Here is the text of AB 57 headed to Gov. Brown. I’ve added indentation formatting to make it easier to read:
THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:
SECTION 1. Section 65964.1 is added to the Government Code, to read:
(a) A collocation or siting application for a wireless telecommunications facility, as defined in Section 65850.6, shall be deemed approved if all of the following occur:
(1) The city or county fails to approve or disapprove the application within a reasonable period of time in accordance with the time periods and procedures established by applicable FCC decisions. The reasonable period of time may be tolled to accommodate timely requests for information required to complete the application or may be extended by mutual agreement between the applicant and the local government, consistent with applicable FCC decisions.
(2) The applicant has provided all public notices regarding the application that the applicant is required to provide under applicable laws consistent with the public notice requirements for the application.
(A) The applicant has provided notice to the city or county that the reasonable time period has lapsed and that the application is deemed approved pursuant to this section.
(B) Within 30 days of the notice provided pursuant to subparagraph (A), the city or county may seek judicial review of the operation of this section on the application.
(b) This section does not apply to eligible facilities requests.
(c) The Legislature finds and declares that a wireless telecommunications facility has a significant economic impact in California and is not a municipal affair as that term is used in Section 5 of Article XI of the California Constitution, but is a matter of statewide concern.
(d) As used in this section, the following terms have the following meanings:
(1) “Applicable FCC decisions” means In re Petition for Declaratory Ruling, 24 FCC Rcd. 13994 (2009) and In the Matter of Acceleration of Broadband Deployment by Improving Wireless Facilities Siting Policies, Report and Order, 29 FCC Rcd. 12865 (2014).
(2) “Eligible facilities request” has the same meaning as in Section 1455 of Title 47 of the United States Code.
(e) Except as provided in subdivision (a), nothing in this section limits or affects the authority of a city or county over decisions regarding the placement, construction, and modification of a wireless telecommunications facility.
(f) Due to the unique duties and infrastructure requirements for the swift and effective deployment of firefighters, this section does not apply to a collocation or siting application for a wireless telecommunications facility where the project is proposed for placement on fire department facilities.
Today, the California Assembly passed AB 57 as amended by the State Senate. This means that the Bill now moves on to Gov. Brown for his signature. It’s unlikely Gov. Brown will spend the political capital to veto the Bill, but there’s always hope.
Assuming AB 57 is enrolled, we’ll have to wait for the first test case where a wireless applicant claims that a local government busted the shot clock and asserts a deemed-approved by operation of law basis to build the site.
As for the fire fighters’ union that moved to support the bill as language was added to exclude the impact of AB 57 on fire stations, they’ve traded their political capital for nothing of any value. The language inserted in the bill at the last moment to gain the fire fighters’ support does exactly nothing to prevent cell sites or First Net towers from being installed on fire stations. Absolutely nothing. Imagine their reaction when they realize they’ve been played Assembly Member Quirk and the wireless industry. Sigh.
While AB 57 still doesn’t solve a problem that never existed, you’ve got to hand it to the industry for pushing this legislation through our legislature. Let’s keep an eye on the campaign donations.
Yesterday, August 18th, AB 57 was amended by the author
s, Verizon and AT&T Assembly Member Bill Quirk adding two new sections, and modifying one existing section.
First, prior language in the Bill that connected it to the FCC Shot Clock Report and Order was monkeyed-with so that if the FCC changes it shot clock rules, those changes will have no impact on this legislation, and will not be automatically imported into the California law. Federalism is so fun when states can ignore it.
Next, for the second change, relying on make believe language, the author(s) added the following:
Due to the unique duties and infrastructure requirements for the swift and effective deployment of firefighters, this section does not apply to a collocation or siting application for a wireless telecommunications facility where the project is proposed for placement on fire department facilities.
While firefighters have unique duties and infrastructure requirements, does anyone really believe they extend to sleeping in firestations? Ahemmm. If I’m run a hospital or an emergency care facility, are those “unique duties and infrastructure requirements” more unique and critical compared with where firefighters sleep? How about skilled-care nursing facilities? What about public schools where young minds are developed?
In reality, the authors added this section simply to pander to firefighters who have strongly opposed the bill because of their well-known and stated fears of radio frequency transmissions from towers. This fear is an issue federally preempted in the Telecom Act.
Third, tossing a two-dimensional bone to city and county governments, the authors added this language:
Except as provided in subdivision (a), nothing in this section limits or affects the authority of a city or county over decisions regarding the placement, construction, and modification of a wireless telecommunications facility.
This language is simply fluff.
Worse yet, AB 57 (still) doesn’t solve a problem that doesn’t exist.
Word is that Comcast may make a run to marry T-Mobile, and beat out Dish to the alter.
It is nothing less than brilliant for Comcast AND T-Mobile. Local governments will have a less favorable view.
Comcast finally gets the quad-play in house, and T-Mobile almost overnight solves its coverage problems in Comcast’s footprint. Comcast will deploy PCS radios on its strand and in its pedestals, and use its network for backhaul. It will integrate the shared CableWIFI platform to provide more T-Mobile connectivity outside of Comcast’s footprint. Comcast will get a wireless video delivery platform.
…and Dish will be stuck with all that upload bandwidth that will decrease in value.
Local governments will find that applying their wireless ordinances to their all-time favorite cable TV franchisee will be, ah, challenging.
Now THIS is going to be fun.
PS: What should we call the two of them: T-Cast? Naw, Brian would never allow his name to be second. Comobile? Maybe.
In a move surprising no one who has studied history or the CTIA v. San Francisco case from July, 2010, CTIA, one of the two main wireless industry trade associations, has sued the City of Berkeley over its ordinance titled, “REQUIRING NOTICE CONCERNING RADIO FREQUENCY EXPOSURE OF CELL PHONES.”
The ordinance, codified at Chapter 9.96 . . . → Read More: CTIA Sues City of Berkeley Over POS RF Warning Ordinance
How could I not have spotted the name before now!
Word on the street is that T-Mobile and Dish are talking merger. Dish has lots of bandwidth but in the wrong direction. T-Mobile has, well… it’s pink. And T-Mobile is likely to still have some of the Post-AT&T money. And it has some bandwidth. And it’s pink.
Actually might be a very interesting combination.
. . . → Read More: T-Dish? Mobile-D? Deep Dish Pizza?
AB 57, no longer called the “Broadband Communications Infrastructure Act” has now morphed into the wireless industry’s dream: a deemed approved remedy for cell tower siting, and (vitally) a statewide policy shift that cell sites are NOT a municipal concern; rather they are matter best left for the state.
AB 57 has become an exercise . . . → Read More: AB57: End of Local Cell Site Zoning in California?
AB 57, which should be called the “Cell Site Gift Act of 2015” was amended yesterday in the Assembly to add real fangs intended to bite Californians in favor of the wireless industry.
The bill by Assembly Member Bill Quirk (D, 20th) now simply says the following:
(a) A colocation or siting application for a . . . → Read More: AB 57: Now the Cell Tower Siting Fangs Are Out