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Pennsylvania House of Representatives
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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: June 8, 2018 03:01 PM
From: Representative Frank A. Farry
To: All House members
Subject: Wireless Small Cell Siting Legislation
I will be introducing legislation to provide for the uniform, efficient, and predictable regulation of small wireless antennas to improve the provisioning and deployment of the next generation of high-speed wireless broadband throughout the Commonwealth. This does not change existing law relative to cell towers.

Wireless communication services have become an integral part of our everyday lives. Public safety and personal security, education, entertainment, and finance all depend on a robust, modern wireless network. Our lives at home, work, and school are more connected than ever due to the proliferation of wireless services. Today, over half of Pennsylvanians have cut their traditional landline and communicate solely through their wireless device. More than 70 percent of all 911 calls are now made from wireless devices. Additionally, the rate of wireless data transmission continues to experience exponential growth, with estimates that by 2019, mobile data traffic will be nearly six times what it was just three years ago.

In order to meet those ever-growing demands, the wireless industry is deploying “Small Cell” facilities in our Commonwealth. However, because decisions are made on a municipal level, wireless providers are faced with varying fees and different procedures that may slow and, in some cases, deter their ability to deploy this new and modern infrastructure. With an array of municipal ordinances governing wireless infrastructure, compliance could be burdensome, time consuming, and costly. This results in less robust services for your constituents.

My legislation preserves local government authority over zoning and land use, including the ability to approve or deny wireless infrastructure permit applications consistent with common sense limitations, in order to create a more efficient process that would enable communities to enjoy the benefits of this critical next generation technology. It is a reasonable approach that encourages wireless providers to deploy the most modern infrastructure for our constituents while maintaining local government authority in their rights-of-way.

The American Consumer Institute estimates that legislation like what I propose could lead to an additional nearly $11 billion investment in Pennsylvania’s economy along with the creation of over 17,000 new jobs annually. Similar legislation has already been passed in 19 states: Arizona, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Kansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, North Carolina, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Virginia.

Please join me in cosponsoring this important legislation.

Introduced as HB2564