Before building towers or small cells, wireless carriers must obtain approvals from the local government in whose jurisdictions the infrastructure is being deployed.
Increasingly, carriers want to install small cells on telephone or utility poles, on streetlights or in rights-of-way.
More than just reviewing and approving carrier plans, municipalities must adhere to FCC rules that govern the process including the ‘Shot Clock’ timing mandate, and the Small Cell Order.
Often, what the carriers want and what the municipalities are willing to approve are at odds, leading to litigation.
Part of the problem is that local governments generally lack a basic understanding of telecommunications or are not adequately staffed to handle the volume of requests. COVID-19 compounded the problem as many government offices were closed.
John Celentano, Inside Towers Business Editor discusses the situation with David Witkowski, Founder and CEO of Oku Solutions, an advisor and educator to both municipalities and carriers on navigating and managing the cell site approval process. His handbook on the topic, titled “Bridging the Gap,” can be reviewed here. Hear this and much more on the podcast, available on our website, Amazon Music, Spotify and iTunes.