Municipal Regulation of Wireless Telecommunication Facilities in the Public Right of Way: Guidance for Counsel

Zoning Challenges and Interplay Between Federal, State, and Local Laws

Recording of a 90-minute CLE webinar with Q&A


Conducted on Thursday, October 29, 2020

Recorded event now available

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Program Materials

This CLE webinar will examine the interplay of federal and state law with local laws regulating wireless facilities, the latest trends in the types of wireless technologies that companies are seeking to install in the public right of way (ROW), and best practices for municipalities for zoning and regulation related to the siting of wireless telecommunication facilities in ROWs.

Description

Companies installing wireless telecommunications facilities are increasingly requesting/demanding that municipalities allow them to use the public ROW. Many requests assert that the companies are public utilities under state law, giving them the right to install in the ROW, and/or that the Federal Telecommunications Act authorizes them to access the ROW.

The law in this area is murky and continues to evolve. Local governments retain zoning and land use authority, but federal law claws back this authority in a way that defies precise definition. And while several federal and state laws address wireless communications services and municipalities' rights to regulate the siting of wireless communications facilities on public and private land, most do not address the installation of wireless facilities in ROWs.

The FCC's 2018 Wireless Infrastructure Third Report and Order and Declaratory Ruling remains the most recent commentary on the scope of Sections 253 and 332(c)(7), but many questions remain unanswered. Municipal attorneys must understand the current trends, developments, and practical legal approaches to the installation of wireless telecommunication facilities in ROWs if they are to guide their clients through the confusing maze of regulations.

Listen as our panel of local government legal advisers discusses best practices for counsel to local governments to prepare for and deal with legal issues specific to the installation of wireless telecommunication facilities in ROWs.

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Outline

  1. Current trends in the types of wireless technologies requesting access to municipal ROWs
  2. The interplay of federal and state law with municipal regulation of wireless facilities
  3. Best practices for municipal attorneys related to the siting of wireless telecommunication facilities in ROWs

Benefits

The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • What are the issues counsel to local governments must consider in determining whether a wireless telecommunications facility can be installed in a public ROW?
  • Can local governments restrict installation of wireless telecommunications facilities in ROWs?
  • What are some best practices for municipal attorneys drafting zoning and other regulations governing the installation of wireless telecommunications facilities in ROWs?

Faculty

McCardle, Andrew
Andrew W. McCardle

Attorney
Best Best & Krieger

Mr. McCardle handles a variety of regulatory, litigation, and transactional matters related to the telecommunications...  |  Read More

Thibodeau, Alexander
Alexander J. Thibodeau

Attorney
Foster Swift Collins & Smith

Mr. Thibodeau focuses primarily on representing cities, counties, villages and townships, libraries, and special...  |  Read More

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