Advocacy Action Alert

New legislation -- the STREAMLINE Cell Deployment Act -- has been introduced in the U.S. Senate aimed at expediting the deployment of 5G small cell wireless antennas on existing infrastructure such as utility poles, light posts and buildings.  
S. 3157 is expected to be heard by the Senate Commerce Committee in late July.  MEUW is asking its members to contact Wisconsin Sens. Tammy Baldwin and Ron Johnson to explain our position on the proposed legislation.  Both Sen. Baldwin and Sen. Johnson serve on the Senate Commerce Committee.  

A letter template is available for you to use when sharing your thoughts with the Senators. 
Please take action as soon as possible to have our municipal utility voices heard. 

Background:  Roughly 150,000 cell towers support the current U.S. wireless network, and it is estimated that to fully realize 5G’s potential, wireless providers will need to deploy 300,000 small cell antennas by 2020. S. 3157 attempts to facilitate the rapid deployment of these networks by setting guidelines for 5G infrastructure deployment including giving the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) jurisdiction over all public facilities in public rights-of-way and setting the 5G small cell attachment rate at the federal pole attachment rate contained in Section 224 of the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S. Code § 224). Public power utilities are currently exempt from FCC pole attachment regulations under Section 224 as we are regulated by local and state authorities.

MEUW's Position:  Public power utilities have a history of supporting and working cooperatively with wireless and wireline providers to deploy cable, wireless networks and broadband to the communities we serve. We have done this without FCC regulation as municipal utilities are regulated by both state and local government. We have concerns about safely accommodating wireless attachments on our poles and are skeptical that 5G technology will actually be deployed in the small communities most municipal utilities serve. We strongly oppose the bill as drafted as it strips the authority of municipal utilities to regulate our electric utility poles and hands the authority to the federal government.