underserved areas; defines certain terms; delineates the factors that must be contained in certain feasibility studies; requires the Broadband Enhancement Council and the Public Service Commission to assist electric utilities in the determination of the feasibility of certain proposed middle-mile broadband development projects; requires that the Broadband Enhancement Council render a judgment as to the feasibility of middle-mile broadband internet projects within a certain period of time; requires certain reports be submitted to certain officials and committees; provides for severability; establishes the West Virginia Small Wireless Facilities Deployment Act; makes legislative findings; defines terms; provides for access to public rights-of-way for the collocation of small wireless facilities; provides for certain permit requirements; authorizes and limits access to collocation sites, structures, and equipment; requires permits to be issued on a nondiscriminatory basis; provides for the collection of fees and setting the amount of fees; and provides for certain zoning, indemnification, insurance, and bonding requirements.

West Virginia

SR 19
Adopted 1/23/19

Designates Jan. 23, 2019, as West Virginia for Broadband Day at the Capitol.

Wisconsin

AB 234

This bill creates a regulatory framework for the state and political subdivisions (cities, villages, towns, and counties) for the following: 1) the deployment by wireless services and infrastructure providers (wireless providers) of wireless equipment and facilities, including the placement of such items in rights-of-way (ROW); 2) the permitting process for certain activities by wireless providers; 3) the regulation of access to certain governmental structures by wireless providers; and 4) the resolution of disputes. The bill also authorizes political subdivisions to impose setback requirements for certain mobile service support structures.

Wisconsin

SB 239
Signed by governor 7/10/19, Act 14

Limits the authority of the state and political subdivisions to regulate certain wireless facilities; authorizes political subdivisions to impose setback requirements for certain mobile service support structures.

Wyoming None  

 

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Heather Morton is a program principal in Fiscal Affairs. She covers financial services, alcohol production and sales and telecommunications issues for NCSL.

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