2017-01-26: Introduced, referred to House Corporations
2017-02-10: Scheduled for hearing and/or consideration
2017-02-13: Committee postponed at request of sponsor (02/14/2017)
2017-03-17: Scheduled for hearing and/or consideration (03/21/2017)
2017-03-21: Committee recommended measure be held for further study
2017-05-19: Scheduled for consideration (05/23/2017)
2017-05-23: Committee recommends passage of Sub A
2017-06-09: Scheduled for reconsideration (06/13/2017)
2017-06-13: Committee recommends passage of Sub A
2017-06-16: Placed on House Calendar (06/20/2017)
2017-06-20: House passed Sub A
2017-06-29: Placed on Senate Calendar (06/30/2017)
2017-06-29: Placed on Senate Calendar (06/29/2017)
2017-06-30: Senate passed Sub A in concurrence
2017-06-30: Senate voted to reconsider
2017-06-30: Senate passed Sub A as amended (floor amendment)
2017-09-14: Referred to House Corporations
2017-09-14: Scheduled for consideration (09/15/2017)
2017-09-15: Committee recommends passage of Sub B
2017-09-15: Placed on House Calendar (09/19/2017)
2017-09-19: House passed Sub B as amended (floor amendment)
2017-09-19: Senate passed Sub B as amended in concurrence
2017-09-19: Placed on Senate Calendar (09/19/2017)
2017-09-25: Transmitted to Governor
2017-09-27: Signed by Governor
Changes since original draft
2017 – H 5224
S T A T E O F R H O D E I S L A N D
IN GENERAL ASSEMBLY
JANUARY SESSION, A.D. 2017
A N A C T
RELATING TO PUBLIC UTILITIES AND CARRIERS - SMALL CELL SITING ACT
Introduced By: Representatives Ucci, Winfield, McKiernan, and Fogarty
Date Introduced: January 26, 2017
Referred To: House Corporations
It is enacted by the General Assembly as follows:
SECTION 1. Legislative Findings. Because of the integral role that technology plays in economic development and the vitality of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations and in the lives of its citizens, the general assembly has determined that a law addressing the deployment of wireless technology is of vital interest to the state. Rhode Island is one of the foremost states with broadband coverage and capability and must continue to lead in the advancement of new technology. Small wireless facilities are critical to delivering wireless access to advanced technology, broadband and 911 services to homes, businesses and schools in the state. To ensure that the state and those who live and work here continue to benefit from these advanced services as soon as possible and to ensure that providers of wireless services have a fair and predictable process for the deployment of small wireless facilities, the general assembly enacts this "Rhode Island Small Cell Siting Act", which specifies how local authorities may regulate the collocation of small wireless facilities and small wireless facility networks.
SECTION 2. Title 39 of the General Laws entitled "PUBLIC UTILITIES AND CARRIERS" is hereby amended by adding thereto the following chapter:
RHODE ISLAND SMALL CELL SITING ACT
As used in this chapter:
(1) "Authority"' means a city, town, or any other state or municipal government subdivision, agency or entity that is authorized by law to regulate or control the use of the public rights-of-way or the construction or installation of poles or wireless facilities or that owns or controls property suitable for collocating small wireless facilities. The term does not include the state courts.
(2) "Authority pole" means a pole owned or controlled by an authority.
(3) "Authority structure" means a building, water tower or other structure owned or controlled by an authority, but not an authority pole.
(4) "Collocate" means to install, mount, maintain, modify, operate, or replace wireless facilities on a pole, including an authority pole, or on a building, water tower or other structure, including an authority structure. "Collocation" has a corresponding meaning.
(5) "Communications service provider" means a cable operator, as defined in 47 U.S.C. §522(5); a provider of information service, as defined in 47 U.S.C. §153(24); a telecommunications carrier, as defined in 47 U.S.C. §153(51); or a wireless service provider.
(6) "Pole" means a utility pole, light pole, light standard or similar structure that is used in whole or in part for telephone service, wireless service, cable television service, information service, electric service, lighting, traffic control, signage or similar function.
(7) "Small wireless facility" means a wireless facility with an antenna of no more than six (6) cubic feet in volume and associated equipment with a cumulative volume no larger than twenty-eight (28) cubic feet. The following types of associated equipment may be located outside the primary enclosure and are not included in the calculation of equipment volume: electric meter, concealment, telecommunications demarcation box, ground-based enclosures, backup power system, grounding equipment, power transfer switch, cut-off switch, and cable and conduit runs for the connection of power and other services. Equipment that is concealed from public view within or behind an existing structure or concealment is not included in the volume calculations.
(8) "Wireless facilities" means equipment at a fixed location that enables wireless communications between user equipment and a communications network, including, but not limited to:
(i) Equipment associated with wireless services such as private, broadcast, and public safety services, as well as unlicensed wireless services and fixed wireless services such as microwave backhaul; and
(ii) Radio transceivers, antennas, coaxial or fiber-optic cable, regular and backup power supplies, and comparable equipment, regardless of technological configuration.
(9) "Wireless service" shall have the meaning defined in §39-1-2.
(10) "Wireless service provider" means a person who provides wireless service as well as a person who builds or installs wireless communications transmission equipment, wireless facilities or wireless support structures.
39-32-2. Regulation of small wireless facilities.
(a) A wireless service provider authorized to do business in this state or a contractor acting on its behalf may collocate small wireless facilities and construct related conduit, cables and facilities within, along, across, upon and under any public right-of-way in this state, including state highways and freeways, subject to the provisions of this chapter.
(b) Except as provided in this chapter, an authority shall not prohibit, regulate or charge for the collocation of small wireless facilities.
(c) Small wireless facilities shall be classified as permitted uses in all zoning districts and shall not be subject to zoning review or approval.
(d) Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to authorize a person to collocate a small wireless facility on a privately owned pole, structure or other private property without the consent of the property owner.
39-32-3. Collocation of small wireless facilities on authority poles and authority structures.
An authority may require a person to obtain a building, electrical or a public right-of-way use or work permit to collocate small wireless facilities on authority poles or authority structures, provided such permits are of general applicability and do not apply exclusively to wireless facilities. An authority may not require a permit, other than a public right-of-way work permit, for routine maintenance on a previously-approved small wireless facility or to replace a small wireless facility with a facility of substantially similar or smaller size and weight. An authority shall accept an application for, process and issue a permit allowed under this chapter as follows:
(1) An authority shall receive applications for, and process and issue permits for, collocating small wireless facilities on a nondiscriminatory basis and in substantially the same manner as the permitting of other applicants within the jurisdiction of the authority. An applicant for a collocation permit shall not be required to provide more information to obtain a permit than communications service providers that are not wireless providers.
(2) An authority may charge a fee to process an application to collocate a small wireless facility. The fee shall be no greater than the reasonable, direct and actual costs incurred by the authority to process the application, excluding any travel expenses charged by third parties or any fees for review of an application charged by third parties on a contingency basis or a result-based arrangement, and further excluding any costs already recovered by existing fees, rates or taxes paid by a wireless provider. The application processing fee shall be no greater than the application processing fee, if any, charged by the authority to persons seeking to place a pole in the public way. Except as provided in §39-32-5, an applicant shall not be required to pay any additional fees or charges, or perform or provide any services not directly related to the collocation, in order to collocate small wireless facilities.
(3) At its discretion, an applicant shall be allowed to file a consolidated application and receive a single permit to collocate small wireless facilities at multiple locations within the jurisdiction of the authority.
(4) An authority may not institute a moratorium on filing, receiving or processing applications or issuing permits or approvals for the collocation of small wireless facilities.
(5) All permits regarding the collocation of small wireless facilities shall be of unlimited duration, except that an authority may require that initial construction commence within one year of approval and be pursued to completion.
(6) A permit may require reasonable accommodations for a collocation within a registered historic district as defined in §44-33.2-2(9).
39-32-4. Action on permit applications.
(a) An authority shall approve an application for a permit under this chapter unless the collocation does not meet applicable building or electrical codes or, if applicable, standards for construction in the right-of-way, provided such codes and standards are of general applicability. The authority must document the basis for any denial, including the specific code provisions or standards on which the denial was based, and send the documentation to the applicant on or before the day the authority denies an application. The applicant may cure the deficiencies identified by the authority and resubmit the application within thirty (30) days of the denial without paying an additional processing fee. The authority shall approve or deny the revised application within thirty (30) days. Any subsequent denial shall be limited to the deficiencies cited in the original denial. Where one or more locations addressed in a consolidated application do not meet the criteria of this section, the authority shall allow the application as to all other locations.
(b) An application shall be deemed approved if the authority fails to approve or deny the application within sixty (60) days of submission. If the authority notifies the applicant within ten (10) days after the initial submission that the application is incomplete and reasonably identifies at that time the information that is lacking, the time period stated above shall be tolled during the time it takes the applicant to respond. No other request for additional information shall toll such time periods.
(c) A person whose application or revised application is denied by an authority may appeal to the superior court within thirty (30) days of the denial. The superior court shall have jurisdiction to determine all disputes arising under this chapter.
39-32-5. Additional terms for collocation on authority poles and structures.
(a) Within three (3) months of receiving its first request to collocate small wireless facilities on authority poles located within the public rights-of-way, an authority shall establish by ordinance, regulation or rule nondiscriminatory, competitively neutral and commercially reasonable rates, terms and conditions for such collocation that are consistent with the provisions of this chapter. Should an authority require additional time to promulgate such ordinance, regulation or rule, it shall process authority pole collocation requests, issue permits and allow such collocation in the interim. Aside from the application processing fee allowed under §39-32-3, an authority shall not charge on an annual recurring basis more for such a collocation than the rate produced by applying the formula adopted by the Federal Communications Commission for telecommunications pole attachments under 47 U.S.C. §224(e).
(b) An authority shall authorize the collocation of small wireless facilities on authority poles not located within the public rights-of-way and on authority structures to the same extent the authority permits access to such poles and structures for other commercial projects or uses, and may authorize such collocation if the authority has not previously permitted such access. Such collocation shall be subject to reasonable and nondiscriminatory rates, terms and conditions as provided by ordinance or in one or more agreements between the wireless provider and the authority. An authority may not charge on an annual recurring basis more for such a collocation than the lesser of:
(1) The amount charged for similar commercial projects or uses to occupy or use the same amount of space on similarly situated property; or
(2) The projected cost to the authority resulting from the collocation.
39-32-6. Collocation of small wireless facilities on private poles and structures.
(a) An authority may not prohibit, regulate or charge for the collocation of small wireless facilities on poles or structures other than authority poles and authority structures.
(b) A wireless service provider may install poles in the public rights-of-way in order to collocate small wireless facilities, subject to request and authority approval. An authority shall receive, process and approve such requests on a non-discriminatory basis and in substantially the same manner and on substantially the same terms and conditions as the authority applies to similar requests by other persons seeking to place poles in the public ways.
SECTION 3. This act shall take effect upon passage. ======== LC000479 ========
BY THE LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL
A N A C T
RELATING TO PUBLIC UTILITIES AND CARRIERS - SMALL CELL SITING ACT
This act would establish the "Small Cell Siting Act", which specifies how local authorities may regulate the collocation of small wireless facilities and small wireless facility networks.
This act would take effect upon passage. ======== LC000479 ========
NOTE: Electronic voting records are unofficial and may not be accurate. For an official vote tally, check the
House or Senate Journal from the day of the vote.