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SF scores victory over telecom firms as Brown vetoes antenna-placement bill

October 19, 2017

By Dominic Fracassa : sfchronicle – excerpt

San Francisco and dozens of other California cities won a victory when Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed a bill that would have shifted the power to regulate placement of wireless communications equipment from municipalities to the state.

The cities were strongly opposed to the legislation, saying they needed to keep control over their own rights of way and infrastructure. But experts who had been tracking the bill since its inception in February said they expect state lawmakers to resurrect it, perhaps as soon as next year, and pointed to a similar measure that’s gaining traction at the Federal Communications Commission…

In a veto statement, Brown said, “There is something of real value in having a process that results in extending this innovative technology rapidly and efficiently. Nevertheless, I believe that the interest which localities have in managing rights of way requires a more balanced solution than the one achieved in this bill.”

In addition to worries about losing control over where small-cell antennas can be placed, San Francisco and other cities feared the bill would cost them millions in lost revenue. The measure would have capped the annual amount that cities could charge telecommunications companies at $250 per antenna. San Francisco’s Public Utilities Commission said the city would lose out on $33 million over 10 years if the bill was signed into law.

“I’m thankful that Gov. Brown vetoed this legislation,” said San Francisco Supervisor Mark Farrell, who sponsored a board-passed resolution opposing the bill. “This was a power play by lobbyists up in Sacramento to take away local control.”… (more)

One good thing that Brown did!

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