House Bill 1620 is Unpopular With Bucks County “Munis”

Last month, township supervisors in Hilltown and East Rockhill, PA approved resolutions opposing House Bill 1620, which aims to streamline the process of constructing new towers and antennas by bypassing varying local regulations. In a memo attached to HB 1620, co-sponsored by Representatives Nick Miccarelli and Frank A. Farry, Miccarelli explained that the bill is designed to “provide for the uniform, efficient and predictable regulation of small wireless antennas to improve the provisioning of wireless communications services and the deployment of high-speed wireless broadband.” According to the Bucks County Herald, many residents are not convinced by this argument, and feel that HB 1620 represents government overreach and steamrolls municipalities’ rights.

To keep up with booming demand for wireless service, wireless companies currently doing business in Pennsylvania must navigate a labyrinth of 2,562 local governments’ different regulations, fees, and procedures, according to the Bucks County Herald. Miccarelli argued in his memo that compliance with local ordinances is “burdensome, time consuming, costly and not only impedes but sometimes outright prohibits the deployment of small cell wireless infrastructure needed to meet consumer demands.” HB 1620 does still allow municipalities’ control with “common sense limitations,” and would benefit residents by allowing new towers to be swiftly deployed in areas with insufficient signal.

February 5, 2018