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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: June 15, 2017 11:55 AM
From: Representative Nick Miccarelli and Rep. Frank A. Farry
To: All House members
Subject: Wireless Small Cell Broadband Collocation Act
In the future, I will be introducing legislation to amend Act 191 of 2012 (the Wireless Broadband Collocation Act), to further provide for the uniform, efficient and predictable regulation of small wireless antennas to improve the provisioning of wireless communications services and the deployment of high-speed wireless broadband throughout the Commonwealth.

Wireless communication services have become an integral part of our everyday lives. From security to public safety, education to entertainment, fitness to finance, and much more, our lives at home, work and school are more wirelessly connected than ever. This is evidenced by the fact that nearly one half of Americans have cut the traditional landline telephone cord and communicate solely through their wireless device and more than 70% of all 911 calls are now made from a wireless device. Additionally, the rate of wireless data transmission experienced 175% growth between 2012 and 2014 and some research projects that by 2019, mobile data traffic will be nearly six times the 2014 amount.

To address the growing demands for enhanced wireless communications services, including the provisioning of high-speed broadband in rural Pennsylvania, wireless providers are deploying small cell facilities in targeted areas of the Commonwealth. However, because siting decisions are made on a municipal level in Pennsylvania, the wireless industry is faced with varying and inconsistent fees and siting procedures that hamper its ability to deploy this critical wireless infrastructure. The Commonwealth has 2562 local governments with varying municipal zoning ordinances that address wireless infrastructure siting. Compliance is burdensome, time consuming, costly and not only impedes but sometimes outright prohibits the deployment of small cell wireless infrastructure needed to meet consumer demands.

My legislation preserves local government authority over zoning and land use, including the ability to approve or deny wireless infrastructure siting permit applications consistent with common sense limitations. Specifically, my legislation will limit the imposition of fees, permitting requirements and general policies above and beyond fees, requirements and policies imposed on other companies occupying the public rights-of-way. It also prohibits a municipality from requiring a wireless provider to justify the deployment of its infrastructure as a stipulation in the permit application process. This will result in a more efficient and economical process for siting small cell wireless infrastructure that brings the benefits of reliable wireless and high-speed broadband deployment to the citizens of this Commonwealth.

Please join us in co-sponsoring this legislation.

Introduced as HB1620