Mobile 5G and Small Cell 2018 Legislation

Heather Morton 12/31/2018

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

To deploy this technology, new infrastructure called small cells, must be used. Small cells, which generate less power, collect and transmit the 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 time lines and other siting and application fees, application review timelines and appeals processes to make it economically feasible for wireless companies to deploy the technology across communities.

Twenty-one state legislatures—Arizona, ColoradoDelawareFloridaHawaiiIllinoisIndianaIowaKansas, Michigan, MinnesotaMissouri, New Mexico, North CarolinaOhioOklahoma, Rhode Island, TennesseeTexasUtah, and Virginia—have enacted small cell legislation that streamlines regulations to facilitate the deployment of 5G small cells.

These laws all 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.

In the 2018 legislative session, 23 states address mobile 5G and small cell legislation. Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Utah and Virginia enacted legislation.

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

Mobile 5G and Small Cell 2018 Legislation
State: Bill Number: Bill Summary:
Alabama None  
Alaska None  
Arizona None  
Arkansas None  
California None  
Colorado None  
Connecticut None  
Delaware None  
District of Columbia None  
Florida None  
Georgia

H.B. 887

To House for concurrence 3/27/18

Facilitates and incentivizes adequate and expanded broadband and other communications services throughout the state; provides for legislative findings and intent; provides short titles; provides for related matters; provides for effective dates and applicability; repeals conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

Georgia

S.B. 426

To Senate for concurrence 3/29/18

Relates to local government; streamlines the deployment of wireless broadband in public rights of way; establishes the Broadband Infrastructure Leads to Development Act; limits the ability of local governing authorities to prohibit, regulate, or charge for use of public rights of way under certain circumstances.

Guam Not available  
Hawaii

H.B. 2323

S.B. 2750

Describes the application process for a permitted use permit to a state or county agency for the collocation of small wireless facilities on state or county utility poles, light standards, buildings, or structures.

Hawaii

H.B. 2651

Signed by governor 6/21/18, Act 49

S.B. 2704

Passed Senate 3/6/18

Establishes a process to upgrade and support next-generation wireless broadband infrastructure throughout the state. Establishes a permitting, application, review, and approval process for small wireless providers or communications service providers to install wireless facilities on state or county solely-owned utility poles, or install associated utility poles, in the right of way. Applies to permit applications filed with the State or county after Dec. 31, 2018.

Idaho None  

Illinois

S.B. 1451

Signed by governor 4/12/18, Public Act 100-585

Creates the Small Wireless Facilities Deployment Act; provides for legislative intent for the act and definitions; provides that an authority may not prohibit, regulate, or charge for the collocation of small wireless facilities; provides that nothing set forth in the Act shall be construed to relieve any person from specified requirements, other than small wireless facilities subject to the Act; adds an exception for a wireless providers with an existing franchise to occupy and operate in a right-of-way.

Indiana

H.B. 1050

Signed by governor 3/8/18, Public Law 23

Specifies that the statute concerning permits for wireless facilities and wireless support structures applies to permits issued by a permit authority to a communications service provider. Provides that a resolution, ordinance, or other regulation: (1) adopted by a permit authority after April 14, 2017, and before May 2, 2017; and (2) that designates an area within the jurisdiction of the permit authority as strictly for underground or buried utilities; applies only to communications service providers and those geographic areas that are zoned residential and where all existing utility infrastructure is already buried. Provides that, with respect to the construction, placement, or use of small cell facilities and associated supporting structures, a permit authority may prohibit the placement of a utility pole or a new wireless structure in a right-of-way within an area that is designated strictly for underground or buried utilities if, among other requirements, the area was zoned for residential use before May 1, 2017.

Indiana

S.B. 258

Provides that, for purposes of the statute concerning the local permitting of support structures for wireless communications services, with respect to the construction, placement, or use of a small cell facility and the associated supporting structure, a permit authority may prohibit the placement of a new utility pole or new wireless support structure in a right-of-way within an area that is designated strictly for underground or buried utilities, if the designation is made before April 15, 2017, and if certain other conditions are met. (Current law provides that the designation concerning underground or buried utilities must be made before May 1, 2017.) Provides that with respect to the construction, placement, or use of a small cell facility and the associated supporting structure in a right-of-way within an area that is: (1) zoned exclusively for residential land use; and (2) designated strictly for underground or buried utilities after April 14, 2017, and before May 1, 2017; a permit authority may not prohibit the placement of a new utility pole or new wireless support structure in a right-of-way within the area. Provides that if a permit authority receives an application for the placement of a new utility pole or a new wireless support structure in a right-of-way within such an area, a group of residents residing within the area and satisfying the statutory standing requirements for filing a complaint with the utility regulatory commission (IURC) may, not later than 30 days after the permit authority's receipt of the application, submit objections to the IURC for an informal determination of whether the placement is in the public interest. Requires the IURC to make its determination not later than 45 days after receipt of the submission. Provides that if the IURC does not make a determination within the prescribed 45-day period, the placement is considered to be in the public interest. Provides that the time for the permit authority to approve or deny the application is tolled until the IURC makes its determination or for 45 days, whichever occurs earlier. Provides that if a permit authority maintains an Internet web site, the permit authority shall post on its Internet web site notice of any applications the permit authority receives after March 27, 2018, for the construction, placement, or use of a small cell facility on one or more new utility poles or new wireless support structures. Provides that a regulation that: (1) is adopted by a permit authority after April 14, 2017, and before May 1, 2017; and (2) designates an area within the jurisdiction of the permit authority as strictly for underground or buried utilities; is void.
Iowa None  
Kansas None  
Kentucky None  
Louisiana None  

Maine

L.D. 1690

This bill changes the process for siting small cell facilities in order to facilitate wireless broadband deployment, including: 1. Through modifications to the process for issuing utility facility location permits, including small cell facility location permits; 2. Through the establishment of standards governing local land use ordinances applicable to the siting of small cell facilities; and 3. Through the establishment of standards governing the collocation of small cell facilities on poles owned by the State, an agency, a county, a municipality or a district.

Maryland

H.B. 1767

S.B. 1188

Prohibits a local government from entering into certain types of exclusive agreements under certain circumstances; authorizes a local government to impose certain rates and fees for certain purposes under certain circumstances; authorizes a wireless provider to collocate certain wireless facilities and poles in certain places under certain circumstances; provides that certain uses of land are permitted uses and not subject to local zoning review or approval; etc.

Massachusetts None  

Michigan

S.B. 637

Signed by governor 12/12/18, Public Act 365

Provides for the regulation by state or local government authorities and municipally owned electric utilities of the activities of wireless infrastructure providers and wireless services providers and of wireless facilities, wireless support structures, and utility poles; provides for collocation of wireless facilities and of communications service provider pole attachments.

Michigan

S.B. 894

Signed by governor 12/12/18, Public Act 366

Senate Bill 637 creates the Small Wireless Communications Facilities Deployment Act, and Senate Bill 894 amends the Michigan Zoning Enabling Act to subject zoning ordinances to the proposed new act.

Michigan S.R. 190

Opposes efforts taking place in Washington, D.C., to preempt state and local property rights and authority by allowing the federal government to directly regulate the placement of 5G wireless infrastructure.

Minnesota None  
Mississippi None  

Missouri 

H.B. 1948

Changes the law regarding the uniform wireless communication infrastructure deployment act.

Missouri

H.B. 1991

Signed by governor 6/1/18

Modifies provisions relating to wireless facilities and related infrastructure; establishes permitting requirements for towers and other structures or equipment for wireless communications facilities in the public right-of-way.

Missouri 

S.B. 837

Establishes the Uniform Small Wireless Facility Deployment Act.

Montana No 2018 regular session  

Nebraska

L.B. 389

Adopts the Small Wireless Facilities Act.

Nevada No 2018 regular session  
New Hampshire None  
New Jersey A.B. 4422

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

New Jersey A.R. 144

Urges federal government and telecommunications service providers to collaborate in development of “5th Generation” wireless network.

New Mexico

H.B. 38

Signed by governor 2/28/18, Chapter 17

Enacts the Wireless Consumer Advanced Infrastructure Investment Act; establishes provisions for the deployment of cellular network nodes in public rights of way.

New Mexico

S.B. 14

Signed by governor 3/7/18, Chapter 69

Establishes the Wireless Consumer Advanced Infrastructure Investment Act; establishes provisions for the deployment of cellular network nodes in public rights of way.

New York

A.B. 8848

S.B. 7635

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

North Carolina

S.B. 469

Vetoed by governor 12/21/18

Veto overridden 12/27/18, Chapter 145

Amends provisions exempting small wireless facilities from fees imposed by cities.

North Dakota No 2018 regular session  
N. Mariana Islands Not available  
Ohio

H.B. 478

Signed by governor 5/2/18

Amends §§1332.23, 4939.01, 4939.02, 4939.03, 4939.031, 4939.035, 4939.038, 4939.0311, 4939.0313, 4939.0315, 4939.0319, 4939.0325, and 4939.08; amends, for the purpose of adopting new section numbers as indicated in parentheses, §§4939.035 (4939.036), 4939.038 (4939.037), 4939.039 (4939.038), 4939.0313 (4939.0312), 4939.0315 (4939.0313), 4939.0317 (4939.0315), 4939.0319 (4939.0316), 4939.0325 (4939.0322), 4939.0327 (4939.0323), and 4939.08 (4939.09); enacts new §§4939.032, 4939.033, 4939.039, 4939.0317, and 4939.08 and §§4939.0314 and 4939.0329; and repeals §§4939.032, 4939.033, 4939.037, and 4939.0321 of the Revised Code to modify the law regarding wireless service and the placement of small cell wireless facilities in the public way.

Oklahoma

H.B. 2957

Passed House 3/15/18

Creates the Small Wireless Facilities Deployment Act.

Oklahoma

S.B. 1146

Creates the Oklahoma Small Wireless Facilities Deployment Act; establishes procedures.

Oklahoma

S.B. 1388

Signed by governor 4/26/18, Chapter 140

Creates the Small Wireless Facilities Deployment Act; establishes procedures.

Oregon None  

Pennsylvania

H.B. 2564

Provides for small wireless facilities deployment.

Puerto Rico None  
Rhode Island None  
South Carolina None  
South Dakota None  

Tennessee

H.B. 2279

Signed by governor 4/24/18, Public Chapter 819

S.B. 2504

Enacts the "Competitive Wireless Broadband Investment, Deployment, and Safety Act of 2018" and requires TACIR to study certain items relating to deployment.

Texas No 2018 regular session  
Utah

S.B. 189

Signed by governor 3/19/18, Chapter 299

This bill creates the Small Wireless Facilities Deployment Act. This bill: defines terms; permits a wireless provider to deploy a small wireless facility and any associated utility pole within a right-of-way under certain conditions; permits an authority to establish a permitting process for the deployment of a small wireless facility and any associated utility pole under certain conditions; describes a wireless provider's access to an authority pole within a right-of-way; sets rates and fees for the placement of: a small wireless facility; and a utility pole; describes the implementation of requirements in relation to agreements and ordinances; and permits an authority to adopt indemnification, insurance, or bonding requirements for a small wireless facility permit, under certain conditions.

Vermont None  

Virginia

H.B. 1258

Signed by governor 4/18/18, Chapter 835

S.B. 405

Signed by governor 4/18/18, Chapter 844

Establishes parameters regarding applications for zoning approvals for certain wireless support structures. Applications for certain new wireless support structures that are 50 feet or less above ground level and for the co-location on an existing structure of a wireless facility that is not a small cell facility are exempt from requirements that they obtain a special exception, special use permit, or variance, though a locality may require administrative review for the issuance of any zoning permits or an acknowledgement that zoning approval is not required for such projects. Aspects of the zoning approval process addressed in this measure include periods for approval or disapproval of applications; a requirement that applications are deemed approved if not approved or disapproved within the applicable period; application fees; a prohibition against unreasonably discriminating between applicants and other wireless services providers, providers of telecommunications services, and other providers of functionally-equivalent service; and limits on the number of new wireless support structures that can be installed in a specific location. The measure prohibits a locality, in its receiving, consideration, and processing of an application for zoning approval, from engaging in certain activities. The measure states that it does not prohibit a locality from disapproving an application submitted under a standard process project on the basis of the availability of existing wireless support structures within a reasonable distance that could be used for co-location at reasonable terms and conditions without imposing technical limitations on the applicant. The measure also requires that any publicly owned or privately owned wireless service provider operating within the commonwealth or serving residents of the Commonwealth shall, by Jan. 1, 2019, and annually thereafter until Jan. 1, 2025, provide to the Department of Housing and Community Development a report detailing, by county, city, or town, enhanced service capacity in previously served areas and expansion of service in previously unserved geographic areas that are provided access to wireless service. The measure also directs the secretariats of Commerce and Trade and Public Safety and Homeland Security to convene a group of stakeholders to develop a plan for expanding access to wireless services in unserved and underserved areas of the commonwealth.

Virginia

H.B. 1597

Passed by indefinitely 2/1/18

Establishes limits on the extent to which localities may require zoning approvals for certain wireless support structures. Certain new wireless support structures inside a right-of-way that are 50 feet or less above ground level, designed to support small cell equipment, not in a historic district, and not more than 10 feet tallest existing utility pole within 500 feet in the same right of way, are exempted from requirements that they obtain a special exception, special use permit, or variance. Aspects of the zoning approval process addressed in this measure include periods for approval or disapproval of applications; a requirement that applications are deemed approved if not approved or disapproved within the applicable period; application fees; a prohibition against unreasonable discrimination; and limits on the number of new wireless support structures. The measure also prohibits localities from adopting a moratorium on considering zoning applications submitted by wireless service providers and wireless infrastructure providers.

Virgin Islands Not available  

Washington

H.B. 2592

Creates a designation process for local governments that demonstrate investment readiness for small cell infrastructure.

Washington

S.B. 5935

Passed Senate 2/14/18

Creates the governor's office on broadband access within the department of commerce, and with the mission of improving economic vitality, health care access, and education through greater access to broadband services. Requires the office to: (1) In collaboration with the utilities and transportation commission, the office of the chief information officer, and the community economic revitalization board, serve as the coordinating body for public and private efforts to ensure statewide broadband access and deployment; (2) Be responsible for all matters regarding the adoption of statewide broadband access and deployment; (3) Establish a competitive grant program to assist qualified local governments and tribes to build infrastructure for open access, high speed broadband services; (4) Study taxes imposed on the capital costs associated with providing retail broadband service, including sales and use taxes; (5) Develop a small cell facility deployment permitting model ordinance for cities and towns; and (6) Consult with cities, counties, and service providers when developing the model ordinance. Authorizes the office to convene an advisory group to: (1) Make recommendations on developing a statewide rural broadband strategy to ensure broadband access statewide by Jan. 1, 2026; and (2) Conduct a gap analysis on the deployment of broadband services in underserved and unserved areas of the state. Creates the broadband access account and requires expenditures from the account to only be used for the expansion of broadband access.

West Virginia

H.B. 4357

Passed House 2/28/18

Adds a new chapter, designated §31H-1-1, §31H-1-2, §31H-2-1, §31H-2-2, §31H-2-3, and §31H-2-4, all relating to the establishment of the West Virginia Small Wireless Facilities Deployment Act; making legislative findings; defining terms; providing for access to public rights-of-way for the collocation of small wireless facilities; providing for certain permit requirements; requiring permits to be issued on a nondiscriminatory basis; providing for the collection of fees and setting the amount of fees; and providing for certain local zoning, indemnification, insurance, and bonding requirements.

Wisconsin

A.B. 348

Failed to pass pursuant to Senate Joint Resolution 1 3/28/18

Relates to limiting the authority of the state and political subdivisions to regulate wireless facilities; relates to authorizing political subdivisions to impose setback requirements for certain mobile service support structures.

Wisconsin

S.B. 425

Failed to pass pursuant to Senate Joint Resolution 1 3/28/18

Creates §66.0404 (4e) and §66.0414 of the statutes; limits the authority of the state and political subdivisions to regulate certain wireless facilities and authorizes political subdivisions to impose setback requirements for certain mobile service support structures.

Wyoming

 

 

 

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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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